Without question, Industry 4.0 has been expected to bring new breath. The benefits of digitization, encompass AI (artificial intelligence), advanced business analytics capabilities, and AR (augmented reality) systems - these are slated to revolutionize the manufacturing industry. The Industrial Revolution is certainly a different beast from one portrayed in history books. However, where do SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) fit into this business paradigm? More importantly, how can SMBs avoid being overshadowed in their race to the top?
Some key findings by Sapio Research on behalf of Zetes may help map out the next steps:
- 65% of manufacturers do not have real-time data about their suppliers' manufacturing schedules.
- 68% do not have real-time data about their manufacturing volumes across their company.
- Only 30% have end-to-end visibility of their supply chain operations. This means that two-thirds of manufacturers have yet to implement the tools to inject value into their supply chain operations.
- 89% believe that an aggregated view of the supply chain is necessary, but key constraints make it an unrealistic expectation.
Due to the fact that 68% of manufacturers lack of real-time visibility across the supply chain, they cannot provide decision-makers with the necessary data to make informed business decisions.
In the world today, a demand-driven global consumer base craves product differentiation at cost-effective levels, without sacrificing quality and consistency in delivery. To remain competitive, a good production plan at heart, is a comprehensive ERP system that provides a real-time, aggregated view of the supply chain, and that is the fundamental.
An Effective Production Plan
A good production plan is aimed at increasing throughput. Increased throughput (to put it in another way, shorter time-to-market intervals) is what generates increased revenues. An effective plan also increases real-time visibility into the manufacturing process, allowing SMBs to eliminate bottlenecks (inefficiencies), decrease excessive buffer stock holdings, optimize equipment deployment, and maximize workers productivity.
In the era of Industry 4.0, the traditional manual process of managing day-to-day operations is fast becoming unsustainable. Instead of wrestling with a confusing series of spreadsheets, production planners in resource-restricted manufacturing companies need cost-effective solutions to increase business agility.