The four major industrial revolutions that transpired over the last few centuries have contributed significantly to improved manufacturing efficiency and productivity. Among all, the latest revolution - Industry 4.0 (I4.0) - bridged the gap between the digital and physical worlds through connected assets and digital manufacturing techniques through industry transformation. Businesses across industries realized operational efficiency and productivity gains by harnessing IoT, digital twin, and other I4.0 technologies. However, the pandemic-led global supply chain disruptions and rapidly evolving customer expectations now demand businesses to leverage I4.0 technologies with greater tenacity while transcending towards the next phase of the industrial revolution. This phenomenon is defined as the Industry NeXT by HCLTech. The frequently changing market conditions, the emergence of new hybrid ecosystem-based business models, the increasing focus on worker-wellbeing, safety, and sustainability, and the rapid rise of digital disruptors and new technologies like 5G and Blockchain are the major driving forces behind the industry 4.0 transformation to Industry NeXT evolution.
This new industry paradigm requires businesses to think beyond operational efficiency and form a connected ecosystem powered by intelligent technologies for collaborative innovation and rapid growth. Industry NeXT transformation also empowers businesses to operate as purpose-driven brands that prioritize being expansive, adaptive, and future-proof. Companies that aren't ready to embrace the new changes that this new paradigm shift brings are likely to miss their opportunity to create a competitive edge.
Outlined below are some of the key benefits that businesses can get by adapting to the Industry NeXT paradigm:
- Better top-line and bottom-line growth: Industry NeXT transformation empowers forward-thinking companies to adopt an ecosystem-based business model, which helps them to concentrate on both top-line and bottom-line growth. Companies can accelerate top-line growth by delivering innovative digital services along with their core offerings. For example, a reputed US-based kitchen equipment manufacturer utilized an ecosystem-driven approach to generate new revenue streams by offering add-on services to customers like predictive asset health monitoring. Similarly, adapting technologies that aid digital transformation can help businesses cut operational costs by increasing automation across the value chain, directly impacting their bottom line.
- Autonomous operations: Industry NeXT transformation enables businesses to run smart autonomous operations by leveraging advanced technologies like AI/ML and digital twin. Building AI-enabled autonomous systems can help companies streamline complex business processes and free-up workers from repetitive tasks to focus on strategic innovation activities. Creating a digital twin of the factory helps detect and prevent equipment failures quickly and improve production processes while reducing costs.
- Resilient supply chain: Building a resilient and agile supply chain is paramount for businesses to succeed in today's rapidly evolving market. Industry NeXT transformation enables businesses to build a cognitive and self-adapting supply chain to effectively respond to fluctuating demands and unprecedented events like COVID-19. It also allows companies to leverage intelligent platforms and advanced technologies like AI and digital thread. This allows the interconnection of fragmented supply chain processes and systems and the generation of unified data insights for improved visibility.
- Improved Net Zero operations: Adopting Industry NeXT allows businesses to achieve their sustainability goals by working together with ecosystem partners (suppliers, vendors, logistics partners, etc.). Companies can set up uniform ESG (Environmental Social Governance) policies to maximize the usage of recyclable materials and low-carbon technologies across their ecosystem. Advanced technologies powering such connected ecosystems also help companies minimize production wastage and improve internal energy management. For example, a leading Switzerland-based food-processing equipment manufacturer reduces energy usage and wastage across its manufacturing value chain using HCLTech connected solutions powered by AI/ML, IoT, and other I4.0 technologies.
- Employee wellbeing and productivity: The pandemic-forced remote work environment requires businesses to identify new ways to improve worker wellbeing, safety, and productivity. Adopting Industry NeXT allows businesses to create a safer, immersive, and collaborative work environment by leveraging emerging technologies like cobots and mixed reality (XR). Employing cobots enables companies to improve human-machine interactions for improving staff productivity. Further, XR solutions can help companies provide remote technical assistance to on-field workers for uninterrupted business operations.
- Sustainable product development: Adopting Industry NeXT can help companies build innovative and sustainable products rapidly and economically. The digital thread that runs through the connected ecosystem provides businesses with valuable information regarding the real-world performance of their products. Companies can use this information to generate insights to improve future product versions and introduce new features or services. Utilizing digital thread data in manufacturing also helps companies minimize production scrap and optimize energy usage.
Summing it up, building connected ecosystems combined with a highly-skilled workforce is becoming paramount for businesses to create and deliver more value to all participants within the ecosystem. HCLTech Industry NeXT maps this paradigm shift and offers strategic guidance, support, and solutions to businesses helping them seamlessly transition to the emerging economy of ecosystems. Businesses with both mature and early-stage I4.0 implementations can benefit from the HCLTech Industry NeXT as it builds upon the Industry 4.0 foundation, enabling companies to become more agile, resilient, sustainable, and future-ready.
To know more about Industry NeXT by HCLTech, please visit https://www.hcltech.com/Internet-of-Things-IoT/industry-next or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org