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Imagine a future in which individuals and businesses can create products they need with the click of a mouse, a future made possible by digital technologies. To fully embrace these technologies, you need to rethink your strategy. A great way to start is to focus on your company’s value chain and the digitization of all its parts.
Innovative digital solutions can reduce costs and add value at every stage of a product’s life cycle, within each stage of the value chain and across its entirety. It is essential for businesses to harness the synergies of a fully integrated value chain—one that is based on and supported by digital technologies—so that digitization can truly pave the way for the next industrial revolution.
The fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, promises to turn the industrial world on its head by combining classic production techniques with cyber-physical production systems. These new types of production systems will also signal a shift from existing business models as revolutionary new applications are made available, new service providers emerge and new value chains become possible.
Radical and rapid shifts in customer behavior, the pressure for personalized products and instant product and service availability, and the advent of new technologies and distribution channels are forcing companies to rethink their strategies. For companies, this means embracing and deploying digitization at the right time and in the right places, together with their business partners along the entire value chain.
Companies need to inject innovation into the way they conduct their business digitally and create a culture of innovation by fostering out-of-the-box thinking and embracing emerging technologies. By establishing an open environment that welcomes ideas, collaboration, contribution and evaluation, they can reduce innovation cycles and maximize market impact. It is best to start with your value chain; the new digital solutions not only enable more complex modeling that blurs the lines between sequential phases of activity, but also allow business leaders to think about value in more holistic terms.
Here are five pioneering digitization applications that cover the entire range of value chain functions—from new product development to sourcing and direct procurement, manufacturing, marketing and sales, distribution, and after-sales service.
The power of gamification means many brands are integrating game mechanics in unique and compelling ways, all with the purpose of driving user engagement, increasing customer satisfaction and retention, and ultimately driving sales.
Behavioral marketing is when website publishers and online advertisers use a range of sophisticated technologies and techniques to enhance the effectiveness of their campaigns by capturing data generated when users visit their websites and landing pages.
3-D printing can help optimize supply chains and reduce costs by enabling companies to print prototypes, end-consumer products or even spare parts on demand locally instead of centrally.
A scheduling system for lean and just-in-time production, electronic Kanban uses the Internet as a method of routing messages to external suppliers to provide real-time visibility into the entire supply chain.
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology has enabled organizations to transform their existing hybrid supply chain structures into more open, agile, flexible and collaborative digital models.
A number of emerging digital solutions are poised to support the entire set of operations along the value chain, adding value in the process.
Billed as the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0 is poised to combine classic production techniques with cyber-physical production systems (CPPS) allowing the product to communicate with the machinery to tell it exactly what to do.
CPPS also signal a paradigm shift from existing business models, as revolutionary new applications are developed, new service providers emerge, and new value chains become possible.
Future ERP systems will leverage in-memory computing, advanced Web portals and cloud computing, thereby offering all the entities along the supply chain access to real-time data and need-based data processing.
Behavioral marketing and gamification are getting a boost through crowdsourcing. The future may see entire parts of the supply chain outsourced to an undefined, anonymous crowd using technologies such as the Internet.
Next-gen 3-D printing will allow consumers to design products on their own personal computers or co-design them with companies using the Internet, producing them at home. With technological advances, 3-D printing could render an entire phase of traditional supply chains obsolete.
May 22, 2013
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