Industrial companies boosts their digital skills and capabilities to increase their competitive advantages

Smart factories: The innovative growth engine for manufacturers

March 12, 2019
Anja Hoffmann

Industrial companies are increasing their investments in technologies to enhance their innovation and future competitiveness. Technologies such as the Internet of Things, Digital Twin, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Additive Manufacturing, Big Data Analytics, Cloud Computing, and Wearables are emerging as Industry 4.0 is maturing to enable the smart factory. These technologies impact several areas across the entire business operation, from the supply chain to the value chain. The combination of sensors, robots, data analytics, and AI will bring a new level of control and automated maintenance, enabling innovation in smarter ways.

Smart factories mean more than just new products or services. The fourth industrial revolution is part of a radical shift in industrial companies operations as new opportunities arise. Smart factories have the potential to deliver UN's Sustainable Development Goals through a more productive and sustainable form of manufacturing, based on actionable insights and predictable maintenance.

So how do we anticipate smart innovations and stay ahead of the 4IR curve?

Smart companies distinguished by their role in data-driven processes, new service experiences and predictive maintenance. Business executives need to know how and where to automate functions and processes in order to add the smartest solutions and design differentiated service experiences.

4IR Technologies have given rise to smart homes, smart buildings and smart factories. As factories get smarter, leadership and governance play a critical role in the initiatives. 88% of digital masters have appointed a leader for their smart factory initiative, whereas only around a third of digital beginners have done so, according to Capgemini.

Seeing smart opportunities across the entire business

The ability to develop smarter businesses is a key capability to maintain long-term success in today’s world. The industry 4.0 redefines how companies create value, but the smartest companies also harness the power of purpose. They rethink their supply chains and business models to help achieve the SDGs. Some of the most innovative companies have prioritised specific SDGs that broadens the horizons of business’ potential impact. 

The bottom line is that smart technologies and innovative leadership will result in companies having their business wired in new ways that make them more competitive in the industry 4.0.