Industrial manufacturing

Building the digital enterprise

Global Digital Operations Study 2018
'Digital Champions'

Digital operations, or Industry 4.0, is on the agenda of manufacturing companies around the globe. Yet most business leaders have still not come to terms with the challenges and opportunities of digital transformation or with the conceptual leap it represents.

PwC’s Strategy& surveyed 1,155 executives at global manufacturing companies in 26 countries and asked them about their views on Industry 4.0. and digital operations. Based on the outcomes, PwC developed a digital maturity index to explore the role of frontrunners - ‘Digital Champions’ - and what distinguishes them to outpace their competitors. We looked at how industry leaders build integrated operations ecosystems to deliver end-to-end customer relations.

Our research shows that Asian companies are far outmaneuvering their Western counterparts because they have the advantage of setting up robust digital operations from essentially a blank slate in terms of factory automation, workforce and even organization information technology networks. Industrial equipment companies turn out be more advanced but Automotive(20% Digital Champions) and Electronics (14%) are clearly the most digitally mature.

Industry 4.0 video:

Alongside analysis of the current status of the digital transformation, we looked at the unique characteristics of Digital Champions including their structural composition and the capabilities that set them apart. In doing so the report offers you practical steps to transform your company into a true digital leader.

Interested to read more?

Download the report

Global Digital Operations Study 2018 'Digital Champions'

What is industry 4.0

The fourth industrial revolution (also known as the Industrial Internet) - characterized by the increasing digitization and interconnection of products, value chains and business models - has arrived in the industrial sector and offers attractive opportunities. Industry 4.0 not only comprises the digitization of horizontal and vertical value chains but will also revolutionize the product and service portfolio of companies – with the ultimate goal of better satisfying customer needs.

The entire enterprise is transforming

To fully utilize the potential opportunities that Industry 4.0 offers, the implementation of new, often disruptive business models is required. The focal point of this transformation is increasing customer benefits through a growing range of value solutions (instead of products) and increased networking with customers and partners. The required insights for executives to take proper decisions that transform their company will come from the use of the growing amount of data and the analysis of the data.

Investments and new capabilities

Companies will need to master several challenges on the way to become an Industry 4.0 champion. Surveys have shown that industrial companies have recognized this and will invest almost 50% of the planned new capital investments in Industry 4.0 solutions. These investments will have to be used along the entire value chain in order to achieve the optimal customer satisfaction. Furthermore, sufficiently skilled personnel with new capabilities to meet the needs of the digital world must be ensured.

Industry 4.0 framework and contributing digital technologies
Industry 4.0 framework

Blueprint for digital succes

To move forward with Industry 4.0, acquiring and rolling out digital capabilities across your company are all-important. This process takes time, so in order to gain or retain first-mover advantage over your competitors, you will need top management commitment and significant implementation investments.

Industry 4.0 will be a huge boon to companies that fully understand what it means for how they do business. Change of this nature will transcend your company’s boundaries and lead to a complete transformation of your organization.

Based on hundreds of transformation projects with leading industrial companies, we have defined six practical steps your company needs to take to lead tomorrow’s competitive digital landscape.

Learn more about Blueprint for digital success

Blueprint for digital success


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Contact us

Bas Weber

Bas Weber

Partner, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)61 037 60 45

Costas Vassiliadis

Costas Vassiliadis

Senior Director, Supply Chain Analytics, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)62 009 53 72

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