One of the most crucial facets of the Industry 4.0 revolution is the integration of more robust data analytics into industrial processes. The idea is that by utilizing data in a thoughtful manner driven by specific business goals, businesses will be able to gain new insights into their workflows and potentially add value. As businesses have begun to adopt this mindset the results have frequently been promising—but why should data be relegated to complex analytics processes? In the spirit of turning data into insights, here are six important statistics about Industry 4.0 to consider as you navigate the complexity of the modern supply chain.
According to McKinsey’s estimates, the rise of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) will have more than a $11 trillion economic impact within the next 7 years. Much of this value will come in the rapidly evolving world of connected consumer goods, such as the internet-enabled products that make up the modern smart home, but the impact will also be felt widely in a number of industries, from health care to natural gas production to, of course, automotive manufacturing. We’ve spoken briefly on this blog about the application of IoT devices for tracking inventory usage and traffic patterns, but what impact will this explosion of connected devices have on factory production processes themselves? More to the point, how can you leverage them into meaningful value propositions within your business’ existing workflows.
Imagine you’re living in a smart home. One evening after work you decide to drive to the grocery store to pick up snacks and drinks for an upcoming party that you’re hosting. When you take the road to the market rather than your usual route home, your car sends a notification to the appliances awaiting you at your house. The refrigerator, sensing that you’re low on milk, sends a reminder to your phone to pick some more up. Your dishwasher, tracking your detergent usage over time, estimates that you will run out before you next go shopping, because you usually wait at least a week between trips. Lastly, your car sends a text alert to your spouse, who might remind you of your guests' snack food preferences or other salient details.
In our previous few blog entries, we’ve explored how technology has impacted today’s globalizing supply chain industry and how supply chain planners and managers can leverage this technology in intelligent, cost-effective decision-making. The wealth of 'smart' supply systems makes it easy to connect people, processes, and data – the backbone of any efficient supply stream – and The Internet of Things (IOT) adds a vital fourth element to the equation that planners should leverage to increase supply efficiency and in-transit visibility.
The IOT is essentially what it sounds like: the network enabling of smart devices – computers, tablets, and software – that communicate and coordinate supply chain processes and data using the internet – for context, imagine several iPhones sending automated text messages to each other 24/7. According to the supply chain research group Gartner, there will be roughly 6.4 billion connected devices in use worldwide in 2016, with a projected 20.8 billion by 2020.