There’s one word that rings in the ears of operations managers the world over, and that is “productivity.” While constantly on the lookout for ways to boost productivity while making manufacturing processes safer, more efficient and cost-effective, operations managers in particular can gain multiple benefits from the digital innovation tools now readily available with Industry 4.0. 

A Boost for Operations Managers Who Adopt Digital Innovation

As operations managers oversee production from beginning to end through the full scope of the manufacturing process, they are true leaders in their plants. They are always on the lookout for ways to optimize production. Their eyes and ears need to be everywhere, churning through information while making important decisions that can impact a lot of other processes and people. It should come as no surprise, then, that operations managers are some of the first whose ears perk up at talk of how Industry 4.0 could make their jobs easier, more efficient and more precise. 

Industry 4.0 Initiative in Manufacturing

The past year of dealing with the pandemic and juggling huge problems to keep manufacturing businesses up and running with as little disruption as possible has sifted the leaders from everybody else. Not to put too fine a point on it, but it’s been difficult for everyone. A pivotal PWC report that examined manufacturing CEO attitudes and trends just before and just after the pandemic started noted that most leaders understood the need for adopting Industry 4.0 and digital innovation, but were at varying stages of adopting new tools or deciding whether they could take a “wait and see” approach at the time. 

Operations managers especially saw the need for innovation. In most cases, they found that leadership understood that there was significant ROI involved in implementing Industry 4.0, yet the difficulty of change halted them. And then, suddenly, the pandemic removed that option for many, and unfortunately, some businesses were unable to withstand the shocks that came after. The report also talks about how companies that had already started using digital solutions in manufacturing had greater agility; they could move and adjust their operations by getting a better handle on the data these new technologies were bringing in. 

Operations managers were particularly key leaders in this effort to use that data and the insight it provided to shift, to adapt and to grow, discovering new processes, creating better efficiency and still keeping production numbers healthy, and their workers safe. These leaders pushed themselves and their companies forward by using the data to make good decisions in a hard situation. With the tools Industry 4.0 gave them to make those adaptations, they were able to make the difference for success for their organizations. 

Operations Managers Achieve Goals

What many of the successful leaders in operations management discovered as they worked with new digital tools through the crisis was that without digital innovation, they would have missed key data points that helped them grow. Some of the most critical things they mentioned were the sensors that connected their “Industrial Internet of Things” (IIoT), which enabled them to collect real-time data and gather insight from it quickly through cloud-based analytics. This empowered them to see where to improve, what hazards to avoid, and develop new patterns and processes that kept production high while keeping workers safe and quality splendid. Industry 4.0 enabled them to achieve “Lean Manufacturing” goals they’d been working on before the pandemic much faster, with the added urgency of crisis management, and the critical data analysis that digital innovation provided them. They were able to inspire their connected workers and link those workers with connected machines on their IIoT for totally new, fresh solutions that made the difference between staying successful or going under. 

Bringing Industry 4.0 into Full Focus

One of the most important things operations managers can do is show their work teams how Industry 4.0 can help them be part of a success story. Show and tell them how digital innovation can make their jobs easier and help them become leaders in productivity themselves. Driving this culture change isn’t as hard as you’d think. Most workers, even those from older generations, are already using technology in their daily lives that would easily make the transition to the shop floor. 

Anvl Helps Operations Managers Focus Their Industry 4.0 Initiatives

The key is good communication and constant training initiatives that don’t stop once orientation is finished. In fact, solutions like Anvl, overcoming communication barriers and creating a daily training mindset that embraces innovation for a thriving work culture is already within your grasp. Click here to see Anvl in action and contact one of our experts today.