The manufacturing industry is experiencing unprecedented change as Industry 4.0 takes hold. Embedded technology — including cyber-physical systems, the industrial internet of things and artificial intelligence — accelerates manufacturing, improves product quality and keeps production running strong with fewer equipment failures. The data those technologies gather serves as a foundation for continual process and quality improvement.
Industry 4.0 technologies represent the potential for greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness, which allows original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to respond rapidly in the face of changing demands. With nearly on-demand manufacturing, the new industrial revolution changes how manufacturers respond to the market. The new processes can also lead to lower costs for warehousing and significantly less excess inventory, both in terms of parts and products, as data-driven manufacturing streamlines the process from end to end.
Industry 4.0 is an exciting prospect for established OEMs, yet the move toward modernization challenges existing strategies, processes and practices, and requires sweeping change. The required changes can be both costly and time-consuming. However, failure to embrace the new industrial revolution could leave established companies behind, as new, competing manufacturers are emerging on the market with Industry 4.0 systems already in place, affording themselves the benefits of technology-driven production from day one. Their foundation gives them significant market advantages in terms of speed to market, responsiveness to consumer change and inherent business agility. Additionally, new manufacturers won’t have the same modernization requirements as established businesses, since they are already using solutions that are built to scale with growth and adapt to new technology innovations.
As mature OEMs accelerate their modernization efforts to match or outpace newcomer competition, industrial leaders are seeking cost-effective solutions that help them quickly implement Industry 4.0 solutions without increasing risk to their factories or their brand reputations. However, change can be difficult and disruptive, especially when replacing established tools with new technology that requires specialized skills and understanding.
Throughout transformation, OEMs must maintain inventory, meet current market needs and manage the customer experience. Partnership with an expert supply chain and services provider can help businesses free up working capital and staff, enabling transformation without jeopardizing existing customer relationships. Widely known as an expert global distributor, Tech Data has helped many OEMs achieve modernization, particularly with comprehensive end-to-end services through its specialized solutions business, Global Lifecycle Management (GLM). With GLM managing your supply chain, logistics and global product and customer lifecycle management services, your business stays engaged with the market while your teams embrace new technology, training and business evolution.
Industry 4.0 is the new way to do business, and established OEMs must modernize to maintain their footing in the industry. Don’t get left behind — talk to GLM today to see how you can free up more working capital and human power to accelerate your company throughout and beyond the next industrial revolution.
About the Author
Doug Halbert serves as vice president and general manager of Global Services Delivery within Global Lifecycle Management, a specialized solution business within Tech Data. Halbert is responsible for the development and profitable growth of industry leading global customer solutions that include customer management services, field professional and maintenance services, repair, integration, ITAD services and supply chain design and management services.