Quality 4.0 - or what should not happen with Digitization!

More than 20 years ago, the productivity and rationalization wave boomed among companies. At that time, it was still referred to as MES - Manufacturing Execution System: at the forefront, quality assurance as the driver of effectiveness and the KPIs for rationalization approaches. With IT in tow, expectations in respect of "Q" and process optimization increased year by year. If we follow this path with digitization, then, in terms of the information explosion and Big Data, nothing can go wrong. Do you think so? Not even close!

Only three IT generations later, everyone is talking about Industry 4.0, IoT, M2M and Quality 4.0, and using these terms to mean the complete integration of IT technology into everyday life. So far, so good! If only the experts were not sounding the alarm. One study shows that the Q-risk in businesses will cost over 200$ billion a year and only 48% of the respondents saw quality in their company as being adequately secured! And this is still the case after such a long time and with all of the available possibilities present? What is the trigger? Here, everyone is once again in agreement: "The new agility level, the increased product complexity, increased software share, etc." Who would have thought?

As an "everyday person", one could also say: "Established self-evidentness, missing CIP and, above all, engagement that has gone to sleep" - because the IT will sort it all out! NOT CORRECT!

The innovations only come from us when we are ready to accept change on the path towards digital transformation, instead of only thinking about which and how many jobs are eliminated, which methods will be different and which tasks will be taken over by robots. Some people feel the cold sweat of fear on their foreheads, their minds spinning, before coming to the realization: "I can’t do anything about it anyway, except participate!" No, that’s not the way it should be, as, if it is, in 20 years’ time, we won’t even have reached the "adolescence" of digitization. So, let's take the study seriously, dear Digital Natives.

My conclusion: digitization can only be achieved if we take responsibility and see the inormation flow as an opportunity, not as a playground on the banks of the river of carelessness when it comes to the handling of data. If we are ready to change and gain confidence in the viral (invisible) worlds of designing production and organizational processes. This requires not only creative energy – today’s IT can do almost everything – but, above all, simply chatting, talking shop, we thinking, tackling head-on, informing and motivating oneself (terms which will hopefully still be relevant in 20 years’ time). This way, we can hope that Digitization 4.0 won’t need to be rebooted again, in the same way that, today, the "established quality management" is! 

A historical sentence fits quite well: "Never stand still, always progress" (remember that?)

In that spirit, I urge you, too, to be a Digitalist - an optimist - a participant.
Your Steffen Schaar

P.S.: The DiALOG Forum is a great place to meet lots of People 4.0...