In the manufacturing and industrial sector, you should be familiar with the phrase “industry 4.0”. It is a concept at Polestar we’ve written many blog posts about and researched extensively in our sector valuations.
But how will the manufacturing and industrial sector accomplish this revolutionary change? According to the Manufacturing Digitalisation Symposium, a lot of it will have to do with people.
Paul Turner, Vice President I4.0 Applications & Analytics at Stanley Black & Decker, said “get the right data to the right people in the right format and the right context.” The impact of that that data will then transfer to the factory floor, such as increased efficiency and quality improvements.
Paul also highlighted that industry 4.0 will be the way manufacturing firms recruit new talent. He said that analytics is exciting and innovative, which makes it attractive to fresh graduates, who inevitably bring enthusiasm, curiosity and fresh ideas.
Manufacturing firms will have to invest in their people to create an efficient and quality company. Firms should prioritise upskilling their existing workforce in data and analytics. The result of this updated workforce will bring returns for many years to come.
While it is easy to hire consultants for projects, it is not sustainable long term. The knowledge and expertise needs to be built within the organisation, otherwise there will be a reliance on external parties to grow the firm.
If you are an SME manufacturer, the cost upfront will be significant to invest in employees. However, the investment will pay out. To stay competitive within a changing industry, the first step will need to be made.
“It requires a lot of forethought”, he said. “It’s not just the algorithmic side of these analytics solutions, but the human side of how people engage with it.”