Enter into strategic partnerships

Rome wasn’t built in a day – and neither will a production based on the principles of Industry 4.0. In order to succeed with the implementation of Industry 4.0, you need to proceed in steps. Industry 4.0 rethinks the way that manufacturing companies approach production. At the same time, it redefines the relationship between suppliers and customers.

When selecting the right supplier of Industry 4.0 solutions, it is important to choose someone who can help you navigate the digitalized world of production – both now and in the future. Thus, supplier relationships must be replaced by strategic partnerships.

 

Base your trust on a clear strategy

A partnership becomes strategic when the working relationship is good, and the strategy is clear. You can achieve that by letting your choice of supplier be based on trust. Trust that the supplier has the tools and the knowledge required to supply you with a long-term solution.

For this trust not to be based on gut feelings, you should ask your supplier for a clearly defined strategy for a stepwise implementation of Industry 4.0. There is no answer book to Industry 4.0 and no fixed destination. On the contrary, the approach to Industry 4.0 has developed rapidly during recent years with several and more complex technological solutions as the result.

You should therefore choose a supplier who has a clear position as to how you should begin your Industry 4.0 journey, and where the journey will take you. It is also important that your supplier has considered how he is going to implement future technologies into his existing product portfolio. The right solution is a solution that is being developed further in line with the development of Industry 4.0.

Make sure to choose a supplier with a high degree of knowledge

An Industry 4.0 solution requires a supplier with experience within industrial manufacturing. He must understand the principles of Industry 4.0 and the aspects required to implement it successfully.

In addition, your supplier must possess a good deal of knowledge of your business and the markets you are working with. Only in this way will he be able to offer you a future-proof solution.

 

Choose a license-based system

A future-proof solution depends on applications, functionalities and security features being updated on a regular basis. For this, you need to choose a generic solution. Customized solutions will not be able to keep up with technological development and will quickly be outdated.

It is the supplier who is responsible for ensuring that a generic solution is updated on a regular basis. Consequently, it will make good sense to choose a license-based system where you can select new features and functionalities when you are ready to implement them in your production.

 

Make security a top priority

You must place high demands on the security and reliability of your Industry 4.0 solution. Several examples with IT security issues during recent years show that this is not a subject to be taken lightly. An Industry 4.0 solution should therefore be built on a secure platform, both hardware- and software-wise. Make sure to choose a solution with a future-proof control system such as Linux or the like.

Written by: Jesper Rantala, Director Data Intelligence - Eltronic

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