Posted by Thelma Marshall, VP of Solutions, June 9, 2020

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Combine the Internet of Things and the Internet of Systems and you have the birth of Industry 4.0, which is expected to take smart distributions centers to an unprecedented new level of productivity. The timing of this emerging fourth industrial revolution couldn’t have been better, when you consider the challenges we faced due to COVID-19.

Essentially, we have all had a wake-up call about why preparing for greater flexibility and solving unexpected problems with technology may be key to business survival. The coronavirus pandemic has shown us the necessity of Industry 4.0 technologies in a global marketplace, which provides agility and flexible solutions for unprecedented production and supply chain challenges.

Here are some facts to consider:

  • The growing need for remote interaction may potentially accelerate adoption of 5G technology.
  • Manufacturers who apply a digital-first mindset to a physical business will reap the benefits of implementing Industry 4.0 technologies.
  • If a disruption like COVID-19 had occurred just a decade ago, it would have forced many manufacturers or warehouse operations to completely shut down.

What Industry 4.0 can mean for your business

Greater efficiency is something manufacturers and those across the supply chain industry strive for. Industry 4.0 promises to deliver the next level in smart facilities achieved by machine learning, enterprise level reporting and simplified advanced analytics based on real-time data.

Will this be necessary for your business? To remain competitive, yes. Businesses must keep up with growing demands and find strategies to manage chaotic and unexpected challenges better, faster and smarter than ever before. So utilizing emerging software technologies drastically improves a business’s efficiency, facilitates better asset management, and can define solutions that would otherwise go undiscovered.

Preparing for the next step

Maybe your business has avoided updating technology. But Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be a game-changer in monitoring all the moving parts of a manufacturing or distribution center.

This software optimizes logistics to create a connected supply chain that will adjust and accommodate when unexpected change, shortages or new information is discovered. Updating your software platform maybe critical to improved processes now and in the future.

Immediate gains

Why update? Results can be recognized quickly, ROI is measurable, and advanced technology is a smart investment that will continue to pay off. For example:

Supply chain visibility goes beyond one specific warehouse or manufacturing center. Industry 4.0 technology allows an enterprise to be able to provide traceability for products already fielded.

AI capabilities provides the monitoring and reporting intelligence needed to ensure preventative care happens and downtime is reduced. It effortlessly monitors and reports on the overall health and maintenance schedules of an entire fleet.

With AI, the software platform identifies and merges patterns from what machines “experience” using advanced analytics, IoT sensors, and real-time monitoring. This provide actionable insight to adjust processes to improve efficiency and prevent problems before they happen.

Industry 4.0 is poised to revolutionize every aspect of supply chain and facility management. With increasing demand for speed, quality, accuracy and transparency, many sectors of manufacturing and the supply chain industry require an entirely new operating platform structured on real-time data, enriched with patterns and insights not visible with previously available analytics tools. 

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