Companies urged to adopt fourth Industrial Revolution solutions
By Staff reporter | 28 Apr 2020 at 00:09hrs
THE Covid-19-induced national lockdown presents a good opportunity for local companies to consider adopting 4th Industrial Revolution solutions to enhance their competitiveness, ZimTrade has said.
Riding on its skilled human capital and supportive infrastructure, the trade promotion body says it is easier for Zimbabwean companies to adopt 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) solutions, compared to other countries where, for example, there is limited access to internet. The 4IR is a term used to refer to a highly modernised technological production model.
"Therefore, the national lockdown is a ripe opportunity for local companies to adopt 4IR solutions, which will keep their staff connected, which in turn will reduce business down times," said ZimTrade in a statement.
It said although the adoption of 4IR solutions will require huge investments in some cases, there are readily available business-focused programmes that can help bridge the gap in the short term period as the nation is closed.
ZimTrade said as movement of people is presently being discouraged, 4IR business solutions will allow the company to stay connected with its workers, who in turn would continue offering service to clients.
"Thus, the failure of offices to open will not translate into huge losses for business as it will continue servicing its clients.
"However, for this to work, there is need to relook into the strategies as companies cannot continue doing 'business as usual'," it said.
The agency said this means that if the institutional strategy was anchored on staff being at work from 8am-5pm, there was a need to revisit that and ensure new demands and technologies adopted would assist in meeting company objectives.
It stressed the need for local businesses to invest in necessary infrastructure and systems that will enable 4IR solutions to contribute to timely meeting of targets.
"This can be anchored on the idea of "factory-eye" which provides decision makers and manufacturers with real time information into their operations."
According to a study by the African Development Bank in October 2019, 4IR has potential to transform Africa's economy, increase its productivity and enhance its global trade. ZimTrade noted that with the growing number of consumers and business users in Africa, coupled by improved internet connectivity, 4IR is fast becoming a reality in most African countries.
"Countries such as Rwanda and Kenya in East Africa have adopted the new technologies in areas such as aid distribution, medicine and agriculture," it said.