Is Digitization a Key Characteristic for Industry 4.0?
With evolving digital advancements, companies are embedding smart and connected technologies for their employees to take advantage of in terms of efficient automation systems, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, etc. On the other hand, organizations want to capture the true potential of industry 4.0 and this can be done by placing the right technology within the appropriate process.
If we want to describe Industry 4.0, we can say that “it’s a holistic automation holistic automation, business information, and manufacturing execution architecture to improve industry with the integration of all aspects of production and commerce across company boundaries for greater efficiency” (isa.org). This concept was born in Germany, then spread all around the world with increasing numbers of smart factories, industrial IoT, and smart manufacturing.
Industry 4.0 combines the virtual, physical, and digital worlds creating effective growth and productivity opportunities with smart products and upgraded services. Once the systems were upgraded via smart automation, they help companies produce faster, smarter, more efficient, and more effective. I believe the most important point here is to be able to create custom-made products at a higher speed and also scale the process at a mass production level.
The complete vision of industry 4.0 is based on efficient, effective, and automated production processes, in which people and all departments and systems cooperate together. The end goal through this vision as mentioned above is to be able to produce both mass and custom-made products at a lower cost and higher effectiveness with higher quality.
Now, let’s talk about how digitization characterizes industry 4.0. Analytics is a huge part of it and how it’s used certainly gives us an idea of how measuring performances with automated systems can give us quick and effective results, which then creates higher quality products.
The technologies of industry 4.0 such as IT-enabled manufacturing and an increased computing capacity help create smart factories that work efficiently with highly data-integrated systems.
At this point, we know that data is and should be at the core of each business and that industries should leverage analytics to create a higher value in their production systems.
Data analytics can be used in various ways to benefit organizations such as real-time maintenance analysis, which helps industrial organizations avoid unplanned machine failures that directly affect the entire production process.
Digitization pushed its way into the industries making futuristic transformations
User experience has been one of the core elements of digitization and industry 4.0, thus we can say that design thinking can be considered an approach to solve problems that companies can leverage to reinvent their reputations and core values accordingly with new-age technological advancements.
Digitization brings along some benefits such as accelerating growth, understanding customers via digitized customer services, and improving organizational capacity and efficiency.
1. Accelerating growth:
The key to growth is to keep the current customers happy and also open up ways to bring in more potential clients. Companies can accomplish this by introducing new digitized features for their services and products with the appropriate UX designs embedded right in the beginning. Also, creating e-commerce portals are great ways to allow companies to reach new potential audiences with lower costs.
2. Understanding customers via digitized customer services:
As customers, we all want the products that we use to be easy to navigate through and mobile-friendly at this point. So, when companies invest in software-enabled products with post-sales support will definitely bring some competitive advantage within the market and strengthen relationships. Lastly, consumer insights will shine the light on giving personal recommendations and help companies build personalized products and services more effectively and efficiently.
3. Improving organizational capacity and efficiency
Digital solutions require agility, streamlined processes, and needed integrations for capacity management. What we call smart user experience, can help reduce production times, and improve productivity through automation, IoT, and real-time analytics. Moreover, building employee portals can create and enhance cross-functional team collaboration, information sharing, and building a thoroughly agile culture. Lastly, with a user-experienced supported supply chain system, organizations can deliver effective and efficient digital integrations.
Overall, a digitization process within the industrial sector requires businesses to digitize both their external ecosystem of customers and internal processes at the same time. This process is lengthy, and detailed and will take a long time to embed within the current system so it needs to be mapped out thoroughly. The steps that are mapped out should be completed at a consistent level and should be analyzed before jumping into the end results and needs to be parallel to the company’s business goals and the industry’s requirements at the same time for absolute success.