The few companies that manage to turn raw information to insights efficiently will secure an astonishing competitive advantage
As technology continues to evolve at an accelerated pace, the barriers between the physical and the digital world continue to collapse within the manufacturing sector day-by-day. For those able to capitalize on the changing industrial landscape, the rewards are endless: Reduced costs, smarter products, smarter services, significant margin improvements and ultimately, end-to-end operational excellence.
However, only a select number of high-performing organizations have managed to navigate the Industry 4.0 evolution successfully – and they’ve already started gorging on its many benefits.
What’s their secret?
A significant time-to-insight competitive advantage. The ability to generate strategic insights and business intelligence from available information faster than competitors. The ability to make sense of uncertainty, and leverage it into action.
Unpacking the time-to-insight issue companies experience
Even though extracting business value out of available data and information efficiently remains a primary concern, only a few companies have managed to make true progress. If we unpack this problem further, two sub-dimensions surface:
Companies struggle to tap into knowledge they do have: In many organizations, high volumes of data and intelligence remain unutilized. Knowledge specific to a specialist, for example, is largely siloed within the plant itself, whereas it could be disseminated throughout the whole organization on scale. Likewise, plant data often lacks structure, which makes extracting full value out of it time-consuming and cumbersome.
Companies can’t tap into knowledge they don’t have: Many companies have trouble keeping up with the latest industrial advances in order to optimize their technological investments. The reason why this happens is the exponential time-to-market speed with which innovative companies currently deploy their solutions. The end result is that many companies miss numerous low-hanging growth opportunities simply because they never learn about them.
How to leverage information into better business outcomes
Despite the ongoing trend of “information hoarding”, forward-thinking companies would do well to avoid collecting data without a specific purpose in mind. To deliver maximum value, knowledge discovery and acquisition requires surgical precision in intent and scope.
Instead, what companies ought to focus on is building the capabilities required to make better sense of information, in order to leverage it into better decisions that will result in better business outcomes.
In this regard, forward-thinking manufacturing leaders should keep three key elements in mind:
Collaborative approach: No existing knowledge center can keep up with Industry 4.0 advances all by itself, due to Industry 4.0’s exponential development. Consequently, knowledge discovery and acquisition efforts must grow to be collaborative in nature by necessity.
Minimal risk: Business intelligence and insights should be made readily accessible on-demand, in order to validate existing plans easily, and calibrate business decisions appropriately and with minimal risk.
Time-to-value: The faster it is to translate data into insights, and insights into action, the easier it is to generate traceable business value from them, and consequently, calibrate them accordingly to maximize their financial impact.
The SmarterChains Approach: Intelligence-as-a-Service
SmarterChains’ way is what could perhaps best be described as “Intelligence-as-a-Service”; effectively, the company’s software platform delivers all the on-demand insights a manufacturing plant needs to power end-to-end Industry 4.0 transformation, and speed up time-to-insight and time-to-value to just a few hours.
With an ecosystem approach, SmarterChains’ platform aggregates information from all over the manufacturing sector, extracting key strategy insights, and seamlessly transforming them into actionable technology roadmaps and meaningful benchmarking.
To accomplish this, SmarterChains has mapped more than 1100 technology vendors and more than 400 industry 4.0 technologies, evaluating them based on brand-agnostic criteria in order to ensure optimal fit with a plant’s technology gaps.
Offering very flexible pricing, this approach eliminates the need for large upfront investments, takes the risk out of technology selection, and consequently makes Industry 4.0 excellence accessible even to smaller industry actors.
The whole process is completely remote, start to finish, and begins with scheduling a meeting with a SmarterChains digital transformation expert.