Quality 4.0 holds the potential to provide innovative new business models, particularly for smaller firms. (Radziwill, 2020). While the financial investment in technology will be a constraint for some organizations, the reality for most is that the customers and end-users will increasingly expect businesses to respond to their needs for customization and enhanced customer experience. Ibarra et al (2018) suggest several different approaches for new business models.
Organizations should move from a product-focus to a service-focus of which products are simply one component. The Product-Service System (PSS) is a framework that integrates product development and offerings to provide customizable solutions that meet specific customer needs and are co-created with the customer.
As demonstrated by Logistics 4.0, organizations must look beyond vertical integration and embrace both horizontal and vertical integration across the value chain. This integration will blur the line between one organization and the other and even between customer and producer. Information, flowing bi-directionally across the entire system, will create new value using Information 4.0 technology.
The Voice of the Customer (VoC) will be a primary motivator in new business models inspired by Quality 4.0. Customers will become co-creators of value and will participate in the creation of their own customer experience. Businesses will use these new and emerging technologies to listen to and analyze VoC and to build customer-centric ecosystems that extend their value beyond individual markets and value chains.
In this blog series, we have examined the basic principles of Quality 4.0 and how connected, intelligent, automated technologies add value in different fields. Despite the technology-centric promotion of Industry 4.0 practices, these new approaches are still built on the foundation of people, processes, and tools working together. Purchasing sensors and collecting data will provide no benefit to a business that maintains poor processes or has a chaotic and discontented workforce with poor quality culture. To reap the full benefits of today’s industrial revolution, organizations should look beyond the new technologies and approach transformation holistically.
Ibarra, D., Ganzarain, J., & Igartua, J. I. (2018). Business model innovation through Industry 4.0: A review. Procedia Manufacturing, 22, 4-10.
Radziwill, N. (2020) Connected, Intelligent, Automated: The Definitive Guide to Digital Transformation and Quality 4.0. Quality Press: Milwaukee, WI. 545 pp. Available from https://amzn.to/2L7fj8E