Industry 4.0 has been a part of our vocabulary for some time now. It started as a future state we were all anticipating, but it’s no longer something we’re planning for. It’s something we’re living in.
Working with manufacturers of all types and sizes, we see organizations in a wide variety of positions on their digital transformation journeys. Some have implemented the latest and greatest of everything. Some haven’t even dipped their toes in the water yet. But a large majority of the manufacturers we talk to are somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, trying to determine the smartest way to move forward.
If your organization is trying to determine if now is the right time to begin or take the next step forward in your digital transformation journey, this article will lay out the three biggest reasons we believe there’s no time like the present to make your move.
REASON #1: Tech Advancements have Made Automation More Accessible
In the early dawn of industrial automation, investing in digital transformation was a luxury of large multi-national organizations with astronomical budgets. That’s no longer the case. Advancements in technology have led to more cost-effective automation solutions. Cloud-based automation platforms and software-as-a-service (SaaS) models have also emerged, allowing manufacturers to minimize upfront hardware and software investments.
Innovation in the space has also led to automation solutions that are designed with modularity in mind. That means your business can start with a basic automation system or solution to solve an immediate need and build upon it over time as budget allows.
Digital transformation doesn’t have to be a gigantic commitment of upfront budget and time anymore. Today’s solutions can be right sized to where you’re at now and scaled to where you’re aiming to go.
REASON #2: You Need to Plan for Inevitable Labor Challenges
It’s never been more difficult to find and hire qualified labor than it is today. That’s no secret. But if you’re holding out hope for that to get better, you might be setting yourself up for a fall. The U.S. unemployment rate has been below 4% since January of 2022. A competitive labor market could be a new reality that we need to adjust to.
In addition, inflation and scarcity of qualified employees is driving up labor costs. By design, automation allows your organization to accomplish more with fewer people. That enables you to upskill your existing workforce and operate more efficiently with a leaner headcount. Modern automation systems also often include remote monitoring and diagnostic capabilities. This can help to reduce the need for on-site personnel and travel costs, especially for companies with facilities located in remote or rural areas.
As competition for labor intensifies even more in the coming years, workers will be factoring in how well the companies they’re considering are utilizing technology. Taking a proactive approach to automation is a competitive advantage in a tight job market.
REASON #3: Your Competition is No Longer Waiting it Out
There was a time, not that long ago, when the majority of manufacturing leaders were still most comfortable taking a “wait and see” approach to implementing new manufacturing technologies. There were a variety of reasons for this mentality, but it was largely driven by a fear of the unknown and a risk-averse mindset. Many of those manufacturers had a previous bad experience, being sold a solution that didn’t live up to the promise, and it left them gun shy.
As organizations begin to realize the long-term operational and financial advantages of investing in Industry 4.0 initiatives, there is a wide and growing gap between the haves and the have nots. It’s not too late to get started, but it will be soon. Remaining competitive depends on your ability to adapt and thrive.
Today’s automation solutions have the power to start delivering ROI immediately, quickly reduce costs, and increase profitability by delivering actionable data-driven insights. It’s no longer a case of “Can we afford to invest in automation?” It’s “Can we afford not to?”
Where to Start?
Agilix Solutions is mindful of our customers’ challenges. We’ve come to recognize that a huge roadblock on the automation journey is a fear of making the wrong decisions and not realizing the full potential of their digital transformation investment. That’s why we’ve developed a complimentary Digital Transformation Discovery Workshop, designed to help your company’s leaders walk through the decision-making process to uncover your organizational priorities and identify a step-by-step plan for tackling them.
If you’re looking for a partner who understands what’s available and can provide a low-risk entry point for your digital transformation journey, you’re looking for Agilix Solutions. Reach out to your Account Manager or contact us online to connect with our team of experts and schedule your complimentary Digital Transformation Discovery Workshop.