“Roll With It”

What is Industry 4.0? And what happened to the other .0s?!

The original 18th Century Industrial RevolutionIndustry 1.0, if you willsaw the adoption of new manufacturing techniques, including steam power and innovative machinery which rocked employment, economic output, and living standards. But maybe less understood, is the idea that there have been two subsequent industrial revolutions:

Industry 2.0

The Second Industrial Revolution is marked by large-scale iron and steel production and is considered to have occurred between 1870 and the First World War.

Industry 3.0

The Third Industrial Revolution occurred much more recently, between the late 1950s and 1970s, and concerns the adoption of digital technologies including mobile phones, computers, and the internet.

Industry 4.0

Now, thanks to the continued pace of innovation and development, we stand on the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Under its broad-concept umbrella, Industry 4.0 is blurring the gap between physical and digital technologies to create dynamic enterprises that are both interconnected and capable of more informed decision-making.

This high-tech strategy originated in Germany, and includes Industry 4.0 concepts like machinery which can predict failures and trigger maintenance processes autonomously, or self-organized logistics which react to unexpected changes in production.

These digital organizations can analyze, communicate, and use data to empower intelligent action in the physical world.

“Half the World Away”

Reaching the oasis of Industry 4.0 success

But are organizations ready to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Not really. According to a Deloitte survey, just 14% of 1,600 C-level executives across 19 countries are highly confident their organizations are ready to fully harness the changes.
But. 87% of CXOs believe Industry 4.0 will lead to more equality and stability.

Reaching the Industry 4.0 oasis and sweet spot is about embedding smart and connected technology, not only within organizations but also our daily lives. Embracing Industry 4.0 success initiatives opens the lid on future-proofing and means the limited boundaries of individual factories will most likely disappear. Instead, they will evolve into multiple interconnected factories or even clustered geographical regions.

It has become imperative for manufacturing entities to adapt and to keep track of their operational models. Otherwise, they risk losing their edge on multiple levels, including market competition and customer relations.

However, for many companies, business transformation and newer concepts like Next Practice, which puts innovation at the heart of success, can be challenging to implement. This is because it is hard to identify areas for improvement, to analyze the scope of change and its impact on an organization, and anticipate possible future outcomes.

“The Master Plan”

Industry 4.0 requires better process initiatives

Industry 4.0 technologies can make current production and operations more efficient and cost-effective. But this, in turn, requires innovative business management models that will not only drive direct and indirect stakeholder value but better protect a company from disruption.

Having strong process initiatives is a prerequisite to successfully tap into Industry 4.0 success because processes, models, and strategies must interconnect to generate the essential data necessary to make real-time decisions. Organizations may want to reconsider, and perhaps even redesign, their decision-making processes to account for new business trends, shifts, and strategies. Defining processes, models, and leveraging customer experience is crucial for enhanced products and keeping up with the latest offers.

Within this Next Practice context, Business Process Management (BPM) is an ideal system choice. It relieves bottlenecks in operations, sales and orders, and product life cycles, and aligns business strategies with innovative business models and end-to-end service processes. This ensures a robust process management system that empowers Industry 4.0 manufacturers of all sizes and types to discover, analyze, and design processes vital to their infrastructure and success.

“D’You Know What I Mean?”

Industry 4.0 and Business Process Management…

BPM empowers better efficiency, effectiveness, performance, and productivity through automation, workflows, and synchronization. It can also improve tracking and scheduling, and optimizes consumption which can increase turnover, quality, and profits, as well as reduce costs and waste. All things vital to current success and future triumph.

If the vision of Industry 4.0 and new sector standards is to be realized, enterprise processes and models must become more digitized and agile through process management systems. A critical element will be the evolution of traditional supply chains toward a connected, smart, and highly efficient supply chain ecosystem.

Indeed, the vision of connecting Industry 4.0 with process management systems edges towards the creation of Industry 5.0.

“Rock ‘n’ Roll Star”

… Business Process Management rocks Industry 4.0 success

Continuous improvement strategies like Lean and Six Sigma have done much to increase the effectiveness of manufacturing operations, but the sector is now looking beyond the horizon—beyond quality control, and towards innovation. And this is far more manageable using BPM.

After all, BPM is a means to an end. It is a tool to understand, engineer and analyze processes, by leveraging a five-step model: Design, model, execute, monitor, and optimize. Six Sigma may be used to improve processes, but BPM looks to automate and manage them. BPM as a dynamic model that incorporates business and process intelligence, and tools such as predictive analytics, is very much alive, and very much needed for your Industry 4.0 future success.

And while BPM shares similarities with other process systems, including Total Quality Management (TQM) and Business Process Reengineering (BPR), an effective BPM system offers a far quicker and more precise process analysis. Indeed, BPM solutions offer the ideal ‘shop floor to top floor’ perspective to monitor unscheduled or ad-hoc processes, bringing in contextual data from people and assets such as equipment.

Industry 4.0 is all about next-level thinking and the future; it is not about looking back… in anger or with doubt. This is an industrial revolution, not industrial evolution, and successful organizations must embrace wholesale change and disruption to safeguard long-term success. It’s great listening to the old music hits but why not try composing something new yourself?..

Go discover your Oasis 4.0.

*Check out part two of this blog series: Children of the Revolution: Industry 4.0 Supply Chain Ecosystems.

“Don’t Look Back in Anger”, just “Let There be Love”

Signavio: Tuning your Industry 4.0 success

Discover how Signavio can launch your organization to Industry 4.0 success with Signavio Business Transformation Suite. Try it for yourself by registering now for a free 30-day trial.

Published on: July 16th 2018 - Last modified: March 21st, 2019