The backbone of Dutch industry and a global player in niche markets? That's the manufacturing industry. The industry was long known for transferring production to low-wage countries. Fortunately, this trend is declining. Now, we can say with unreserved pride: 'Made in the Netherlands'.
Our focus has shifted, and we're standing on the brink of major change: the fourth industrial revolution, and this revolution is characterised by digitisation. We know this is more than a pure pipe dream. Digitisation can already be seen in our daily work.
We're cramming machines with sensors to collect data and to predict maintenance (predictive maintenance). Machines and people are also connected, so the technician receives a notification via his/her smartphone that maintenance is required (smart mobility). Consequently, a wealth of data is collected, business models change and uptime is sold rather than production.
A technician's work is increasingly digital. Work processes are digitised, and the technician is guided by a task orientation. Via his/her smartphone, the technician has up-to-date, real-time information about the machine's malfunction and its components. Whereas a technician used to have to drop by to determine the issue ... only to have to consult old drawings of the machine, now he/she can scan the product's QR code to identify what type it is and, because we can collaborate via a platform, we can share real-time, up-to-date information.
Increasingly, developing and integrating software is essential to the core processes of manufacturing companies. For the foreseeable future, operational processes will become ever more digitised. The leading companies in the manufacturing industry currently almost resemble software companies. And operational processes will increasingly rely on digitisation in the coming years. That's why software development is increasingly becoming a core process of companies.