The experiences that businesses have gone through as a result of this pandemic should serve as an opportunity to learn and prepare for the future. This has been a great example of ‘always be prepared’ and with no knowledge of what the future holds, it is better to put in place measures that will hold on even on a stormy day in the true sense of better safe than sorry.
While the pandemic has hit many industries hard, those in the manufacturing supply and planning industries faced the hard blunt of the rod. Global supply chains have suffered and are still experiencing turbulence because production in countries such as China was stalled as confinement procedures kicked into place. With new rules and regulations kicking in as the crisis continues to upheaval the world, it means that companies need to find new, efficient and cost effective ways to reach their consumers who are not very patient and tend to favor companies that meet their needs in the shortest time possible.
Therefore, it is paramount for these companies to be open to making changes that will help them achieve their goals. One way of doing this is opening the doors of industry 4.0 such as virtual and augmented reality, cloud technology, artificial intelligence, internet of things, and leveraging these technologies to quickly bounce back and recover from the crisis as well as create an efficient and cost effective business model
One of the main reasons why companies should consider industry 4.0 technologies is because it increases efficiency which is very important in the manufacturing sector. This is going to help to cut down production time of materials, lower costs and also reduce the amount of faulty products. As a result, companies will experience higher profit margins, reduced price per unit which leads to increased outputs, access to more market opportunities and reinvestment.
Another reason is that with industry 4.0 technologies, companies have a differentiation factor that makes their business model hard to replicate. It also allows the company to focus on a niche market and over time, grow into an industry leader in the said market. In addition, focusing on a niche market allows the production of unique products that meet the needs of the consumers. There is also the advantage of having an unparalleled seamless distribution network that makes access to products easily accessible and in turn, builds a loyal customer base.
To weather covid-19 crisis while working towards a quick post-crisis recovery, companies in the manufacturing industry have started acknowledging the criticality of employing industry 4.0 technologies. This technology seeks to secure new manufacturing standards that call for safety of employees as well as production and supply of materials within a time period that is beneficial to both businesses and customers. As much as this calls for huge investments, it is an opportunity for collaborations with other industries or companies within the same industries and focus on domestic markets that are much easier to manage.
At this stage, whether or not a company survives the covid-19 pandemic depends on its flexibility to adapt to changes. With no mandate available on how to weather this crisis, it is upon businesses to tap into innovation and new technologies to find solutions that are suitable for the now and the future. Ultimately, it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.