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A CIO’s Guide to Industry 4.0 – The Future of Manufacturing

Industry 4.0 is the next phase of digitalization in the manufacturing sector that is driven by factors including the proliferation of data volumes, growth of connectivity and computational power, and key advancements in manufacturing innovations. Although they are still in the early stages of development, smart factory and industry 4.0 have already begun transforming manufacturing. By embracing industry 4.0, manufacturers can gain much more than just extending their digital reach and or selling new varieties of products and services. Industrial automation can increase productivity and performance and also bring down the overall production costs. Another major benefit of industry 4.0 is that it will greatly promote globalization through worldwide supply chains and sensor networks. Developing the right digital capabilities for becoming a manufacturing 4.0 organization requires a strategic step-by-step approach. This article outlines the key steps critical to success.

According to Infiniti’s industry experts, ‘Digitization is important, but most companies are not prepared enough.’ Want to strategize for successful digital transformation in your business? Request a free proposal to know how our solutions can help.

Industry 4.0Evaluate existing capabilities with expectations

CIO’s must begin by evaluating their existing technological capabilities and compare them with the digital maturity that they expect to achieve. Prioritize measures that directly align with the organization’s overall strategy and will most likely create better business value. It is also vital to communicate and get commitment for the measures that are chosen for not just the top leadership but also ensure that it is evident to people across the organization who are integral to the execution.

Begin with pilot projects

Pilot projects can be used to demonstrate proof of concept and demonstrate the business gains that can be derived from the industry 4.0 strategy. Early success in the pilot projects can also help gain buy-in from the organization and secure adequate funds for the final roll-out. Collaborate with digital leaders outside the company to create pragmatic designs for the industry 4.0 concept, this is can significantly accelerate digital innovation.

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Map capabilities required to achieve desired goals

The flaws in the pilots for industry 4.0 transformation will help CIOs identify the capabilities that the organization lacks in achieving the desired results. Create a blueprint highlighting the technology enablers that will help propel the business processes forward. The success of an industry 4.0 transformation will largely depend on the company’s ability to deploy appropriate skills and knowledge.

Embrace digital capabilities

A company can encounter several roadblocks in their journey to embrace digital transformation. Data is critical to make the right business decisions and adopt feasible strategies. Combine data from different verticals of business including logistics, QC, and engineering functions and use this to analyze new methods to attract customers. Advanced technologies such as real-time analytics can be used to attract customers and fully capture the potential of industry 4.0.  Actively understanding customer behavior and orchestrating a distinct role for your organization within complex ecosystems will be the greatest breakthrough to successfully adopting industry 4.0 capabilities.

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Reviving the US Manufacturing Sector

MANUFACTURING

The erosion of the US manufacturing sector over the past couple of years have been a big blow on the growth of the US economy. Small and midsize manufacturing companies are the most affected, while large companies in the US manufacturing sector have managed to thrive despite the growing headwinds. Although it is widely believed that little can be done to put an end to the ongoing decline of US manufacturing sector, continued losses are not a foregone conclusion. On the brighter side, the rising demand, productivity gains through technology, and finding growth in new parts of the value chain will likely create an opportunity for the US manufacturing sector to turntables. Given how vital manufacturing is to the broader economy, capitalizing on these opportunities must be given national priority.

We examine some of the key factors that will fuel growth in the future of manufacturing in the United States and how manufacturers can leverage this opportunity to revitalize their business.

Attaining success in the manufacturing industry involves the use of market research, demand forecasting, product development, and distribution. Facing predicaments in handling it all by yourself? Request a free proposal from Infiniti’s industry experts to learn how we can help you.

manufacturing sectorGrowing demand

Although the US market is not the same familiar ground it was in the past, it remains one of the most developed and lucrative markets in the world. Furthermore, the US consumers are more diverse and expect higher quality and varieties at lower prices. Beyond the domestic market, the demand is also soaring in developed and emerging economies around the globe. However, for tapping into demand growth in emerging economies, it is vital to know exactly where and how to compete. Markets including Africa, Brazil, China, and India represent enormous opportunities, but they have dizzying regional, ethnic, linguistic, and income diversity. This translates to the fact that manufacturing sector companies must navigate greater complexity than ever before and identify the most feasible strategies to produce a wider range of product models with differing features, price points, and marketing approaches.

Industry 4.0

In order to enhance productivity, the US manufacturing sector must capture demand opportunities coming their way. Innovative technologies will play an integral role in determining how effectively they can achieve this and compete better in the market. The rise of industry 4.0 in the US manufacturing sector is largely driven by the increase in volume of data available, new forms of human–machine interactions such as the use of AR, and the ability to transmit digital instructions to the physical world. These advanced technologies are designed to run smart, cost-efficient, and automated plants that produce large volumes or plants that produce highly customized products.

Rethink and reinvent your business strategies with advanced market intelligence solutions. Get in touch with us to learn how our manufacturing sector experts can help your organization achieve this.

Rethinking business models, footprint, and sourcing

US manufacturing sector companies are seeking new ways to capture value beyond traditional production processes. Moreover, with changing input costs, the gap between labor cost in the US and abroad have also narrowed and the cost of industrial robots are rapidly falling. As a result, several US manufacturing sector companies are moving their manufacturing base to the home country. Advancements such as the internet of things and robotics can effectively handle dangerous tasks and eliminate safety risks. Beyond the factory floor, new applications for coordinating distributed supplier networks improve the flow and tracking of raw materials and manufactured parts.

Want more insights on our solutions for the manufacturing sector?

Manufacturing industry in Europe

Competitive Landscape Analysis of the Manufacturing Industry in Europe – Competitive Intelligence Engagement

Overview of the Manufacturing Industry in Europe

The manufacturing industry in Europe is presently undergoing a transformational phase. Leading players in the manufacturing industry in Europe are facing challenges such as evolving regulations, staff shortage issues, data protection threats, and falling demand. Owing to such challenges, European manufacturers are in need to develop new strategies and invest in technology to gain a stronger foothold.

The hyper-competitive and dynamic nature of the European manufacturing market also demands companies to stay updated on the changing trends and consumer behavior. Additionally, keeping a constant watch on competitors’ key strategies and business processes is becoming quintessential to survival.

Our experts can help you to gather comprehensive insights into your competitors and their business strategies. Request a FREE proposal today!

Business Challenge

The client is a heavy equipment manufacturing company in Europe. The company has 2 manufacturing facilities, 11 warehouses, and over 33 distributors in Europe.

Our client, a manufacturing company, faced immense competition from local players in Europe. Also, the company lacked skilled labor and investment in cybersecurity. In addition, evolving regulations in the manufacturing industry in Europe further made it difficult for the client to comply with manufacturing standards. Due to these challenges, they were losing their market share to their competitors.

To understand how they could improve their market position and perform better than their rivals, they approached the experts at Infiniti Research to leverage their expertise in offering competitive intelligence solution.

Major challenges faced by the client were:

1Manufacturing industry in Europe challenge #1: Skill shortages

With the baby boomer generation reaching retirement age, companies in the manufacturing industry in Europe faced labor shortage challenges. The client also struggled to find and retain top talent. However, they noted that their competitors were implementing automation to handle the labor shortage challenge. By leveraging our competitive intelligence solution, the client wanted to study in-detail the approach undertaken by their competitors to tackle this challenge.

Manufacturing industry in Europe challenge #2: Security threats

As cyber threats were increasing in the manufacturing industry in Europe, the client realized that the company’s lack of investment in cybersecurity could turn out to be a major challenge. As such, they wanted to identify all the security threats facing companies in the manufacturing industry in Europe. Also, they wanted to understand risk management measures adopted by the top manufacturing companies in Europe.

Manufacturing industry in Europe challenge #3: Global competition

The client faced challenges in sustaining a leading edge in the market because new products from emerging markets such as the US and Canada were increasingly being imported to Europe. The client, therefore, wanted to identify areas where they lacked compared to their competitors.

Manufacturing industry in Europe challenge #4: Automation and Innovation

Although automation and new technological innovations opened up new opportunities for companies in the manufacturing industry in Europe, they also brought along new sets of challenges. The challenges involved the cost of initial set-up and recruiting skilled workforce to manage the implementation of robots and AI platforms. The client, with our competitive intelligence solution, wanted to understand how other companies in the manufacturing industry in Europe handled such challenges and gained a leading edge in the marketplace.

To get products to market, companies in the manufacturing industry in Europe will need to adhere to extremely tight and stressful timelines. We can help you stay competitive while being cost-effective. Contact us today!

Solutions Offered

2As a part of the competitive intelligence engagement, the experts at Infiniti Research gathered comprehensive insights about the client’s key competitors. The factors such as competitors’ service offerings, risk mitigation approaches, and business strategies were taken into consideration during the analysis.

By leveraging Infiniti’s expertise in offering market scanning and monitoring analysis, the experts helped the client to review macro and micro-economic environment, identify security threats, and understand evolving regulations in the manufacturing industry in Europe.

By conducting a detailed market opportunity analysis engagement, we helped the client to assess markets’ readiness for new offerings, including new technologies and automation processes. With our help, the client was able to understand how automation will transform the industry landscape in the years to come and identify competitors who were leveraging similar technologies and processes.

The experts also conducted a risk assessment study to analyze the security threats facing companies in the manufacturing industry in Europe. The identification of the risks in advance helped the client to take cybersecurity measures to protect data and information.

Lastly, by conducting a competitive benchmarking study, our experts helped the client to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their major competitors. Also, this phase of the engagement helped the client to enhance efficiency in areas where they lacked compared to their competitors.

Results Obtained

Based on our insights, the client gained comprehensive insights into their competitors and developed a detailed understanding of the attractiveness of market opportunities for their product and service offerings. Moreover, they were able to understand strategies undertaken by their key competitors to manage labor shortage challenges, data protection threats, and global competition.

This further helped them to improve business efficiency and deal with the challenges in the manufacturing industry in Europe. They were also able to strengthen their position in the manufacturing industry in Europe and enhance market share by 19%.

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