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The 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR). Are you ready?

Posted by: Katherine Garratt 21 Nov 16 - 10:34AM  | Recruitment
Simon Roberts, Associate Director at Jonathan Lee Interim Management, explains how businesses can utilise Interim Managers to thrive during the looming 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).

80 percent of manufacturers say 4IR will be a business reality by 2025 EEFIn recent months the pace surrounding 4IR has increased and become a major talking point within the manufacturing sector. The speed at which this change is predicted to happen is rapid, with 80% of manufacturers saying that the revolution will be a business reality by 2025, according to research by EEF, the manufacturers' organisation.

There is no doubt that 4IR is going to happen, but the speed of change and the implementation of new disruptive technologies is a real worry amongst business leaders. There is fear that the UK will fall behind the other major industrial powerhouses due to a lack of clarity and substance behind a viable UK industrial strategy. Thankfully, the industry strategies drafted by ex-business secretary Vince Cable appear to be back on the government agenda, but at a time of major global uncertainty; economic, political, institutional changes and Brexit, it could mean slow progress at a critical time.

According to a report by the manufacturers' organisation, EEF, the transformation of the manufacturing industry will depend greatly on a shift towards digital technologies and manufacturers are aware it would make them more productive. In fact 62% of firms state they plan to invest in new modern connected plant over the next 5 years.

Martin Strutt, Consultancy Director at EEF, says: “4IR is set to fundamentally transform the manufacturing sector - it will be a game changer. Businesses will want to capitalise on it, but recognise the need to invest in staff, management and leadership skills so that they can make the most out of the rapid advances in technology that are driving this new industrial age." 

4IR will need new skills and understanding EEF

This throws up a real problem to manufacturers who are already suffering with major skill shortages in key areas. In particular, many firms do not have the skillset in-house or the experience to implement digital technologies. Indeed this type of business change is the typical scenario where interim expertise can help guide an organisation in its next phase of business growth. 

Businesses can use an interim specialist to guide them through the required changes to keep up with 4IR. This change will impact all areas of business including software systems, machinery and connectivity. One thing is clear - the ability to collect vast amounts of data and use this to make informed business decisions will become critical.

These are truly challenging but exciting times. 4IR presents an opportunity for UK manufacturing to demonstrate its ability to innovate and embrace new technology, but the competition has never been as fierce or as global. Does UK PLC have the technical expertise to capitalise on this opportunity?

Jonathan Lee Interim Management has invested time in finding talented business professionals who have the technical knowledge and experience to help transition businesses toward digital technology. Some recent successes in areas such as automation and business transformation have demonstrated their ability to respond and help companies succeed in the 4IR environment.

Speak to Simon Roberts at Jonathan Lee Interim Management about how we can help your business thrive during the changes ahead.

Contact Simon Roberts:
simon.roberts@jonlee.co.uk      01384 446 120      www.jonlee.co.uk/interim
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