Transcend Your Business Into The Digital World
Industry 4.0 is defined as a new phase in the Industrial Revolution that focuses heavily on inter-connectivity, automation, machine learning, and real-time data. IT is also sometimes referred to as Internet of Things (IoT) or smart manufacturing, marries physical production and operations with smart digital technology, machine learning, and big data to create a more holistic and better connected ecosystem for companies that focus on manufacturing and supply chain management.
With the rapid advancements in technology, firms have to be adaptable to change and be open to innovations in order to survive in today’s business environment. The effective use of automation in firms could increase their productivity, enabling them to be more efficient and thus giving them a competitive advantage in the market. The use of data will allow firms to make better decisions that would also lead to better-allocative efficiency within the firm. The advancements in technology coupled with constant upgrading of the human workforce would create more opportunities for firms to manage their assets and manpower more effectively. In a small nation like Singapore, there is a need to further pursue excellence in being digitally advanced to give ourselves a competitive edge. Surely, we have the latest manufacturing technologies within the industry that enables us to achieve resources at a lower cost and of great quality. However, this is insufficient. We should look at a greater picture and shift our focus in building a strong data-based manufacturing system.
The Singapore government has made efforts to create a forward system such as the Government Technology Agency (Govtech) so that we can step up to be ahead of others in the Internet Of Things. As we do so, this will enable us to channel information into smart information, to provide insights for better decision-making in the future. Not limiting smart technologies to the large industry players, business owners of small and medium enterprises should also be flexible in staying competitive. Therefore, SMEs should consider implementing technological solutions for their business.
By working with Gennassy, digitalisation of SMEs’ services and use of data analytics can achieve cost and quality efficiency for the SMEs’ business. For example, customised application developments that can help to analyse the availability of data more effectively when customers input their personal information and preferences in the application. Moreover, businesses can operate by simply clicking or tapping on the application to process these customers’ information or orders into their business operation. During unforeseen circumstances such as this covid 19 has shown that businesses heavily rely on having smart technology to continue business operation. For example, there are a number of local retail businesses that have tapped on to the advancements of technology and incorporated it into their business. One illustration would be The Closet Lover has launched an application for their business, allowing them to bring their business a step closer to their customers. This also allows them to better monitor the trends in their business through the data obtained from their application. However, home-based businesses or certain self-employed businesses who are not equipped with knowledge and access to smart technology previously will face difficulties in adjusting to this new system that is only available for business to carry out their operation.
While firms may be deterred from the use of technology due to the initial costs incurred as well as the fear of their workers not being able to adapt, they should not be blinded by the short term implications as it will surely be more beneficial for them in the long run. Although technologies can be powerful, humans are still required to provide analysis and will have control. They will still be required to analyse the data gathered and make better decisions and solutions. It is also important to understand that while incorporating technology and artificial intelligence (AI) into the business, it does not indicate that workers will be displaced. In fact, workers would be more productive since they would be able to focus on other areas of the business. In Singapore, the government is prioritising continuous upgrading of skills for the workforce with a focus on soft skills, digital literacy, and practical training at all levels of education to prepare their workforce for Industry 4.0. With a range of programmes for firms to enroll their employees in as well as the skillsfuture programme for individuals to upgrade themselves.
To sum up, firms need to be adaptable and be able to embrace the changes in today’s business environment. They can leverage on the opportunities coming from the fourth industrial revolution, widely dubbed as “Industry 4.0”. Gennassy would definitely be able to develop appropriate solutions using the new technology to help firms achieve this goal.