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Industry 4.0 audit : the first step to a successful digital transformation

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At the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), manufacturing companies have never had so much interest in recognizing the full potential of digital technologies in their growth strategies. Which company that manufactures, transforms or distributes products, does not dream of better inventory management, flawless production / distribution logistics, and obtaining fair and reliable information for decision making? The Industry 4.0 mission: to offer technological solutions dedicated to the productivity of our Quebec manufacturing companies.

Industry 4.0 at a glance

Industry 4.0 wants to integrate the importance of data and object connectivity into the business value chain, in order to achieve process autonomy. This concept has proven itself mainly in the manufacturing industry, because it achieves a level of performance and adaptability to all organizational layers of the company.

The main advantages:

  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced operational costs
  • Optimized customer experience
  • Better ability to innovate
“The realization of the smart factory relies on real-time communication to monitor and act on the activities of the company. Systems communicate and cooperate with each other, but also with humans, products and machines. Thus, the Internet connects all the "objects" of the factory (IOT) - employees, machines, products, customers, suppliers, systems, etc.”

Without a doubt, modernizing operational processes can make a manager very insecure, as it requires reviewing all operational processes.

Openmind-Technologie-Audit-industrie-4.0These fears can then raise several questions:

  • Where do we start?
  • Does the company have the necessary skills to properly target areas for improvement
  • What would be the best technologies for optimizing our existing processes?
  • What investments will be necessary to carry out this modernization?

Thanks to the Industry 4.0 Audit, a company will be able to acquire, as part of its mandate, a personalized digital plan according to its reality and operational challenges.


Industry 4.0 Audit: The first step to a successful digital transformation

To properly define the needs relating to a digital shift in a business, it is highly recommended to obtain an Industry 4.0 audit. The purpose of this five-step analysis process is to assess the performance of the company in correlation with the level of involvement of digital technologies. This exercise not only establishes a clear and concise portrait of the digital maturity of the company, but also makes it possible to generate a detailed digital plan, thus becoming the main reference for a digital transformation.

1) Identification of operational challenges

Adapted according to the organizational and financial reality of the company, the first step of the Industry 4.0 Audit consists in identifying the main operational challenges to which the audited company is exposed:

Examples of strategic and operational issues:

Human resource management
Production or distribution logistics
Inventory management

2) Analysis and evaluation of business processes

During this second stage of the Industry 4.0 audit, it is a question of targeting 25 operational processes and 5 business processes having a direct impact on one or more operational issues.

Examples of processes analyzed:

  • Logistics and transport
  • After-sales service
  • Invoicing

The analysis consists in detailing each of the stages involved in the selected operational processes. As for the evaluation, it makes it possible to identify operational handicaps, as well as the level of implication of technological tools, if there are any.

3) The diagnosis

Thanks to the diagnosis, the audited company obtains a global portrait of the current situation of its operations as well as the level of performance of the business processes identified.

In the Industry 4.0 audit diagnosis, we find these 5 main areas of analysis:

  1. Inventory of technological tools
  2. Assessing the mastery of technological tools by staff
  3. Interconnection between systems
  4. Sharing of digital information between departments and management
  5. Information capture in real time
DID YOU KNOW THAT? Under the Audit Industry 4.0 program, the provincial government is offering non-repayable financial assistance of up to $ 15,000.

4) Assessment of the digital maturity of the company

Referring to the diagnostics of all business processes, this step of the Industry 4.0 audit presents the current portrait of the technological maturity of the company according to:

  1. The digital maturity in the company;
  2. The definition of digital culture within the organization.

The digital intensity rate assesses the use of digital technologies in the daily operations of the company to promote:

  • Better exchange of information with customers, partners or suppliers (eg CRM);
  • Decision-making based on the exploitation of data (eg ERP, technological bridges);
  • Automation of business processes (ex: Custom software).

Digital culture, on the other hand, is defined by the ability to adapt to the implamentation and use of new technological tools within the organization. This portion of the evaluation is based on these five main lines of reflection:

  • Does the company have a digital strategy?
  • Is this digital strategy supported by the company’s management team?
  • Is there a medium-long term vision for the digital evolution within the organization?
  • Does the current environment (IT infrastructure) facilitate integration and evolution?
  • Does the organization value training and continuous learning with its employees?

5) Obtaining the personalized digital plan

The personalized digital plan makes it possible to deploy a structured and iterative approach according to the operational and financial priorities of the company. In addition, this reference aims to offer different digital projects mainly promoting:

  • Interconnection between the different processes and equipment;
  • The ability to adapt in real time;
  • The diffusion of information;
  • Integration and automation;
  • Customer service and experience.


Learn from Retail Mistakes

Remember the difficulties that the retail industry faced with the rise of e-commerce? Sears is a great example of a company that has run to its loss due to the lack of digital solutions in its business model.

Don’t wait until it’s too late and take advantage of the potential of digital technologies. Get a clear plan for your present and future needs with the Industry 4.0 audit.

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