EarlyBirds believes that organisations involved in manufacturing and distribution need to create a commercial and technical edge to stay ahead of their competitors and remain relevant to their customers. While the pandemic may have brought this to the spotlight, it will remain relevant long after Covid-19 ceases to make headlines.
Australia based EarlyBirds, a Business to Business (B2B) platform for innovators and early adopters to exchange value early on, is reaching out to the wider community to share insight on the use of actionable innovation in manufacturing. Those who want to learn more about EarlyBirds can visit their website for more information: Earlybirds.io.
Innovation is driven by a variety of factors: the need to increase market share and productivity (and thereby increase profitability), maximise the return on investment for shareholders and so on. However, businesses also have to respond to the evolving challenges of customer demand and other external challenges. While the Covid-19 pandemic is an excellent case study of a disruptive environment in which businesses have been forced to innovate in order to survive, EarlyBirds was founded on the premise that innovation itself needs to be disruptive in order to drive progress.
Like many others, EarlyBirds considers the pandemic to be more of a catalyst than a cause of disruption when it comes to manufacturing, given that the world has already been well on its way to digitisation in recent years. This is evident in the fact that businesses with enough foresight were already taking matters into their own hands and implementing new technologies and procedures that could drastically improve their output and efficiency, such as converting manufacturing sites into smart factories that can analyse and regulate themselves.
This trend is often referred to as Industry 4.0, and it describes how businesses are swiftly increasing their involvement in automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. This includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and cognitive computing and so on.
One notable aspect that defines this shift is the decentralisation of industrial control systems — instead of production being defined from a central point and then replicated throughout the network, smart products will continuously provide feedback that will automatically generate the data needed to make localised adjustments in real-time. This will be supported by Industrial IoT, which connects physical and digital systems harmoniously and would ideally allow them to function almost totally absent of human intervention (once established).
In practice, systems that are fully integrated in this way will have the enormous benefit of being able to predict the state of their own operation over a given period. This effectively means that a proactive approach can be taken to avoid downtime, maximise output and eliminate waste. EarlyBirds shares that many opportunities exist here for innovators who can build systems that can both identify and limit points of failure autonomously.
The implementation of Industry 4.0 will require a comprehensive look at the full value chain, beginning with suppliers and the components required for smart manufacturing. Every step leading up to the product’s final destination must be considered and connected (the more data points a system has, the more accurate its predictions and effectiveness) all the way to the end customer.
EarlyBirds points out that updates of this sort are already visible in the distribution stage. In the US, for instance, long haul trucks form the backbone of many networks, and it is essential for these vehicles to travel using the most efficient routes in order to minimise fuel consumption and delays. The IoT is well in evidence here, and innovators have already identified a massive opportunity in making trucking more efficient by pairing a slew of electronic monitors, GPS receivers, RFID systems and more with the pre-existing network of physical devices, appliances, vehicles and so on for data collection and communication. While many believe that fully autonomous electric trucks are the future of this industry, such a future will be many years (if not decades) in the making, and there is a great deal of work left for innovators who can help improve driver safety, retention and even compliance with government regulations.
A simple example of an advantage provided by IoT integration is the ability to detect roads with heavy traffic or highly adverse weather conditions in real time. Truckers who once contacted each other by radio to warn of such conditions can now be informed immediately — and accurately — while on their route.
Examples such as these are numerous. EarlyBirds believes that organisations involved in manufacturing and distribution need to create a commercial and technical edge to stay ahead of their competitors and remain relevant to their customers. While the pandemic may have brought this to the spotlight, it will remain relevant long after Covid-19 ceases to make headlines.
EarlyBirds is positioning itself as a medium through which such actionable innovation can be pursued. Their members currently comprise more than two million Innovators who can either list their existing products on the platform or offer their expertise to Early Adopters who are looking for more bespoke solutions.
Using the EarlyBirds platform and open ecosystem, both Innovators and Early Adopters can discover, interact with and explore and learn about innovations and challenges. The EarlyBirds platform also has a number of other built-in features that can initiate collaboration, arrange a trial or a proof of concept and facilitate the purchase of a product or service.
To learn more about EarlyBirds and their wide-ranging services, the company encourages both businesses and innovators to visit their website. Those interested may reach out to Kris Poria or Jeff Penrose of EarlyBirds via email or phone to follow up on any further inquiries. Read further about the role of Early Adopters and the advantages they wield here: https://earlybirds.io/en/early_adopter.