This has been a decade of great change for the manufacturing industry. Going into 2010, the manufacturing sector was largely still working according to 20th Century rules, and letting other sectors blaze new technological trails. In recent years, however, major technological change has come to manufacturing, in the form of “Industry 4.0” initiatives.
From our own perspective, working alongside these manufacturing ecosystems, these changes can’t come fast enough. Markets are shifting rapidly at both a local and a global level, and manufacturers need to keep up. New challenges are facing industry, and Industry 4.0 is creating solutions.
Four Manufacturing Challenges That Industry 4.0 Initiatives Are Helping To Overcome
1. Responding more quickly to changing buyer needs
Manufacturers don’t have the luxury of working on new products over long spans of time. They need to be watching user trends carefully, and looking to create new products more quickly in response. Fortunately, this can be overcome with improved communication between vendors, sales, and end users, along with incorporating new technologies to more quickly create mockups within computers. This allows for expedited R&D, and idea-to-market times.
2. Improving the sales and post-sales experience
As Millennials come to increasingly dominate the B2B landscape, they’re bringing with them new expectations for sales and post-sales. They want to be able to purchase products quickly and easily, with an Amazon-style experience whenever possible. They also want easy access to post-sale support when needed, and expect vendors or their sales partners to be able to find creative solutions to their problems.
The manufacturing industry needs robust e-commerce solutions, as well as improved methods of customer contact which can speed up any post-sale issues.
3. Gaining access to qualified talent
There is a true world of talent out there for the manufacturing sector to take advantage of – if they can make contact. Manufacturers are now having to work hard to get their names in front of the talented individuals which can help build their business, and are increasingly creating new lines of communication to get in touch with them. Centralized communications systems, enabled by Industry 4.0 technologies, may allow all new direct links between vendors, trade schools, even freelancers. These will help manufacturers get access to the global talent they need, particularly in developing nations they’re expanding into.
4. Embracing more standards and interoperability
One thing Industry 4.0 initiatives needs for full effect is a level of cooperation/collaboration between participants – particularly where it comes to standards and interoperability. Locked-down proprietary solutions are increasingly avoided by buyers, whenever possible. At the same time, embracing open standards and technologies can allow manufacturers to add new features to their products very cheaply, as compared to creating bespoke solutions.
Manufacturers hoping to embrace Industry 4.0 technology will need to accept the increased reliance on shared standards, and look for ways to benefit from that sharing.
LogicBay Is Helping Industries Move Into The Future
We have dedicated ourselves to creating technologies that support manufacturing ecosystems, helping them transition smoothly into an online, connected, Industry 4.0 vision of business. Contact us to learn more about how our mix of software, consulting, and open platforms can revolutionize your business.