Seven strategies for manufacturing companies to transition to Industry 4.0

Editor’s note: This article is written by DocLogix on 12nd April 2017 at www.manufacturingglobal.com (http://www.manufacturingglobal.com/lean-manufacturing/seven-strategies-manufacturing-companies-transition-industry-40).

Industry 4.0, or fourth industrial revolution, is here – and those manufacturing companies that are able to catch up, will win against their competition. Also referred to as “The Smart Factory” or “Connected Industry,” Industry 4.0 involves integrated and automated data and process management.

In a “smart factory” all the members of the supply chain can communicate without human interaction, significantly improving production flow. All documents and processes are managed automatically. All possible contracts, proposals, employee information, communication, tasks, responsible employees, and task progress becomes visible in one system, in real time.

DocLogix is a document and process management solution that helps companies automate their overall informational assets and processes. Here is company’s advice on how to prepare a manufacturing company for Industry 4.0:

1. Create Industry 4.0 strategy. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of a company in the digital field, and set targets for next five years. Realize which systems the company can build on, and transition to digital technology in a measured way, evaluating the benefits and costs of the transition. Top company stakeholders can be convinced by providing clear numbers and a transition business plan.

2. Select the right team and the right digital tools. Your company will need new employees with the right digital skills, and company’s success in Industry 4.0 will depend on their knowledge.  New positions in the company might include user interface designers and digital innovation managers. However, choosing such automated document and process management systems that provide on-site training will allow to cut hiring expenses. For example, DocLogix provides on-site implementation and staff training.

3. Focus on improving processes. Focusing on end-to-end process perspective will increase collaboration and simplify how the company functions. Invest on process automation, including information related processes.

4. Implement new technologies. One of the most important goals should be to develop an agile IT function that can respond flexibly to business demand and help to continuously improve services. Another important technology capability is internet of things (IoT) management – this includes providing software upgrades and connectivity to company’s devices.

5. Improve information management.  Implement such systems as DocLogix. DocLogix offers a wide list of ready-to-use solutions, dedicated to performing easy, traceable and automated management of a manufacturing company. DocLogix platform serves as a bridge between management and production teams, enabling all information about the manufacturing and business processes to be available when it is needed and where it is needed. All employees, starting from CEO, down to production and sales managers are benefiting from increased accountability and traceability, reduced paper workload, and overall performance. The DocLogix system is accessible remotely, from anywhere, and accurately shows who is working on which projects, which tasks are lagging behind and what needs more input from managers.

6. Appoint a person or a team to lead the digital transformation. A company can transition to digital environment only with committed leadership. There should be an executive appointed to lead the digital transformation or some kind of a digital council that manages the integration of new digital products, platforms and services.

7. Understand consumer needs. Analyze your consumer, and you will understand that customers needs speed, flexibility and customization from their products. Only a fully automated manufacturing company can meet all these needs.

DocLogix is a unique ECM platform, recognized in 2016 as the most progressive in the world, flexibility being its biggest strength.

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1 Response

  1. shohin says:

    Well, I was looking for the “customer needs” at the beginning of the article. However, looks like the 7 strategies do not have order, priority or particular prerequisites.
    No.1, In most cases, a strategy is based on demands/customer requirements. so, No.7 could be the 1st point!
    No.2, Selecting a right team & tool can be considered as an appropriate resource (team, tool, budget, etc) management.
    No.3, Focusing on process improvement may not be aligned with Industry 4.0 as a new generation. It needs a change rather than improvement.
    No.4, Very valid point but Agile is not a technology concept that can be implemented by technology e.g. IoT
    No.5, The DocLogix should be replaced by an ERP as DMS is not enough to improve IMS in Industry 4.0 manufacturing
    No.6, A guiding team (2nd step in leading BOLD change methodology by Prof John Kotter) is a must. Leadership is far more than an appointment or a position, it needs leadership skill.
    No.7, Consumer analysis is reflecting on constraints (cost, time, quality) + customisation (ultimately personalisation). but can’t be applicable to all customers, so my No.7 comment should be read from end to start, means personalisation 🙂

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