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How to close the Industry 4.0 management gap

Jan 24, 2022

In today’s digital age, it’s easy for manufacturers to hear Industry 4.0 and get caught up in everything that can accompany it, from artificial intelligence to the cloud to IoT. But before you can effectively harness Industry 4.0 in your organization, you must first close the management gap.

Technology, machines, data — they can only go so far without you putting critical thinking behind them. While manufacturers rely on machines to operate seamlessly on their own, and that’s not going to change, you’ll find greater value in implementing technology and the necessary management system at the same time, becoming more resilient as an organization and better able to grow. Resilient manufacturers are more than digital supply chains and intelligent lots. They use knowledgeable management to turn average workers into advanced workers.

The benefits of closing the management gap

You look to make all your tech on the factory floor as smart as possible, so why leave out your workers? When you equip those operating machines on a daily basis with greater knowledge and skills, then not only does their productivity and value increase, but so does that of the machine. And as the value of a factory worker increases, so does the desire to enter the manufacturing industry. In today’s tight labor market, this will help increase the number of skilled, knowledgeable workers entering into and staying in the manufacturing industry. Although wages will increase as skillsets do, manufacturers will also see an increase in output and production, which will ultimately strengthen bottom lines.

Growing your workers’ knowledge and skillsets is also a competitive differentiator. The factory floor develops a consistent workflow, improving communication, boosting employee well-being and increasing productivity — not to mention requiring be less hiring.

For your manufacturing business, the benefits will be felt not only within the factory but also beyond into the supply chain. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturers have experienced significant supply chain issues, with no signs of improving. This makes your ability to operate a seamless and connected supply chain more important than ever. When advanced workers, machines and connected customers come together in a smart supply chain, you reap the benefits.

Machines can only go as far as you take them. Through proactive planning and positioning, as well as extensive instruction and other strategic implementations, you can stop collecting data and start asking what you can learn from it. Your employees can interpret it to make better decisions.

To train the machine, you must first train yourself and your employees. Together, you can transform your factory and production into a true Industry 4.0 reality.

How Wipfli can help

We can help you get started with Industry 4.0. Our team brings the resources and knowhow you need to develop a strategic roadmap and implement it. Learn about how we can help you achieve Industry 4.0.

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Author(s)

Mark Stevens
Principal
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Brett Polglaze
Principal
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