Enabling effective change.

Andy Croghan
16th May 2017


In our final blog on Industry 4.0, we look at the implications it will bring for people, process and systems within an organisation. We also wrap up our thoughts on Industry 4.0 by looking at how to prepare and manage the changes required.


People Implications people1

The integration of technology within an organisation in order to adapt to the changing demands of Industry 4.0 will create a pressure on existing workforces. This is why the changes should be viewed from the perspective of ‘enabling existing workforces to be more efficient and innovative’ (Dr Lina Heurtas, MTC). The new digital manufacturing workplace will develop new roles with new skillsets based on new demands. These new high-skilled technology, science and engineering roles will play into the autonomous digital framework of the manufacturers of the future. Therefore, in terms of human cost and benefits – there are several pressures facing future manufactures in relation to the cost and benefit of Industry 4.0 implementation. Change management and getting the people within your organisation on side with the developments is always an essential element to a projects success. Make sure your organisation involves people from every level early on to reduce negative impact.


Process Implications

proccesLean processes have been long admired and utilised within manufacturing. Lean business management, stock management, financial management and operational management has defined the early digital revolution. However, Industry 4.0 with a changing business model, quicker data distribution and collection and effective analysis will lead to  more efficient inventory management throughout the entire supply chain process leading to lean and agile operations within the manufacturing. process implications will impact on a range of metrics, business model planning and overall management awareness. These positive outcomes are both profitable and well defined.


System Implications System Implementation

The ‘systems in a system’ approach to manufacturing by Industry 4.0 will create a new approach to organisational planning. The implications from a system  perspective will see entire shop floors become embedded as more monitors, autonomous systems and digital devices connect with the wider business and the wider global network of suppliers and customers through the cloud. This process-informed change can hold a positive change for system management . The awareness of the future potential to be able to diagnose and configure unique system implementations that meet each businesses specific requirements will reduce issues and downtime and improve productivity and profitability. The autonomous and digital framework will work intuitively and learn to understand and respond to changing demand helping to make over or under supply potentially a thing of the past. These implications illustrate the changing nature of Industry 4.0 and how it will impact widely on the manufacturing industry.

“The pace of transition will likely be gradual but remain essential” – McKinsey & Company


It has been said that the set of disruptive digital technologies will transform the manufacturing sector by 2025. Competitiveness in todays’ business world can be defined by the time-to-market and customer satisfaction. However, making the required preparations for change in a risk-averse sector demands skilled knowledge and planning for the future and current demands of the sector.

Understanding key variables like the cost of production, process efficiency and stock control via the implementation of new equipment and how they could interact is a crucial benchmark for manufacturers starting a change project to prepare for Industry 4.0. This is about supporting long-term investment to create continuous opportunities for improvement. However, Industry 4.0 isn’t necessarily about replacing current assets with shiny new equipment. It is about utilising assets by better managing the challenges posed by digital disruption and analysis of business Data to obtaining the full value of the data.

The digital infrastructure within manufacturing demands careful consideration and planning. Ensuring the support mechanisms and overall resources to successfully adapt to Industry 4.0 change are in place will put an organisation in the best place to face the demands on the people and the wider culture of the organisation required to facilitate successful change.

It is crucial that manufacturing organisations seek the right support mechanism and overall project management assistance, as well as seek opportunities to collaborate with other organisations and their own customers to start taking the steps to adapt to Industry 4.0.


Download our Industry 4.0 White Paper


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