Development of a discussion guide on industry 4.0 for consultants of the RKW-BW

As part of the “Industry 4.0 Quick Check” research project, the ILIN developed a guideline that enables management consultants to record and analyse the industry 4.0 readiness of a company in a structured manner. In order to develop a suitable methodology for a practicable quick check, existing readiness and quick checks for Industry 4.0 were systematically evaluated and compared. The ILIN also carried out several expert interviews in some of Baden-Württemberg’s pioneering companies with regard to industry 4.0 topics in order to obtain a well-founded overview of relevant topics and company strategies. This was followed by the conception and development of a web-based tool that uses 22 questions to provide a structured overview of a company’s industry 4.0 readiness and then processes important findings directly into graphics. The survey is divided into four relevant subject areas, namely Digitization Strategy, Smart Factory, Smart Products & Services and Employees & Competences. The questions included address topics such as (data) security, networking, digitization technologies, IT systems, the digitization of products and services, and the assessment of future employee needs. Usability is tailored to the use of consultants on site (without Internet connection). Individual questions can be skipped at will if necessary information is not available from the company or certain subject areas are deliberately omitted. At the end, the answers given can be exported as a PDF document together with the graphic analyses, so that the examined company can be given immediate feedback. The Industry 4.0 Quick Check has already been successfully used by several consultants at various companies in real operations.