Roadmap for the Smart SME
In its pursuit to foster best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure in India, the “Make in India” initiative is spearheading wider adoption of ‘Industry 4.0’, the new buzzword for the combination of industry and the current Internet of Things (IoT) technology, in the country.
Banking on India’s strength in Information Technology and a large workforce of IT professionals, the transformative journey of manufacturing through Industry 4.0 has already begun in the country.
Manufacturing Startups today are driving innovation and widening the frontiers of the industry by opening new avenues for growth in the country. Indian entrepreneurs are going beyond app-based businesses and creating innovative products using Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Analytics. With more than 4,750 startups, India has the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world.*
There are four levels of Industry 4.0 — namely, digitization, standardization, intelligence and control, and smart manufacturing.**
Industry 4.0 starts from smart factories! This includes smart mobility, power, building, logistics, etc. New technologies, such as analytics, big data, IoT, cloud, etc., has made us switch to Internet based thinking. The product, process, information, services and platform, integrates all of this.
Smart handling and flexibility allows mixed model manufacturing system. Smart manufacturers have started the identification of different production processes which can be automated to perform improved operations. Automation includes changeover of manual operating instructions to computer based centralized production machines or their operators.
In Industry 4.0, the industrial order placed should be self-organized, and have self-maintaining assets. There is a need to have only exception-triggered manual handling. There should also be intelligent reporting agents running 24x7x365 with focus on continuous operational efficiency.
For business processes, smart factories are looking at automating core processes to optimize costs, acquire richer analytics data and thus improve efficiency.
According to reliable industry sources, cloud adoption in Indian manufacturing sector is being driven by the need to automate in a much faster method than the conventional in premise software installations. The drivers for decision to adopt a cloud based ERP are – affordability of utility based pricing model, unmatched accessibility anyplace, and dynamic provisioning (scalability) of redundant cloud resources.
This is evident from research findings by MintJutras that confirms support of cloud assisted SaaS model to 22 percent of software applications being used for manufacturing as well as distribution. The existing adoption of SaaS (Software as a Service) model is poised to exceed 45 per cent growth in the next ten years.
Let us finally look at a to-do list for smart manufacturing and adoption of ERP on cloud.
- First, review the business processes for future market strategy.
- Establish the evolution milestones for implementation of new production automation and ERP systems.
- Nurture new culture around new vision of automation.
- Address the skills gap for the knowledge workers and encourage them to learn new methods.
- Build partnerships with new age ERP & automation application vendors to support the new company vision.
- Evolve the IT infrastructure through integration with suppliers and customers.
Digital transformation leads to business transformation.
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