1. How is the engineering and manufacturing sector responding to digitalization and Industry 4.0 today?
We’ve seen a pronounced shift in thinking over the past two years or so. Today, the potential of digital is uppermost in the minds of engineering and manufacturing organizations. Many of our customers are actually actively shaping the Industry 4.0 future. They are no longer asking if these technologies are relevant to them, they are thinking hard about how best to apply new techniques to transform their processes and, even more significantly, to enable the development of new services and business models.
2. What do your customers say are the biggest challenges associated with the adoption of new digital technologies?
It isn’t technology, it’s people. Our customers know that processes, capabilities and culture will be decisive in the success of their digitalization efforts. The implications are wide-ranging, from ensuring they have the right software developers and data analysts to building the skills and attitudes needed for their broader workforce so as to make the best use of new digital tools and business models.
3. What role do logistics and supply chain processes play in digitalization?
Logistics and the supply chain will be both a beneficiary and an enabler of digitalization. The benefits will come from the adoption of new ways to drive up efficiency and streamline processes. At DHL, we are working on the frontline of that wave of innovation, training our people and adopting a host of technologies from advanced analytics in forecasting to drones for warehouse stock control. But smart logistics is also going to be an essential part of the digital manufacturing value chain, whether that’s supplying highly agile production systems or supporting advanced products in the field.