Entering the industry 4.0
More and more companies want to utilize digital technologies from Industry 4.0. To achieve this goal, starting gradually is the best route.
“We want to use digital technologies” – that is the motto of almost all companies today. This often gives the impression that somewhere out there, there is a digital silver bullet. When in fact, ‘digitization’ means something different for every company. Each company must define the first steps into a digital future for themselves.
STEP 1: Establishing your own expertise
The greatest obstacle for many companies is a lack of digital knowledge, especially among top management and owners. That is why developing expertise is a key step on the path to a digital future. This includes not only looking at smart presentations but gaining real experience with digital technologies.
STEP 2: Strengthening digital skills
Knowledge and skills with regard to digitization often take time to develop and cannot be easily strengthened through training. For this, companies should consider recruiting external digital experts, especially for their first 4.0 projects. Experts offer a good overview of all topics related to Industry 4.0 and have a wealth of experience.
STEP 3: Pilot projects and iterative approach
A cautious and iterative approach is recommended when starting off on your digital journey – in other words: agility. Ideally, companies should begin with a limited and not too complex or demanding pilot project. Here, all processes and routines should be scrutinized and analyzed. Every company has simple processes that can be improved with regard to efficiency using digital technologies.
A digital company is not made with just one step. It is also not possible to know in advance how exactly things will develop. It is therefore better not to establish a comprehensive “five-year plan,” but instead rely on startups’ most important source of insight: users of a product or service decide on its future development. Some functions are received with enthusiasm, others are hardly used. Further development should therefore be based on actual use and digitization expanded in a step-by-step manner.