BDO Insight 2021: The Next Stage of Industry 4.0 (US)

Manufacturing Global breaks down BDO’s ‘2021 Industry 4.0 Survey’ findings 

The Next Stage of Industry 4.0

“American manufacturers are entering a new stage of the Industry 4.0 era where their digital investments are beginning to pay dividends,” begins BDO. But while 50% of manufacturers expect their digital investments to lead to revenue increases in the next 12 months, not all manufacturers have embraced Industry 4. 0 equally.

BDO explains in its ‘2021 Industry 4.0 Survey’ that those who adopted Industry 4.0 strategies prior to the pandemic were better equipped to mitigate the disruptions, and are positioned for growth compared to those less digitally advanced. 

Over the next six to 12 months, “manufacturers’ Industry 4.0 priorities will shift from mitigating COVID-19 disruptions to business model innovation and growth,” with 49% of manufacturers planning to add new digital revenue streams, explains BDO. 

“In this new stage of the Industry 4.0 paradigm, success will be determined by manufacturers’ ability to continue making bold moves and creating value for themselves and their customers. The organizations that are best positioned to achieve these goals are those that have either kept up with the pace of digital innovation over the last decade, or were born into it. Looking ahead, we are going to see the performance split grow between this group and those that are still skeptical of Industry 4.0’s benefits,” said Eskander Yavar, Manufacturing National Practice Leader, BDO USA and National Association of Manufacturers Board Member.

Key Findings from the Report

  • 88% of (re)born in digital manufacturers plan to increase their digital spend over the next 12 months, compared to 47% of legacy manufacturers
  • When it comes to digitising the supply chain, only 2% of manufacturers have no defined digital strategy, compared to 28% have a supply chain-wide digital strategy with specific business objectives and KPI targets over the next 1-3 years, and 37% investigating and employing new digital solutions for specific applications
  • Many manufacturers still haven’t broken down data silos in their organisation, let alone achieved information transparency
  • Top three technologies currently being deployed by manufacturers include: data analytics (71%), cloud computing (64%), and ERP software (58%)
  • 81% of manufacturers report that the digitisation of customer experience will have some impact on their business in the next year

Although early winners in the Industry 4.0 race have begun to emerge, manufacturers can’t afford to rest on their laurels. Technology is constantly improving as new and better ways of doing things are invented. Manufacturers that recognize that Industry 4.0 is about continuous improvement will be most successful in the long run,” said BDO.


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