Blog

28 May 2019

Automated and agile - 2027 future factory

Although the future factories begin to arise today, it is difficult to predict precisely what form they would finally have. Epicor suggests how they would look like in a few years. It is of importance for manufacturing companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. If they do not react accordingly before the changes generated by megatrends and new technologies (we wrote about them before), they are most likely to disappear from the market.

Epicor "2027 future factory” vision implies above all increased use of smart technologies. There is no doubt the future factory would be automated. But this is only the "the tip of the iceberg". Changes related to the Industry 4.0 will cover virtually all areas of activity: from sales and marketing, through project management, operations and production management, shopping, services and products management to finance and HR. Let’s take a closer look at how - according to Epicor - production will evolve over the next few years.

Today servitisation already shapes the "production landscape" - companies try to create more revenue streams from the service. In future services market will be increasingly automated. This will allow the deepening of integration with customers’ systems and processes to easier understand their needs and resolve problems more quickly. IT technologies will make manufacturers stop being suppliers and become business partners. The analytical systems provide sales and marketing departments with information on how many and which products customers expect. And - thanks to flexible products’ design, agile prototyping - it would be possible to create products’ versions fitting closely to the specific needs of each customer. Supply chains will be replaced by the supply network to automatically optimize collaboration with suppliers in real time.

Ubiquitous sensors providing up to date information from factory shop floor will help precisely manage the manufacturing process. Human Resources department would also be affected by the changes. Robotization means fewer employees but greater challenges related to talent management. Work on the continuous development of workers’ career will gain new importance amid the rapidly changing market and global digital community requirements. Possibility to use algorithms that would comprehensively support making all decisions when it comes to talent management will be certain provision for Human Resources.

Strategic decisions made by senior managerial staff would also be based on data processed by learning algorithms. IT has a crucial role to play in this area. It should be supporting the effective managing of knowledge gained in the company and implement the newest artificial intelligence technologies. Will this mean that making decisions would be easier? Or would it be another way around? Innovative ERP solution, taking into consideration Industry 4.0 development trends, would help to automate production lines, improve processes and effective organisation transformation.

Automated and agile - 2027 future factory