Industry 4.0 lessons from the technologists’ perspective
How to prepare for a successful transformation
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) promises a new wave of innovation for industrial and manufacturing companies to lower cost, improve efficiency, transform products, and satisfy customers. The game has changed completely with unprecedented opportunities to gather, synthesize, and act on data today.
In this exclusive webinar, Jason Hehman, Andrew Horner, and Patrick Turley - TXI client advocates and Industry 4.0 experts, cover the importance of a clear innovation strategy, focusing on real problems, incremental progress, and making the best use of data in the IIoT space. The Industry 4.0 concepts explored are for newcomers and seasoned innovators alike.
If you’re looking to stay ahead of the competition in the industrial sector and adapt to any changing market, TXI can help unlock your company's true innovation potential. We’re helping organizations stay at the leading edge of this revolution with future-ready tech like cloud computing and analytics, machine learning, AI, sensors, robotics, and more.
Watch this webinar to learn:
How manufacturing and logistics companies are innovating in Industry 4.0
How industrial digital transformation is 80% human and 20% technical
The lessons, challenges, and opportunities that early adopters have overcome
How IIoT improves supply chain resilience and connects smart factories
The mindset shifts required to innovate and become an Industry 4.0 leader
Jason Hehman, IIoT Vertical Lead and Client Partner at TXI
Andrew Horner, Principal Engineer at TXI
Patrick Turley, Head of Engineering at TXI
Jason is the Vertical Lead for Industrial IoT and a Client Partner at TXI. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, he has certified brand strategist credentials and a proven track record of helping clients solve complex business problems through technology.
In Jason's current role, he works closely with clients in the industrial sector to help them leverage IoT to achieve growth and unlock new value. He applies expertise in product innovation, digital transformation, and smart manufacturing to guide them through every step of the process, from ideation to execution. He is passionate about understanding consumer behavior and using that insight to impact business strategy, as well as creating products that enhance user experience and satisfaction.
Summary and themes explored in this webinar:
Challenges and Frustrations: The conversation begins with a discussion about the difficulties and distractions organizations face when starting new projects in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) space. There is a concern about getting caught up in the "shiny object" syndrome, where stakeholders are more focused on adopting new technologies without a clear strategy.
Lack of Strategy: It's highlighted that many organizations tend to focus on tools and data collection without a clear innovation strategy. There's an emphasis on moving from tools to end goals and focusing on relevant products and impacts on workers and customers.
Innovation Strategy: The importance of having a well-defined innovation strategy is emphasized. Understanding the pain points in the business, assessing the meaningful impact of new technologies (e.g., AI), and ensuring that the chosen solutions truly address real problems and deliver value are key aspects.
Pitfalls to Avoid: One significant pitfall to avoid is the lack of a clear path, especially with IoT solutions. The advice is to start with a minimum viable product, incrementally improve it, and pivot based on real-world feedback. Avoid setting up a situation where there's a long wait before recognizing failure, leading to wasted time and resources.
Defining Innovation: Innovation is discussed in terms of not always requiring massive leaps like the iPhone or self-driving vehicles. The lowercase "i" innovation within a company, taking new steps forward that are innovative for that specific organization, contributes to a culture of progress.
Data Strategy: Data strategy is considered a critical aspect. While there's an abundance of data in industrial applications, the challenge lies in extracting actionable insights from that data. The need to leverage the raw data efficiently and make it useful is highlighted.
Business Case for IIoT: Making a compelling business case for investing in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) can be challenging. The discussion focuses on how to identify the best IIoT opportunities that offer a strong return on investment (ROI).
Complexity in Business Case: Instead of simplistically defining the business case based solely on ROI, it's advised to incorporate complexity into the case. An example is improving safety in manufacturing or warehouse environments, as safety issues have tangible costs (downtime, injuries, legal fees) that can be tied to IIoT solutions.
Alignment with Corporate Goals: A crucial aspect is aligning IIoT initiatives with broader company goals and corporate responsibility. By focusing on a narrative that demonstrates how technology progress aligns with the well-being of employees, consumers, and PR goals, a more compelling case can be made.
Scaling the Business: Framing IIoT technology shifts as opportunities to scale the business, rather than focusing solely on cost reduction and headcount reduction, can be more inspiring for both investors and employees.
Involvement of Technologists: The technologists in the organization play a vital role in understanding how technology fits together and can speak to the complexities of integration. They can provide insight into the process of making technology a core part of the business.
Managing Knowledge Workers: Knowledge workers (technical staff) thrive in environments that offer ownership, latitude, and a culture of problem-sharing rather than method-sharing. This culture of internal disruption, a willingness to try new things, and staying current with industry trends are valuable contributions from knowledge workers.
Cybersecurity: There's a strong emphasis on the importance of modernizing security practices for IoT. The discussion touches on the risks of vulnerabilities, citing the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack as an example. Improved accessibility and standardized security building blocks are emerging, making IoT security more manageable.
Workforce of the Future: The concept of the "workforce of the future" is highlighted, particularly in the context of smart factories. The goal is to provide technology that engages the workforce in a fundamentally different way. By providing actionable insights and empowering workers with data, there's potential to transform jobs from reactive firefighting to proactive, preventive measures, ultimately improving career paths and creating opportunities for growth.
Pathways to Success: The discussion points out that IoT's impact goes beyond technology; it has the potential to create pathways to success and growth for individuals. Connecting blue-collar workers to technology and data could enable a transition to knowledge worker roles, creating a more diverse and fulfilling career path. This is seen as a significant and positive societal change that aligns with the American dream.
Enthusiasm for the Future: Both guest speakers express excitement and enthusiasm for the potential of IoT and how it's changing the landscape of industries, workplaces, and everyday lives. The prospect of a world with advanced technology, automation, and data-driven decision-making is viewed with optimism, but they stress the importance of putting individuals and their well-being first in this technological transformation.
Published by Jason Hehman , Patrick Turley in Workshop