Sometimes referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0 is the current movement of automation and data exchange, specifically in manufacturing technologies. This includes newly mainstreamed technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing.
Beyond manufacturing, however, Industry 4.0 is becoming the prevailing standard also for finance, new technologies, and collaboration, which results in the need to embrace some new ways of thinking. This ability to move with Industry 4.0 is going to become what sets modern finance workers apart from their predecessors. Accounting software for manufacturing can help move businesses into Industry 4.0.
Two Realities of Industry 4.0
There are two Industry 4.0-driven realities that separate modern finance workers from those who came before:
- Modern Industry 4.0 savvy finance professionals are increasingly conversant with technology
- They are capable of creating strategies that both motivate and capitalize on technology expenditures
For some, that creates a departure from the old days, when strategizing was rarely more important than managing the growth and preservation of capital. In order to remain competitive in a tech-dominated world, large investments must be made in nascent technologies, many of which are more difficult to assess for ROI than expenditures of the past when capital expenditure walked hand-in-hand with economies of scale.
Expanding the Scope of the Modern Finance Pro
Today’s shift from economies of scale to economies of technology means that finance workers are asked to assess, recommend, and help implement major IT projects. The problem then becomes that most finance workers won’t spend money on a technology they do not understand. Which means the modern finance professional must expand their scope to include a deeper understanding of technologies, as well as their financial ramifications, and opportunities.
The changing scope of financial workers is nowhere more apparent than in the CFO’s office. The modern CFO is champing at the bit to create digital disruption within his or her own organization. To effect change, the modern CFO is motivated to forge a strong connection with the CIO. While it has always been important for finance and technology to work together, today it’s a make-or-break alliance. If CFOs and CIOs are not on the same page, IT spending is much less likely to align with strategy, support leadership’s priorities, create tangible value, improve business performance, or drive growth.
The Industry 4.0 Innovation Prerequisites
Fortunately, embracing Industry 4.0 can begin with a technology most companies already have: enterprise resource planning (ERP) software—accounting software for manufacturing. ERPs provide the greatest asset: data. Three ways your ERP can help your company get ready for Industry 4.0 innovation include:
- Data presented in a timely, accurate, usable manner
In the past, business decisions were often made with inadequate or incomplete information. Today, we are inundated with data; thus, the problem is not its lack, but the ability of business systems to gather and present what companies need in a timely, accurate, and usable manner.
- Ensure your ERP is “Industry Built”
With so many ERPs available, how do you choose the correct one? Processes can vary enormously between industries, and the finances and operations of a widget maker are not the finances and operations of a food & beverage company. Unfortunately, thousands of companies have implemented ERPs that were initially designed for companies in other industries. Which means that despite their best intentions, they’re only contributing to the high rate of ERP implementation failures and dissatisfaction.
- Your ERP should be your company’s Single Source of Truth (SSoT)
At the end of the day (and the end of the quarter, and the end of the year) it is extremely important that your numbers reconcile. This is much more likely with an ERP that promises an SSoT than it is with an ERP that’s been patched and modified with ad hoc solutions, especially if those solutions require their own databases. To realize the benefits of Industry 4.0, your data must be pure.
Get Your Next Generation Financial Software
As accounting software for manufacturing, an ERP solution such as SYSPRO provides huge value by providing intelligent Corporate Performance Management (CPM) capabilities that specifically integrate tools from Industry 4.0, including Augmented Analytics, which Gartner claims will be a significant driver of new purchases by 2020.
Even if you don’t feel 100 percent tech savvy, the good news is that the right software partner can take that load off your shoulders and help you find the right ERP system for your business and all your Industry 4.0 planning. PositiveVision has been a business software provider of choice since 2002 and features strategic partnerships with SYSPRO, Sage, and other popular ERP providers. Let our experts help your team fill the spaces between where you are and where you need to be with your ERP to position yourself for Industry 4.0 success. Find out how today.