by Sean "The Coach" Fowles at Bluekey Seidor


Are manufacturing businesses ready for digital transformation and automation?


In the last few months, there has been a lot of talk about the 4th Revolution or “Industry 4.0” – an exciting new chapter in the playbook of manufacturing. But, is your business ready for the digital transformation that will need to take place in order for you to maximise your opportunities? Or are you at risk of dropping the ball?

In Africa, it’s been a slow, gruelling process for companies as they start to adopt technologies that transform traditional production processes. But momentum is building quickly as companies realise that this is the way the game is going to be played. Whether you’re prepared or not, it’s happening and companies need to be fully prepared for automated production systems by integrating key functionalities and processes now - or risk being left behind.

The new rules of play being introduced by Industry 4.0 presents a world of infinite possibilities which are changing the very nature of manufacturing. Business owners need to make sense of cloud computing, Big DATA, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and smart robotics. These new technologies not only to help drive down costs and improve efficiency, but also increase productivity, have real-time data analysis and increase competitiveness.

Automating and integrating workflow has immense benefits, such as real-time insights to make informed business decisions and managing stock and finances effectively – ensuring your plays are always better than your competitors’. Specialised software is needed to integrate work processes to increase outputs. For example, SAP Business One for Manufacturing will automatically detect when stock reaches the set warning threshold, and will then process an order to replenish the stock, send a notification to the finance component and issue purchase orders – all without any human intervention.  Technology can also help the manufacturing industry to understand customers better and get a clearer picture of not only what they want, but how often they want it and where they want it. Getting it right means greater profitability and loyal customers.

Embracing technological evolution means that you can streamline the entire manufacturing process, from production scheduling to purchasing and logistics, so you can outperform the competition. Just think of a world where every item that customers order online can be customised en masse with the help of advanced and automated configuration with 24-hour personalised production.

So, how ready is your business when it comes to adapting to new technologies? The 4th Revolution in Manufacturing is here and is forcing companies to ensure that they have BMT (Big Match Temperament) to stay relevant. The good news is that you don’t have to be the expert in the room. When it comes to software integration, big data, cloud and cyber-security it’s best to hire the experts, with the best coaches, who know the intricacies and advantages of integrating your business to prepare for these smart technologies.

It’s time to prepare and implement software that can transform your business, team and bottom line. If not, your competitors might just run right over you before you can say “offside”.


Bluekey Seidor is a proud member of the Seidor group of companies – a multinational IT integrator and systems provider with a wide portfolio of products and services covering consulting, infrastructure, implementation, development, maintenance and support. Bluekey Seidor is also the most successful and fastest growing SAP Business One partner in Africa with a reputation for on-time delivery of complex, as well as simple, integrated business management solutions to SMEs.

The company is founded on the value proposition that successful implementation of ERP and business management solutions brings real and tangible benefits to business owners by driving efficiency, profitability and growth while giving management effective control and visibility.

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