The first industrial revolution in the late 18th century brought with it mechanisation and steam power. Mass production, assembly lines and electricity followed with the second a century later. Almost another century hence, computers and automation hailed the third. We had witnessed the proliferation of scientific management systems and with it brought the rise of efficiency driven attributes.
Today we find ourselves in the midst of a fourth revolution: Industry 4.0. The evolution to cyber-physical systems – integrating computation, networking and physical processes.
But while there are many new terms and definitions that accompany us into the digitalized frontier, the technologies that are being implemented are not really new. Instead, we are embracing existing technologies in a new way. We’re working smarter, by streamlining and enhancing how we do things, enabling industry to meet the demands of the evolving consumer in a manner that is sustainable – both for business and the earth.
What does this mean, in practical terms? We have to change how we do things in order to remain competitive – and we have to do it quickly!
Technology to Meet the Demand
Industry 4.0 certainly has the manufacturing industry under pressure. As we strive toward a seamless supply chain, ERP technology is playing an increasingly important role in production and logistics processes. So, what are the real benefits?
Streamlining Processes – If higher efficiency, increased flexibility shorter lead times and better quality with decreased wastage sound’s good, then this is something to seriously consider. Add to this data sharing capabilities between stakeholders and the increased collaboration, tracking and record-keeping and advanced analytics, and you realise fast this is something you can’t ignore.
Strategic Strengths – ERP makes expanding your offering to include digitised services and products not just a reality but easy. This means a shorter time to market, increased flexibility and robustness in volatile times.
Organisational Benefits – How does this impact the human component of your business? Well with the right ERP solution, improved work/life balance is guaranteed for your team through a more ‘user-centric’ work environment. Workplace safety levels are enhanced and customer relations are improved as enquiries are better handled with accurate data on hand.
Regardless of your existing infrastructure and solutions, the right ERP solution is the critical ‘steam’ required to power your business forward in this modern time.