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In the digital environment, it is not the strongest that survives but the fittest to change

Modernizing industrial plants and further developing their infrastructure, foreign enterprises choose the best industry-specific business processes and management models. In our country, despite solid investments in production transformation projects, a different approach is practiced. Can Russian enterprises  start their digital transformation from the ‘as is’ state? How can domestic machine building not be outdone by Industry 4.0? What prevents industrial enterprises from reaching their export potential? Vladimir Kapustin, IPL Consulting Operations Director, told the Connect Journal about that.

What are the priority problems that need to be rethought in order to implement the new approach to digitalization?

– When it comes to digitalization, most often we talk about CNC machines, robots, RFID tags, sensors, industrial networks, and discuss other digital technologies. However, this is a simplistic approach to the idea of realizing the potential of Industry 4.0 if it can be regarded as synonymous with digitalization.

The value of moving to Industry 4.0 is in the chance to increase production flexibility and efficiency, to engage customers and suppliers in end-to-end business processes and value creation, to provide products and services as a single product, and to reduce production costs.

Assessing the level of digitalization, the company involved should focus on the integration of business processes, the use of end-to-end manufacturing processes (from the first contact with the customer and suppliers to delivery of the finished products), which ensure optimal management of the enterprise and fast response to any change.

Of great importance is the vertical integration of processes in the enterprise management system. The IT infrastructure must be a coherent whole, which is hardly possible if, for example, sensors collect data from CNC machines but the enterprise has no end-to-end planning system. Above all, digitalization requires an end-to-end management and planning process for sales, production, procurement, and internal logistics. If we do not change the management model, the Russian market will be occupied by Western and Asian digital enterprises that offer their products with a good price-quality ratio and provide customer-friendly deadlines.

Another problem is that digitalization does not have just one master; it is dealt with by different services (e.g. industrial electronics division and IT service) that poorly interact with each other.

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