The UK has a lot to learn from Germany when it comes to Industry 4.0, according to the CEO of a leading software firm.
Tom Dawes leads award-winning Valuechain.com, which provides smart software solutions to manufacturing organisations to generate reliable business intelligence.
It then makes it easy for them to share data with supply chain partners.
He said Germany is leading the way in awareness and having work-ready graduates available to interpret all the data.
“I have presented to many leading aerospace subcontract companies over past months and I would say that only one in five have heard about Industry 4.0 never mind actually have a strategy to deploy,” he explained to BusinessCloud.
“Whereas when I presented in Germany it was more than 80 per cent and most were working closely with universities and / or specialists.”
Valuechain.com, which has a base at Daresbury Innovation Centre, has seen turnover reach £2m and won a clutch of accolades, including the EU Horizon 2020 Innovation Award and the Northern Stars 2016 Award.
“Our view on Industry 4.0 is that it is all about capturing business and supply chain intelligence to drive competitiveness by either automating optimised decisions or informing users with the right data in the right format at the right time to make the right decisions” Dawes continued.
“However my understanding is that Industry 4.0 is much bigger than just capturing intelligence to make more informed decisions and also includes areas such as cyber physical systems, additive manufacture etc.
“Companies can no longer compete globally by operating as isolated businesses and they must form strategic partnerships with customers and suppliers.
“Data and business intelligence underpins successful collaboration. All companies need to capture reliable data and convert into intelligence so that they can make informed decisions and share the right data with the right partners at right time.
“If they don’t then it will be their competitors that continually drive productivity and customer service and companies in the room will get left behind.”
Liverpool-based Brainboxes is also at the centre of the Industry 4.0 industrial revolution and determined that its machine-to-machine technology should benefit SMEs as well as blue chip companies.