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  • Richard Blow

Don’t return to normal. Return to better!

Three key factors to sustained success post Covid 19

At the start of this year no one could have anticipated the extent to which Covid 19 would disrupt 2020. In January we continued to watch with interest as the world's two largest economies, USA and China, came to loggerheads in a bitter trade battle. The hangover from Brexit dominated headlines in Europe and the UK. At home, concerns around the ‘tepid’ economy and consumer spending being the weakest it had been in 10 years. Then Covid 19 hit and overnight that all became secondary white noise. The focus shifted to saving the lives and livelihoods of millions!

As we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel and we focus on recovery, one thing becomes clear… business leaders must look at embracing better and more efficient ways of doing things.

Now and In the near future, digital transformation is poised to make a definitive impact in the sphere of business. With careful strategy and planning, adoption of digital transformation solutions can result in improved profitability and marked benefits for businesses. Digital Transformation is the use of new, fast and frequently changing digital technology to solve problems. Not just for manufacturers or large business, the opportunities that come with digital transformation are enormous and can be game-changing for virtually any business or organization.

Two cornerstones of digital transformation are Industry 4.0 and IoT. Industry 4.0, often referred to as being the fourth manufacturing revolution, combines the current manufacturing model with the technology that has been developed in the technological substitute revolution. This fourth revolution is shaped by what advanced technologies make possible: dramatic new opportunities in communication and connectivity. Going hand in hand with Industry 4.0 is IoT (Internet of Things). In a nutshell, IoT refers to the interconnection of devices and gadgets to collect, transmit and store data. Pretty much any physical object can be transformed into an IoT device if it can be connected to the internet to be controlled or communicate information. For a more detailed explanation of Industry 4.0 please see our blog on the topic.

The benefits of the IoT for business depend on the implementation; agility and efficiency are usually top considerations. The idea is that businesses should have access to more data about their own products and their own internal systems, and a greater ability to make changes as a result. IoT is poised to make a definitive impact in the sphere of business. With careful strategy and planning, adoption of IoT solutions can result in improved profitability and marked benefits for businesses. Businesses will be able to leverage IoT technology to collect valuable data, stay ahead of the competition and drive innovation.

There's no place for "we've always done it that way" in business anymore. To safeguard our economy and our businesses we have got to be able to do things better… but how?

Three keys to success post Covid 19:

Resolution; Improvement and Business as usual (but re-invented)


  • Improved cashflow

  • Waste reduction using lean tools and automation

  • Inventory management and controls (IoT/MES)

  • Better maintenance controls (preventative maintenance and operator maintenance)

  • Lower short-term operating costs

  • Digital performance management (see our recent blog on MOS vs MES)

  • Remote service and maintenance

  • Employee engagement and long-term security

  • Remote working (forced upon us due to Covid 19)

  • Visual control systems

  • Digital asset management

  • Remote workforce tracking


  • Keeping us all connected

  • Including speed and knowledge management

  • Cybersecurity

  • Flexible operations and system driven cost improvements

  • Asset optimisation using IoT

  • Procurement Transparency - using IoT to drive towards real-time procurement and local sourcing (less reliance on offshore supplies)

Business as usual (BAU)

  • Reform and re-invention

  • Agile and flexible operations (digital transparency)

  • Robust supply chain and improved integration with major suppliers

  • Real time process optimisation (automation & controls)



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