The first Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century brought with it mechanization and steam power. Mass production, assembly lines and electricity followed with the second a century later. Almost another century later, computers and automation hailed the third. We had witnessed the proliferation of scientific management systems, and with it the rise of efficiency-driven attributes.
Today we find ourselves in the midst of a Fourth Industrial Revolution: Industry 4.0. The evolution of cyber-physical systems – integrating computation, networking, and physical processes.
But while there are many new terms and definitions that accompany us into the digital 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 the 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 waste sound 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 realize this is something you can’t ignore.
Strategic Strengths – ERP makes expanding your offering to include digitized services and products not just a reality but easy to do. This means a shorter time to market, increased flexibility, and robustness in volatile times.
Organizational 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 inquiries 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.