July 20, 2016

Why Industry 4.0 is the way forward for your Supply Chain?

blog industry 4.0.4Industry 4.0 being touted as the 4th Industrial revolution, essentially refers to the use of new and disruptive technologies like IoT, Robotics, 3D printing to revolutionize modern day manufacturing and distribution.

Due to an increased shift in the consumer behavior; demanding customized products and services in ever-shrinking time-frames, along with technical advancements in the area of Cloud Computing, Analytics and Big data, it has fueled the evolution of a highly futuristic Industry 4.0 causing a paradigm shift towards end-to-end digitization of organizations.

Based on the concept of ‘Cyber-Physical’ systems, the Industry 4.0 would enable linkages between physical products and intelligent data wherein the products being manufactured would be made communicative with the machine which would produce them.

Consider an automobile assembly line; which would use the same assembly line for manufacturing customized automobiles by connecting them through intelligent data based on an information carrying ‘tag’ on the product parts which would direct it along the assembly line and thereby leading to what is called a ‘responsive manufacturing.’

If we try to visualize this ‘mass-customization’ business model from a macro perspective, across products and industries, we would come to appreciate the impact potential of Industry 4.0 through:

  • Efficiency improvement: With intelligent machines taking over the production lines, error due to manual intervention shall be minimized.
  • Revenue increase: With ‘mass-customization’ business model, a faster time to market even for the specialized goods will increase the revenue. Also ‘intelligent machines’ derive process optimization which will directly lead to cost savings.
  • Profitability: The increase in the customer base thereof shall positively impact the profitability of businesses.
  • Sustainability: With complete supply chain transparency and supply chain agility hence, businesses can better progress towards being sustainable.
  • Re-innovation: The permutations and combinations of products created from the same assembly line shall drive re-innovation for businesses.

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Since Industry 4.0 would require radical changes in the current processes and hence the existing working models therefore, to unleash the full potential of a digital supply chain, organizations need to re-assess and transform their supply chain strategy. Organizations should now strive to achieve a complete supply chain transparency and do-away with the inefficiencies of the current ERP systems.

So in summary (as listed by Gartner), organizations should work towards:

  1. Optimizing Supplier Management by including ‘Dedicated capacities, enhanced risk profiling, IP protection and the reliability of materials’;
  2. Achieve Complete supply chain visibility so as ‘To respond as quickly as possible to planned and unplanned events’;
  3. Actionable Demand Planning by developing a clear understanding and translation of fluctuating demand patterns into targeted production units;
  4. Agility and supply resiliency without compromising time to market, through better supply networks alignment;
  5. Product Innovation Platforms to define and design products, and manage product lifecycles.

HICX Solutions enterprise supplier management platform can help you achieve readiness for Industry 4.0, speak to one of our team today to understand how we can help you take the next step in your digital journey.

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