Journey to Industry 4.0: Embrace Agility to Simplify Manufacturing Value Streams

February 11, 2020 Silvia Davis

It is a volatile and exciting time for manufacturing companies. With market changes and the ever faster pace of innovation, these organizations must rethink the way they do business to stay relevant and competitive.

The manufacturing vertical is known as a mature space in value stream optimization due to its leadership in automation and continuous improvement processes. But we are living in a time when data is golden. And as the volume of data grows, so does the need to connect more and more systems, processes, devices, partner organizations, and people.

Data can help with everything from predicting challenges to delivering real-time resolution and creating entirely new opportunities. Embracing the transformation to Industry 4.0 means using that data to think strategically — and that starts with each individual. Great ideas come from people like you and me!

How can you make a difference amid all the changes in the manufacturing space? Embrace agility.

Here are three areas where you can embrace agility to deliver better business results, faster, and at scale:

Continuous Exploration Aligned With Business Strategy

Bringing value to your core business requires alignment with your overall business strategy. Here are some key questions to ask, to help you evaluate areas for change:

  • How can you break the silos within IT and operations technology (OT)?
  • Can you optimize your processes by modernizing technology? What is the ROI?
  • What data is needed to move to an AI approach?
  • Can this process be automated using data? How can you bring together all the data needed for smart or augmented decisions?
  • Once you have the data, how do you clean it and maintain governance to ensure accurate decisions?

Here are some examples:

Beyond forecasting: delivering product faster to beat the competition

Supply chain management: You need real-time data from multiple systems to accurately plan demand vs. supply. If you sell your product through various channels, how do you keep a continuous precise inventory? How do you get ahead of the game to produce efficiently and deliver faster, without risks?

Moving from mechanical to digital: predictive maintenance

Shop floor: Modernizing mechanical processes to digital devices (IoT) helps identify maintenance patterns. This allows you to automate service requests, reducing both the time needed for human interactions and overall cost of maintenance.

The Boomi Platform provides complete support for configuring integration processes. Using Boomi, organizations can easily map and merge IoT data into the appropriate business applications, enriching and correlating with other enterprise information to analyze the data and generate insight or streamline workflows. 

Continuous Implementation (Planning and Delivery)

Once you find small areas that can be optimized using intelligent data, plan for pilots or “MVPs” – minimum viable products/processes. Then evaluate other areas and expand as needed. 

Modernizing B2B/EDI

Partner network: Adopt a platform that gives you the flexibility to expand — and the ability to use (and pay for) capabilities only as needed. You can start modernizing the way you exchange documents with non-critical partners, using traditional EDI or modern APIs. Once you've verified that everything works the way you need it to, extend that model to your higher-volume and most-strategic partners.

That's what Boomi customer Umbra did — realizing an astounding 1,600 percent ROI. "Boomi made it possible for Umbra to bring EDI management in-house, lowering costs and risk," said Tariq Jamal, Umbra's global director of technology and business process management. "And Boomi’s low-code, drag-and-drop user interface, paired with the Boomi JumpStart services program, helped the Umbra team get started — and see measurable results — quickly."

Continuous Improvement

In today's fast-paced world, if you don't innovate, you'll fall behind. It's therefore essential to be on the lookout for new technology that could help you meet and exceed your business requirements.

Periodically conduct a technology and architecture review. See what is working and what is not, and search for alternatives. Be bold, and try new ways to create and deliver your products and services.

Also, find communitiesuser groups, meetups, and industry events where you can learn from others’ experience, share your own, and look for ways to apply that knowledge to your business. Think like a start-up: simple and nimble. 

  1. Focus on the business strategy.
  2. Automate and optimize the portion of your business value stream that you control.
  3. Keep up with new market developments, technology, and innovations that will help you move to the next level.

Want to find out how Boomi can help you on the journey to Industry 4.0? Contact our team of experts.

About the Author

Silvia Davis is a senior product and solution marketing manager for Boomi, responsible for managing the go-to-market strategy for the B2B solutions portfolio.

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