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New Business Processes Key to Truly Smart Manufacturing

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Smart technology and smart people are transforming U.S. manufacturing back into an economic powerhouse, writes John Clemons, director of manufacturing IT for industrial automation provider Maverick Technologies, in a blog post on Forbes. “But getting there is easier said than done,” he notes

In the blog, Clemons points out that simply implementing IIoT (industry internet of things) or Industry 4.0 will not “magically deliver the business benefits everyone’s talking about.”

While there are best practices for business, there are bad practices, too, and Clemons stresses in the blog that many companies’ technologies are old and not functioning at high levels. Combine that with bureaucracy — or not moving quickly to adapt — and you have manufacturing processes that just aren’t reliable.

“Ultimately, what’s needed isn’t just new technology, it’s new business processes and new business capabilities,” Clemons stresses.

To create those things, it’s important to first look at basic concepts like personalizing and customizing products, and adding data and services to them, he says. But it’s not about just providing customers with products and services — it’s about providing them with solutions.

In the blog, Clemons also writes about reducing capital and operating costs (it’s getting harder, he says), empowering teams to improve decision-making, and focusing on the end goal.

“Leverage all the cool, new, smart technology you want, but stay focused on how to achieve the business benefits and ROI,” he writes. “You do that, and you will have found the smart manufacturing payback.”

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