Hyper-Tuned – Intelligent Business Optimisation for the Modern World, Part 1

by | Aug 12, 2020 | 0 comments

As the world becomes more dynamic and smart technology becomes available instantly and globally, it has started the latest industrial revolution.

What is the latest industrial revolution? A quick search on Google will tell you that industry has previously been through three revolutions, each one completely transforming our business environment.

1st Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Europe and the United States, in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. Think water wheels and steam.

2nd Industrial Revolution was a phase of rapid standardisation and industrialisation from 1870 into the early 20th century up until World War I. Think electricity and mass production.

3rd Industrial Revolution started in the 1950s and was driven by the rise of electronics, telecommunication, and computing. This brought unprecedented access to such things as space expeditions, research and biotechnology and lead to the present-day miniaturisation and mobilisation of smart personal interactions such as the smart phone, e.g.

Each iteration or “Revolution” has completely transformed the way business is conducted, sustainable wealth is created and how people live their lives as a result. This now brings us to the present day and, since the beginning of the 21st century, we have entered the 4th Industrial Revolution.

What is Industry 4.0?

The 4th industrial revolution, also known as Industry 4.0, is transforming all industries in all markets. It is completely revolutionising the way we will do business across the world. As with previous industrial revolutions, it will change how we conduct business in the future, and it will change and shape our lives going forwards.

Wikipedia describes Industry 4.0 as:

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (or Industry 4.0) is the ongoing transformation of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices combined with the latest smart technology. This primarily focuses on the use of large-scale machine to machine communication (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) deployments to provide increased automation, improved communication and self-monitoring, as well as smart machines that can analyse and diagnose issues without the need for human intervention.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (or Industry 4.0) is the ongoing transformation of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices combined with the latest smart technology. This primarily focuses on the use of large-scale machine to machine communication (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) deployments to provide increased automation, improved communication and self-monitoring, as well as smart machines that can analyse and diagnose issues without the need for human intervention.

Why does it matter?

As this smart business approach gains momentum, it also requires an intelligent response for businesses to both manage and optimise their performance. In today’s data-driven economy, decisions made on static information are dead on arrival. Strategic decisions cycles now need to be weekly or even daily. We call this requirement a hyper-tuned business.

What if you had a full diagnostic of your current performance displayed visually and in real time? You then apply the latest growth and profit business management techniques while continually testing and fine tuning in real time.  The visual demonstration of optimised outputs can be reported to anyone at anytime from anywhere. This delivers intelligent business optimisation at an unprecedented rate of change.

Imagine if this could then be delivered at a price that has, up until now, been unprecedented, due to the emergence of the latest technology. Thus, enabling the business improvement to fund the business intelligence platform, making the entire initiative self-funding. In fact, you would then have a hyper tuned business and be outperforming your competitors on agility, price, delivery, and margins whilst building resilience into the future.

Business value chains are becoming connected locally and globally and across industry and market sectors. These transactions are becoming completely interconnected and are carried out in much shorter cycle times.

This is now affecting all market sectors from Manufacturing, Construction and Retail through to the functional aspects of Operations, Supply Chain and Logistics.  Companies that are raising to the challenge quickly are gaining a true advantage.

We have seen recent examples in surprising areas such as commercial construction, where companies are using technology to gain real time insights to operational activity. They are then linking these outcomes directly to supply chain demand management with internationally linked supply chain options.

The end users of those buildings or assets are utilising big data to run analytics, giving them operating efficiencies that fine tune over time. This has reduced ongoing costs of through life support, including energy use, heating, security, environmental footprint, asset management etc.

In manufacturing, we see more examples of processing near the point of sale, utilising technology such as 3D printing. Orders are filled with the supply of raw materials being transformed to finished goods locally with massively reduced costs for supply chain and logistics.

In effect, this is integrated business planning taken to a real time international level. This, in turn, is delivering unprecedented margin enhancement opportunities.

This fast paced, hyper-tuned approached, is a current competitive advantage opportunity, though in time, this will be the new norm.

Companies not changing their traditional approach will become less likely to succeed, as the new normalised approach will be priced into the market.  Companies with more traditional approaches will be unable to compete.

Business intelligence and real time data reporting platforms are now moving from delivering a competitive advantage for those who have invested in them to becoming as basic requirement for businesses to make accurate decisions quickly enough to build a resilient, long-term position.

As the interconnected markets become more dynamic and change cycles move from monthly to weekly or even daily, making business decisions through traditional monthly financial cycles become inadequate.

Consider a market that is changing daily being managed with decisions that are six weeks out of date…

A traditional reporting cycle rounds up business results monthly, comparing results to forecasts that are planned annually and adjusted quarterly.

The monthly performance data is compiled and reported within two weeks of the month result.  This reporting normally takes between 5-10 working days, due to data needing to be checked, verified from one department to another and reports to be compiled and disseminated.
Traditionally, this means some of the data being used is from six weeks back in time and is sometimes inaccurate or differs from one source platform to another. Up until now, this has been the normal business management approach and has sufficed as all businesses have been on the same playing field.

In the Industry 4.0 world, markets and operations move far more quickly, and the decision process will be required to be delivered in a much shorter cycle time. This situation has been accelerated significantly with the recent pandemic situation. All markets are now moving and changing on a weekly, if not daily, basis.

In a McKinsey article dated July 17, 2020, about how the COVID-19 crisis is transforming all industries, Kevin Sneader (Global Managing Partner) says “The first piece of advice I’d offer a CEO is forecasts are out, dashboards are in. The notion that you can now forecast the economy, healthcare, and other aspects of what can disrupt life, I think, is gone. Now we’re in an environment where we’ve also learned that what you really need to have a handle on are the metrics, insights, and what’s actually happening on the ground—the dashboard of daily life”. (Source: http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/business-in-2020-and-beyond?cid=eml-web)

Best practice leaders have been early adopters of business intelligence (BI) platforms displaying real time data in dashboard visual format to enable significantly faster decision-making process.

They have tended to be larger organisations that can afford the significant platform investment and it has been combined with business improvement that is constantly being fine-tuned bring unprecedented rates of change.

Now technology is available that has brought about a quantum reduction the required investment. Imagine what is going to happen now business intelligence is within the reach of all sized organisations…