The future of the Manufacturing industry is increasingly digital and innovative. This is the latest to emerge from sector trends, which highlight a growing interest among manufacturing companies in technologies like IoT, AI and Analytics, and more in general in all solutions that encourage digitalisation through the use and enhancement of data.
Industry 4.0, an opportunity for the manufacturing sector
In the field of industry 4.0, in-cloud solutions are fundamental tools for competitiveness in today’s industrial manufacturing sector. Such solutions enable the analysis of perspectives within the sector, redefining the implementation of technology in an innovative way, both in the fields of production and customer relations.
Recently, manufacturing companies have increasingly been turning to solutions for the remote management of machinery, systems and products, with particular focus on IT security, to guarantee business continuity, reinforce competitiveness on the market and seize all opportunities for growth.
Specifically, investments in technologies that enable Industry 4.0 involve production (50%), research and development (around 40%), after-sales and information systems (30%), even spreading to other company divisions, including logistics, distribution and HR.*
Industry 4.0 technologies are proving to be the enabling element for automation and increased productivity in manufacturing companies.
These technologies, from IoT to the use of AI, actually support business processes principally focused on improving productivity, customer services and company performance levels.
In this context, the lever of digitalisation remains a crucial step for the manufacturing sector, marking the start of a digital transformation path to all effects.
Manufacturing companies are increasingly oriented towards Smart Manufacturing
The manufacturing industry appears to be ready for a significant cultural change, characterised by high levels of technology and digitalisation.
Different technologies can be leveraged in the quest for smart production, each deployed with the aim of creating a high level of integration between machinery and connected information systems; this is referred to a smart manufacturing.
Enabling technologies like IoT and AI (artificial intelligence) mean that data can be collected directly by sensors and control systems on production lines and sent to cloud systems.
Real time data analysis has a determining impact on the business model of an organisation, as it gives businesses the chance to forecast production process trends and optimise the company’s entire value chain.
According to data from the last Industry 4.0 Transition Observatory of the Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy, the industry 4.0 market is now worth 4 billion euros (up 22% compared to the previous year), most of which (2.3 billion euros) have been used for connectivity and data acquisition projects (Industrial IoT). Other technologies implemented by companies include: Analytics (630 million), Cloud Manufacturing (325 million), Advanced Automation (190 million), Additive Manufacturing (85 million) and advanced man-machine interface technologies (55 million) .
Salesforce conducted a recent study** on company functions most closely involved in nurturing customer relations; 750 manufacturing industry professionals from different countries were interviewed and affirmed that digital transformation remains a priority for the majority of companies in the industry.
Data that emerged from the study highlights how cloud technologies are a priority for companies engaged in digital transformation projects, because they respond to the needs for flexibility and agility they are now facing.
An analysis of the customer service scenario reveals how 60% of Italian manufacturing professionals interviewed declared that the optimisation of operating procedures at hand has evolved to such an extent that it would be impossible to resort back to previous management methods.
In light of the customer’s absolute centrality, the goals of manufacturing companies for the near future will be oriented towards smart manufacturing and lean manufacturing, which will undoubtedly prioritise the development of new service offerings (94%) and aftermarket solutions (92%), focused on improving the customer’s experience.
Unfortunately, adopting cutting-edge technological solutions alone is not enough and must be accompanied by a strategic path, effectively developed around the vertical requirements of each company.
The benefits generated by 4.0 technologies are becoming increasingly transversal, especially as far as the optimisation of processes and manufacturing production is concerned, due to the connection created by the Industrial Internet of Things, the potential of AI and the added value generated by Analytics and Big Data.
Moreover, the management of 4.0 maintenance processes in manufacturing enables the optimisation of machine productivity, the reduction of downtime and costs linked to break-downs and the replacement of spare parts, not to mention higher safety levels.
The fundamental steps for digital transformation in manufacturing
Atlantic Technologies has twenty years of experience in the field of business processes and solutions like Salesforce CRM; it has the ability to manage all the peculiarities of a rapidly growing sector that is reactive to changes typical of the context in which it operates.
Atlantic Technologies has built a model that enables companies to adopt a digital innovation approach aligned with their requirements, complete with implementation accelerators based on the Salesforce Sales Cloud and Salesforce Service cloud, field Service Lightning, with the following features:
● Structure for Modules and Processes, defined according to Best Practices of the sector
● Configurable and customisable solution built starting from standard Salesforce functionalities
● Typical processes of the Industrial & Manufacturing sector
Manufacturing accelerators by Atlantic Technologies are also effective for complex multinationals with HQ, different branches and several Business Units.
The implementation of solutions must be underpinned by a clear technological roadmap that is aligned with business targets, which the company builds together with our consultants. This path must include the adoption of industry 4.0 pillar technologies as well as a cultural vision within the company, to guarantee a process of continuous, all-round innovation.
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