Is the Mittelstand ready for Industry 4.0?
The much talked-about Industry 4.0 or Fourth Industrial revolution is happening now. It is global, it is fast and it is radically changing the way products and services are designed, produced and commercialised.
As industrial production and business processes undergo a rapid transformation –propelled by the emergence of innovative materials and technologies such as the internet of things, big data analytics, additive manufacturing and advanced robotics –embracing the digital revolution is imperative for businesses’ competitiveness and growth worldwide.
So, how is the German Mittelstand faring in this transformation? What possibilities do technological disruptions open in production, supply chain and distribution networks for small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs)? What are the particular challenges that they face in adopting these new technologies? What are the key implementation barriers that Mittelstand companies need to overcome to adopt and progress in Industry 4.0? How can they optimise their strategies to anticipate transformations and take full advantage of the new opportunities presented? What is the right approach: perfect planning or pragmatic learning in a transformative process? What type of government support is needed and what are the best practices for public-private partnerships?
The Financial Times – in partnership with Autodesk – will bring together senior business leaders and policy makers for a unique, high level discussion on technological disruption in manufacturing and its impact for the Mittelstand. The briefing will examine the key strategies and solutions to adapt, shape and harness the technological revolution and fully realise the potential of Industry 4.0.
Text and picture: official FT website.