Why manufacturers should be seizing Industry 4.0 opportunities 

Published: 18 October 2018


Multinational professional services network PwC’s study, “Strategy & Global Digital Operations 2018”, notes that even while digital transformation has been on the business agenda for years and Industrie 4.0 is already transforming the manufacturing sector at pace, those ready to seize the competitive edge are few in number. 

“It’s not much of an industrial revolution when just 10% of global manufacturing companies are ‘Digital Champions’, by PwC’s definition,” says Stuart Pearce, managing director, TD Global, Singapore, “and two-thirds have either not left the starting blocks yet, or are only a few strides into the race.” 

“South African manufacturers should be embracing innovation and automation that could put them in a position to compete globally. However, without digital transformation, opportunities are going to other countries.” 

PwC surveyed 1,155 executives at global manufacturing companies in 26 countries, including South Africa on their views about Industry 4.0 and digital operations for its  “Digital Champions: How industry leaders build integrated operations ecosystems to deliver end-to-end customer solutions” report. 

Would you test positive for Digital Champion? 

Information gleaned from these business leaders enabled PwC to develop a digital maturity index to investigate the role of the Digital Champions, and what sets them apart from competitors. “Asia is reaching milestones at a better pace than South Africa,” Pearce asserts, “Even while the report showed the automotive sector is 20% Digital Champions and electronics, 14%.” 

Pearce believes that automation could uplift industries where skills are deficient but competence is vital. “Those in the EMEA region could use Asia as a benchmark and a learning tool for their own journeys. It has already been noted by large operations that the mistakes made by early adopters overseas can provide valuable lessons." 

TD Global suggests organisations should determine their digital maturity and seek the assistance of professionals in creating a robust digital strategy that will not only get them out of the starting blocks, but put them on the fast track to being able to compete for all opportunities. 

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CREDITS - See PwC article here.