The one thing you need to do right now to get ready for Industry 4.0
Productivity expert, Ishan Galapathy shares the fundamental step many business leaders miss.
Everybody is talking about Industry 4.0. The fourth industrial revolution. The much-anticipated marriage between connectivity and data. Its promise, similar to previous industrial revolutions, is to reduce cost and improve productivity.
Or will it?
To the manufacturing industry, the prodigious offspring expected from Industry 4.0 is the smart factory. This is a utopian productive workplace of the future that is fast and agile, connecting the supply chains from paddock to plate. In it, smart, swift decisions about manufacturing, supply chain and business are made using a seamless blend of automation, AI, advanced robotics, machine learning, predictive modelling and more.
For productivity expert, Ishan Galapathy, by far the most common question he receives about Industry 4.0 is: what do I need to do right now to get there?
Galapathy’s response may be surprising. “Technology has its place and I’m not opposed to it. However, are you sure you’ve got the fundamentals in place to even attempt it?”
In his experience, making bold leaps and taking deep dives into the digital future before a business is ready could cause more harm than good.
A sliding door moment
“Business leaders in the manufacturing space are facing an uncomfortable disconnect between their personal and work lives,” says Galapathy.
“There is a sliding door moment between what could be and what is – where in their personal lives they have everything they want at their fingertips, but at work it’s like stepping back a decade in time.”
Hey Google, how do you get to Industry 4.0?
“Industry 4.0 isn’t an out of the box solution,” says Galapathy. “It requires planning; a road map of strategic connectivity – it’s a gradual process.”
Investment in piecemeal solutions that aren’t integrated will be unlikely to result in the promised predictive analytics across the supply chain. Optimisation requires real-time exchanges of data across all operations – and it’s not only a matter of determining how this happens, but how it is measured.
For example, what constitutes 100% of actual line output - is it 3,000 pieces an hour or 4,000? When you factor in multiple products, changeovers, different yield and waste figures, the complexity becomes more apparent.
“Rushing out to buy shiny, flashy toys is not the silver bullet you may think,” warns Galapathy.
He cites a study conducted by the University of Technology on the State of the Australian Supply Chain on behalf of the Australasian Supply Chain Institute. It reports that the average Supply Chain maturity score out of 100 has reduced six points to 46 from 52, from 2018 to 2019. “This, despite aggressive advancements in technology and automation,” he points out.
While there is no doubt that advanced technologies empower business performance, create competitive advantage and pave the way for cost efficiencies, Galapathy, first and foremost, advises on laying the groundwork before investment in order to achieve the optimum return.
“Why drill for oil when you may already have diamonds under your feet?” he asks.
Find out more. There are six attributes you need to work on to get the best of Industry 4.0. Attend Ishan’s workshop, “What to do Today to get the best of Industry 4.0 Tomorrow” at CeMAT Australia to find out what they are.
CeMAT Australia 14-16 July, 2020.
Ishan Galapathy has a wealth of knowledge in the field of Operational Excellence, working across six countries for over two decades, for multi-nationals such as Kellogg’s and Arnotts.
In his last corporate role, Ishan was responsible for Operational Excellence in the Asia Pacific for Kellogg’s and was part of the global team that developed its global Manufacturing Excellence program. A renowned industry expert in collective productivity, Ishan helps businesses and teams to move from chaos to excellence through productivity improvement programs and frontline leadership development programs.
When he’s not working, you can find him playing backyard cricket with his sons or sipping a cup of coffee with his wife.