Lighthouses have been around for a very long time; and even though they are not necessarily manned by lighthouse keepers anymore, they are still used to guide ships at sea or warn them of danger. Lighthouses have also come to symbolize guidance and overcoming challenges in life as well as in business – to show a way forward and help in navigating through the world.
The naming of “lighthouse factories” – forming the Global Lighthouse Network – has emerged in Manufacturing. The sector has experienced stagnating productivity for the last decade and needs innovation. Many manufacturers have resisted embracing the Forth Industrial Revolution which is heavily focused on the utilization of new technologies such as AI, cloud computing, robotics, and 3D printing among others. Early adopting “lighthouse” factories have on the other hand started to implement significant levels of advanced manufacturing and AI technology, putting them past the pilot stage where most manufacturers get stuck. The World Economic Forum in collaboration with McKinsey & Company have identified 44 model factories as “lighthouses” leading the way in the journey towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Forward-thinking adoption of leading technologies at large scales has resulted in significant increase in productivity with minimal displacement of workers – instead enhancing the work experience for the employees, raising skills and increasing engagement. According to a McKinsey Global Institute analysis, the frontrunners in AI adoption can anticipate a cumulative cash flow change of around 122% while the followers will only see a 10% change. Early adoption will be key to gaining the greatest benefit. Some of the most interesting takeaways from the “lighthouse” factories are as follows:
- Technology is working side by side with humans, not replacing them
- Big changes are being made instead of small incremental changes
- Teamwork and collaboration are crucial to innovation
- Big impact from innovation is not limited to large companies or the wealth of a country
- Adapting existing systems may work just as well as investing in new ones
One of the biggest fears is that technology will take away jobs and make humans obsolete. With the data and results coming out of the “lighthouse” factory project, this is proving to be unfounded. The “lighthouse” factories will continue to show the way forward and other industry sectors will have to follow suit if they haven’t done so already.
Find a “lighthouse” to guide your business or better yet become one to guide others forward. Take that big step to add technological innovation to your business. Find others like you who you can collaborate with. Be an innovator who changes the way of doing things. Align yourself with service providers who are also “lighthouse” companies. They are forward-thinking leaders in their own industries and will be able to provide you with innovative solutions to complement your core business.
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If you are intrigued by the lighthouse concept and would like to align yourself with a forward thinking business partner, contact us to book a free consultation.