In the 18th century, maritime navigation was very different to what it is today. Much of seafaring life depended on guesstimates; determining position, distance, and direction depended on one sailor’s knowledge of winds and currents. A particularly choppy sea or heavy storm could endanger crews, cause navigational chaos, and spoil even the best-laid plans.

That all changed when clockmaker John Harrison set about establishing longitude to within half a degree. In particular, Harrison produced an astonishing set of discoveries that led to the invention of the marine chronometer – and with it, a revolution in navigation. Charts were plotted accurately, sailors sailed safely, and international trade flourished.

Nowadays, in 2020, we face a new set of navigational challenges and business continuity risks. With digital technology disrupting how we live and work, how can businesses effectively steer through transitions? More specifically, how can manufacturing companies set sail toward Industry 4.0 with confidence? And how can they accurately chart their progress along the way?

To address these issues, offer solutions, and provide better insights into areas manufacturers must focus on to drive momentum toward successful digital technology usage, SmarterChains has developed a standardized Industry 4.0 transformation platform. Using this as a starting point, companies have the tools to build systematic progress in driving digital capabilities.

This is an important development for manufacturing industries. With this benchmarking system, and our subsequent comprehensive analysis of the state-of-play in leveraging Industry 4.0 within the Consumer-Packaged Goods (CPG) industry, we can clearly see the range of levels of maturity in adopting Industry 4.0 technologies.

Building on the insights derived from our proprietary methodology, we outline a series of recommendations for leaders within CPG manufacturers. These are designed to help tackle the widespread lack of organizational urgency to adopt Industry 4.0 and focus attention and investments in the areas of greatest need.

All in all, the CPG industry stands at the beginning of a new age in manufacturing. With the right guidance and support, actors within this industry can leverage the power of data and technology to deliver a better, more agile, and integrated manufacturing ecosystem that ultimately unlocks value for a wide range of stakeholders across society.

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