Fueled by new technology like the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Big Data, Industry 4.0 offers tremendous potential for improving operational efficiency and spurring growth. However, many manufacturers perceive Industry 4.0 adoption as more of an obligation than an opportunity, something to be relegated to an IT department rather than presented as a strategic, company-wide initiative.
Unfortunately, this fragmented approach to Industry 4.0 will severely hamper the success of your initiatives while limiting the potential benefits. On the other hand, manufacturing companies that embrace Industry 4.0 from the top down and take a more strategic approach to implementation are able to optimize their technology, and their workforces, for this new era.
So how can you adopt Industry 4.0 in your shop? By focusing on these four critical components:
When a charismatic executive acts as an evangelist for Industry 4.0, employees and other leaders in the company will feel inspired to follow. This process is a lot easier than people attempting to push an initiative up the corporate ladder, and it helps get everyone moving in the right direction.
Collaborative, Inclusive Team Of Stakeholders
Again, framing Industry 4.0 as an IT task will not be productive or healthy for company morale. The shift affects the entire organization — operations, sales, marketing, HR, and other departments — so every team and department should be involved. Consider creating a digitization team made up of different stakeholders from different departments to make sure everyone is plugged in to what's going on.
The vast majority of industrial companies— about 90% — have already started to invest in Industry 4.0 Adoption. However, the level of investment varies widely. Be pragmatic with your budget. If you don't have a lot of funds to allocate right now, plan to fund your adoption in stages, just make sure to stick to the plan.
Education and Change Management
To ensure everyone can comfortably adapt to the technological and organizational changes, invest in corporate training and education. No one should feel neglected, excluded or confused. Sending videos, emails and educational modules can make a huge difference.
Implementation Is Just One Part Of The Plan
Industry 4.0 represents a sea change for the manufacturing sector, and a big change for your business. How you manage that change can make a tremendous difference in how successful you are in this new, digital-driven industrial landscape.
However, you need more than the right plan; you need the right technology, the right people, and the right vision. To learn more, download our free eBook, The 4 Keys To Industry 4.0 Success.