“A Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) is a virtual knowledge center that harnesses existing expertise and resources to sustain world-class performance and unleash value across the supply chain.”

Forward-thinking manufacturing companies looking to capitalize on the ongoing Industry 4.0 revolution have already made great efforts to nurture Centers of Excellence (CoE). A CoE is a business investment: A specialist team that develops and shares best practices creates synergy and orchestrates end-to-end transformation.

A Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE), which applies CoE principles to the virtual world, is the next logical step for industry players to adopt. To seize this opportunity proactively nets a huge competitive advantage. To ignore its inevitability means to be left behind.

In SmarterChains’ experience, however, developing a company-based Cloud Center of Excellence is only a stepping stone.

The Evolution of Decision-Making

Global business complexity increases continuously, as problems shift in both content and context rapidly. The expert services era is long gone, replaced by the Software as a Service (SaaS) era, where humans and software collaborate to tackle complicated problems in scale.

For manufacturing leaders that wish to survive the Industry 4.0 tsunami of change, and thrive in an increasingly decentralized ecosystem, a paradigm shift is necessary.

Decision-making can no longer be siloed within organizations safely.

There is just too much information, too much advice, and too many variables to handle without tapping into external, off-factory knowledge sources with speed and agility. This is why physical manufacturing Centers of Excellence are slowly – but surely – sliding towards the virtual world, their locality mattering less and less compared to their ability to access, utilize, and create knowledge.

The Cloud Center of Excellence Defined

Simply put, a Cloud Center of Excellence is a value-generator. From SmarterChains’ perspective, the Center’s goal is to help manufacturing companies identify widespread organizational problems fast, solve it in a smaller scope successfully, and then transfer the acquired know-how across the entire organization to drive transparency, accountability, and margin improvement insights.

In essence, it’s about scaling small wins up in order to power holistic transformation.

By implementing a Cloud Center of Excellence, a company:

  1. Solves problems efficiently, on scale
  2. Disseminates insights across multiple business units
  3. Enables breakthrough innovation
  4. Powers change (that actually works)
  5. Generates tangible business value

This approach embraces the complexity of today’s global ecosystem, brings it down into a manageable size and leverages it to generate high-impact solutions that improve customer profitability.

CoE Functions and Business Processes

The following list includes major Center of Excellence functions, as well as their respective business processes:

CoE Function

Key Processes

Knowledge Acquisition and Management

Knowledge repository, learn about new technologies and trends and build trainings and processes

Communication Management

Share best practices, KPI reporting at plant/regional/global level


Technology portfolio choices selection, make vs buy, master-planning


What to measure, how and why

Organization model and culture

Learning plans, skills inventory

Financial Governance

Budgets, forecasts, planning

The list above is not exhaustive and serves to elaborate how versatile a Center of Excellence can be. Simply put, if given strategic purpose, CoE can foster significant growth and build expertise across most major business functions.

SmarterChains’ Approach: Going Beyond the Cloud

The SmarterChains’ perspective is that to make manufacturing companies truly synergistic, same-company Center of Excellence digitization is only the first step. To become future-proof, knowledge must be pursued on a sector-wide scale, accessing data and insights from the entire ecosystem.

As is, accessing the best resources available is impossible without paying premium rates to top-tier consulting firms, which are the only ones with access to a wide enough knowledge base. This method, however, is not without problems – and it’s surely not scalable.

First, the cost is crushing, which limits it to the select few who have the funds to support it.

Second, even the greatest consultant team is limited by necessity to its personal expertise – which, on a sector-wide spectrum, is sure to miss synergy opportunities created from decentralized innovation.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, it just takes too much time. Despite advances, knowledge transfer speed within the industry is still surprisingly slow.

These are the primary reasons which led SmarterChains’ to develop its software platform, which serves as an all-encompassing manufacturing knowledge hub. Providing accelerated Industry 4.0 diagnostics, AI-driven technology roadmap design, and granular benchmarking across geographies and industries, SmarterChains’ platform unleashes your Center of Excellence’s full potential, amplifying its value creation across your entire supply chain.

The manufacturing world’s paradigm is shifting – and early adopters of the new model have already started securing their advantage.

Whereas the model was once manufacturing expertise ownership, the model now becomes manufacturing expertise access-on-demand.

SmarterChains’ has mapped more than 1100 cutting-edge technology vendors and more than 400 Industry 4.0 technologies in its multi-source knowledge database. This means that your Center of Excellence can tap into aggregated ecosystem insights, data, and intelligence for a fraction of the cost, and for a fraction of the time.

In short, SmarterChains does not replace your internal team. SmarterChains empowers your specialists and arms them with the knowledge they need to accelerate their efforts.

Get in Touch

Cloud-Based Center of Excellence

SmarterChains’ Ecosystem of Excellence

Solo Organization

Direct connection to major technology vendors, integrators and manufacturers

Acquires knowledge through reports, studies and consulting firms

Generates insights from aggregated industry data

Human-driven technology roadmaps

AI-optimized technology roadmaps

Scorecard based benchmarking, with little comparative value

Continuous internal & external benchmarking, across geographies and industries


Cost effective


Fast & agile

Looking forward, companies will cease to compete on knowledge, and those stuck in their ways will soon be forgotten. The best will compete on their ability to adapt faster… and learn smarter.

In our paradigm-shifting model, knowledge transfer and capability building acceleration is not a goal, but a feature.

If you represent a manufacturing company, find out more on how we can help you kickstart your Factory of the Future transformation here.

If you represent a technology vendor, or a technology integrator company, you’ll be very interested to join our marketplace.

Interested in an ad-hoc partnership? Contact us here directly.


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