As the digital-change tsunami continues to crash around us, a new trend of automation and data exchange is flooding across manufacturing technologies, promising even deeper and more significant transformation. Known as the Smart Factory, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Industry 4.0 includes the internet of things (IoT), cloud computing, cyber-physical systems, and cognitive computing.
However, as was discussed in the first post of this series,, if the vision of massive digital change and high-tech strategy is to be realized, an essential element will be the revolution of traditional linear supply chains toward encompassing Supply Chain Ecosystems.
*Visit our dedicated manufacturing and Industry 4.0 page,.
These high-tech, data-driven ecosystems will break down silos to develop and integrate a broad network of customers and suppliers. This means all product/process steps are transparent and collaborative for the players involved, from the suppliers of raw materials for the production line to quality control, freight shipping, and distributors for customer delivery.
This infinite loop is a Supply Chain Ecosystem circle of life, with supply and demand growing in tandem, developing and learning together. The potential for next-level Industry 4.0 success is there, but so is the possibility of fading out. To ensure achievement, businesses will likely place an even stronger emphasis on brand awareness and customer ratings/reviews, as social media and mobile platforms further integrate and become more intuitive.
Therefore,organizations will be better balanced to surf these turbulent waters because their value-chains are directed away from the product in isolation, and instead towards the customer.
The digital overview offered by Supply Chain Ecosystems will also enable companies to react to disruptions, and even anticipate them, by fully modeling the ecosystem network, strategizing what-if scenarios, and adjusting the supply chain in real-time as conditions change. Put simply, the goal of digital Supply Chain Ecosystems is ambitious: to build a new kind of supply network that’s both resilient and responsive.
Once enabled, the network will empower companies that get there first to beat the competition. After all, the circle of life is also about the survival of the fittest, and Supply Chain Ecosystems will stabilize the weakest processes by leveraging global capabilities and overviews.
In essence, we’re all children of this life-cycle revolution because we will individually feed the Supply Chain Ecosystem for the innovative rewards promised by Industry 4.0.
Companies looking to make digital Supply Chain Ecosystems a reality will need to reach past current technologies and build new company-wide capabilities. This not only means finding people with the right skills and digitally transforming entire organizations, but enabling management teams to monitor and influence cultural swings, carry the burden of effort, and embrace new critical ideas. These ideas might include integrated planning and execution systems, logistics visibility, autonomous logistics, and smart procurement and warehousing.
While it may be stating the obvious, achieving smarter Supply Chain Ecosystems is a difficult task, and successful implementation requires a clear strategy that responds to opportunities within the company environment. Business chiefs must look look past current processes and models to future-state possibilities and concepts. Only then can a digital success strategy be initiated.
Your digital success strategy should consider:
As mentioned in part one of this blog series,is the backbone of Industry 4.0 flexibility. 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.
But further, Industry 4.0 requires companies to keep track of their operational models or risk losing their edge on multiple levels, including market competition and customer relations. At its core, BPM redefines this enterprise collaboration for organizational change, harnessing employee knowledge to give a more granular-level view of processes. This allows manufacturing entities to reimagine, optimize, and reinvent themselves from an operational perspective.
This vital crowd knowledge and particle-level data is the nucleus of Industry 4.0 success and Supply Chain Ecosystem achievement. It reveals the heart of a company and its operational inner workings. Progress and change can be maintained, understood, and most importantly, reflected upon.
Industry 4.0 is the most significant dinosaur killer to strike the, and its offspring strategies like Supply Chain Ecosystems are the new industry T. Rex, ready to take down the less enabled firms, too. But this is one cosmic event we see coming and can harness. We are living during an industrial revolution that strives to reach beyond the technological limitations of the early millennium.
For too long, supply chains have run as tightly linked, contractually restricted entities, but as the ecosystems develop, we will see the rise of more fluid processes, wholly new revenue models, and distinct network effects.
In fact, Industry 4.0 promises wholesale change, and be this your transformation oasis or business “Champagne Supernova”, as long as you keep pace with the revolution, you’ll find the ‘verve’ you need to succeed.
Discover how thecan revolutionize your processes and greet the new dawn of Industry 4.0 success, including Supply Chain Ecosystems. Try it for yourself by registering now for a .