During this phase, it is critical that operations managers and executives gain firsthand experience so that they understand the state of the art in Lean Industry 4.0. BCG supports these efforts through its Innovation Center for Operations. The ICO provides access to model factories and mobile labs where managers and executives can try out new technologies and gain insights into their company’s pain points and opportunities.
To deepen their understanding of how Lean Industry 4.0 could help them, executives and managers of an industrial goods company participated in interactive workshops in BCG’s mobile labs. Participating in several rounds of hands-on simulations of a production environment, the company leaders saw how use cases can improve processes and performance. This experience helped make the principles and benefits of Lean Industry 4.0 more accessible and tangible.
Over the course of the simulation rounds, the BCG team introduced participants to Lean Industry 4.0 tools that address the pain points observed in their processes. Standard production KPIs, such as OEE and production costs, were tracked so that participants could see the ways that implementing each use case improves performance. Between rounds, experts enriched the learning experience by providing detailed discussions of the relevant Lean Industry 4.0 principles, reviewing the simulation results, and introducing participants to selected Lean Industry 4.0 use cases, such as the following:
Connecting smart devices on the shop floor through Industry 4.0 gateways that make it possible to share data and information
Combining digital standard operating procedures with cloud technology and augmented-reality technology to improve operators’ productivity
Using real-time KPI tracking and digital performance boards to accelerate response times
Integrating 3D printing technology to produce spare parts
Once a company’s participants have identified the potential use cases, they prioritize them on the basis of their value, quantifying their potential impact and developing a business case for investment so that they use only those that are financially viable. They can then establish a target for the end state and develop a roadmap for achieving it.
Pilot. To apply the insights gained, the company first tests solutions in a specific part of the supply chain or plant. The objective of each pilot is to develop a minimum viable solution quickly and then improve it through iterations using agile development methods. By implementing an initial set of use cases, the company leaders can validate the approach and showcase the opportunities for value creation. At the same time, the company should deploy all relevant enablers for Lean Industry 4.0.
Scale. Solutions that have been successfully tested and refined in pilots are ready for launch at scale throughout the supply chain and plant. At this point, the company should conduct the rollout in a logical sequence that allows for integrating solutions effectively when deployed at full scale. Progress toward the target state should be tracked rigorously.