Industry 4.0, Its Challenges and a Sellers Perspective

Written by: Nimish Danani
About the author: Director at Hitachi Vantara



There is a shift in an era – pre covid to post covid.

Covid -19 scenario has helped the industry realize the benefit of going Digital. Last 5 to 6 years there has been this wave or hype around industry 4.0. Primarily we see the application of Digital technologies to enable industry 4.0. Most companies have been toying with the idea of using digital technologies to enable operations excellence. There have been 100s of pilots and a few implementations where the companies have reaped the benefits of using digital for improving yield, quality, and overall OEE, thereby improving profitability. Now is the time where everyone has decided to board the industry 4.0 journey and every manufacturing company big or small, process or discrete, automotive or chemical, electrical or foods, pharma or oil & gas wants to do it ASAP.

Here comes the challenge; as an organization does, you have the skills to decide what to do and how to go ahead? Do you have a digital strategy in place and a clear roadmap as to what to do and how to do and by when? You may need to re-skill and re-think your operations plan. You will need to seek the right advice to help you navigate your way up the industry 4.0 journey.

First, you need to clean up the act; get the basics right to ensure you are already doing best practices that drive you through the operations excellence journey, and then embark on the industry 4.0 journey or the IOT wave or add digital to your plan. Digital is not an option to Operations excellence it is a journey or a route to help you enable better operations and better yield and profitability, lower customer rejects, and lower costs. Industry 4.0 will help you on this journey. get the right advice and the partner in your journey; Afterall the right strategy delivers the right result.

Now that you get the perspective of industry 4.0, what’s the advantage to a sales organization? As a seller, I have this USP of being able to offer end to end visibility of the product delivery even at the manufacturing stage due to Digital. Like a consumer is used to checking product delivery or cab service real-time status, the same way you can offer a value add to your customers. In many cases, Automotive companies have started demanding this visibility from their suppliers to ensure that they get the material at right time and without defects. With real-time updates from the suppliers, shop floor, and logistics you can offer a completely different proposition to your customers and it is the role of the sales team to be able to articulate this benefit to the right stakeholder. The marketing team can leverage this in their advertising and communication strategies and more so enable better lead generation as well.

As we embark on this journey together each member of the organization must understand the importance and what’s in it for me so everyone can maximize the benefits of Digitization.

(All views expressed are personal and my organization has no binding to it.)

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