Innovation is key in kickstarting the digital industrial revolution. Without the capacity to improve, create more efficient processes, and add value to products and services through new tools and technologies, industrial digitalization can’t move forward. Industry 4.0 introduces integrated automated systems that generate large quantities of data in a way that’s far more flexible, dynamic, and scaleable.
Should industrial companies invest in innovation?
Any industrial company, regardless of its type of activity, will need to dedicate a portion of its capital and time to generating new ideas and testing concepts or pilot projects that incorporate new technologies — all to meet the changing needs of customers whose demands grow as they have access to more information and more options in the market.
This means each business team must cultivate people with the ability to innovate. People who think outside the box and are restless in their search for more efficient ways to get work done and improve the quality of the product. This requires people unwilling to settle for the status quo, and who instead work constantly with an eye on new trends and opportunities in the market geared toward optimizing production.
Innovation in Industry 4.0
The desire for more effective, flexible, autonomous and automated machines has led to the emergence of technological advances in the market that have reduced production costs, optimized productivity and improved the customization of products. In this new industry, new jobs are emerging for professionals with digital skills. Here are a few examples of these advances:
- 3D printing works through a special software, printing each layer individually as the material is deposited and cools to form the object. It’s a simple way to create prototypes. In the medical industry, it’s being used to create models of human tissues.
- Robotics is the use of robots to replace human labor in industrial processes. It improves productivity dramatically and performs machinery work that is costly and dangerous for humans.
- Predictive analysis allows us to draw patterns from data and use it to predict what may happen in the future. It lets us make better-informed business decisions.
- Artificial intelligence creates smart production systems using algorithms and Bayesian networks in order to control, manage and coordinate industrial components such as overstock, machinery life cycles, optimal usage, etc.
- Cloud computing allows us to provide products and services online without the limiting factor of network capacity. It offers easy access to information from any location and at any time, at a low cost.
The world’s five most innovative businesses, according to a study by Forbes magazine, are Tesla Motors, Salesforce.com, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Arm Pharmaceuticals. These businesses incorporate robots into their production processes, use 3D printing to study the effects of a disease on an organ and use prediction to avoid wasteful drug overstock.
These multinational companies invest in innovation in order to stand out from their competition, improve the effectiveness of their production, perform loading work without over stressing employees, obtain detailed information about their business by collecting data on its daily activity, etc.
Professionals with an innovative profile
Innovation has long been a quality that could give one applicant an advantage over another, but in our digital age of constant and rapid change, now it’s crucial. Characteristics of these professionals:
- An agent of change who contributes, manages, collaborates, and shares with other employees new ways to add value to the product; a person who sees opportunities for improvements, identifies problems and offers solutions.
- A professional who’s conscious of successes and failures in order to learn from them; one who recognizes effort and rewards original thinking and encourages creativity.
- A person who invests in creating lasting relationships and feels passionate and open-minded about entering new markets and sectors.
These qualities require dedication, learning, openness, and freshness of mind.
In our company, we’ve designated a special innovation team, but also encourage the rest of our employees to develop that quality in their work.
We encourage the exchange of ideas, a sense of initiative, and the freedom for employees to spearhead projects using the strategies they consider best for achieving the customer’s objectives. We have total confidence in our employees.
How we’ve encouraged innovation
In order for a business to thrive and be profitable, innovation must be encouraged from within the corporate culture by positioning it as a key value of the company to be absorbed by all of its employees. Innovation accelerates the growth of an organization. How can we promote continued growth within the company?
We must bring about change from within the organization. It’s important to motivate employees to stay informed and encourage them to think critically about the product or service and to want to improve, grow, and bring success to the company.
This can be done by providing employees with high-quality training about new techniques and tools, nurturing their creativity and innovative spirit, encouraging their ability to generate new opinions and ideas, creating environments that invite experimentation and productive risk-taking, and not penalizing errors.
We recommend encouraging partners and providers to implement innovation initiatives in their companies, sharing your own progress and even offering chances for collaboration. Get your target audience involved by encouraging the exchange of ideas and feedback.