Industry 4.0 – employees are the decisive success factor

Employees are the most important commodity and key success factor in shaping ‘Industry 4.0’ for a technology company such as HARTING. Consequently, the successful implementation of ‘Industry 4.0’ throughout its own company can only be ensured through the integration of the workforce at an early stage.

Leading the HARTING Technology Group: Philip Harting, Chairman of the Board and President/General Partner

Leading the HARTING Technology Group: Philip Harting, Chairman of the Board and President/General Partner.

Traditional tasks and activities at practically all levels, the form of cooperation, vertical and horizontal structures and processes and the related procedures are changing or being further optimised digitally. Although the exact course of events and the impact of the 4th industrial revolution cannot currently be fully predicted, the challenges set to change imminently, the complexity of cognitive and manual requirements and the (new) qualifications and skills expected of employees generally demand a high degree of flexibility, the willingness to change and learn, high levels of motivation and an open and positive attitude towards the opportunities and potential of integrated industry.

Knowledge, skills and on-going “perfectly tailored” training and development are and remain the main resources. The workforce at smart factories, in particular, must be able to manage the growing interdisciplinary approach that such intelligent plants demand. Technologies, production processes, data processing, data security and business processes, which will be incorporated into the overall procedures on a solution-oriented basis, will call for a high level of technological understanding and relevant qualifications on the part of individual employees.

The following scenarios are becoming apparent:

  • Employees require process knowledge and increasingly have an overview of the integral business process all the way through to the customer, and must have a grasp and understanding of all relevant processes;
  • They assume much greater job responsibility and should welcome knowledge sharing and cooperation;
  • They master complexity and must be able to better evaluate the consequences of their own actions in the process;
  • They will become even more flexible in terms of working hours and location, but also with regard to how they look at problems and their tasks;
  • Their real working world will increasingly fuse with the virtual one. Basic IT knowledge and management processes are essential;
  • More than ever, employees are called on to repeatedly acquire new knowledge.

HARTING will meet these challenges. The company is initiating, promoting and actively and creatively supporting qualifications, professional development, (re)training and all general and individual measures and steps needed to provide the workforce with the requisite skills to fulfil all organisational, technological and work-efficiency requirements and changes.

There is no doubt that people are and will remain the key success factor. Past experience confirms that HARTING and its employees are on the right track.

By Philip Harting, Chairman of the Board and President/General Partner of the HARTING Technology Group