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Design Insights: “The Tyranny of Now”; Forward to a Data-Driven Future

April 15, 2021
A review of the day’s top trending stories from Machine Design editors.

“The Tyranny of Now”

The global pandemic has changed how we interact with one another in many places, but one of the most profound changes has been in terms of acquiring the goods and services we use each day. The traditional concept of “retail” has been turned around, which will impact product development, production and the in-store shopping experience.

Bernard Biolchini, EVP of Dematic, talked about some of those changes at Hannover Messe’s virtual event this week. “Post-pandemic retailers will have to consider how to make the in-store shopping experience feel innovative and completely fresh,” Biolchini said.

After COVID, Biolchini predicts a “pendulum swing” in which there will be an uptick in in-person shopping and a decrease in e-commerce. He advised retailers and B2B traders to integrate online and in-person businesses to advance the customer experience while keeping costs low.

“The shift to online ordering—click and collect—and home delivery is favored by the rising expectation of speed,” he said. “That’s what we call ‘the tyranny of now.’”

Forward to a Data-Driven Future

Another session at Hannover Messe focused on how manufacturing plants have adapted to the pandemic, including a look at the way data now informs with decisions on a continuous basis.

Executives from Bosch and Estee Lauder provided examples of the technologies they use, best practices on implementing them and how we can leverage other technologies to take charge of our individual Industry 4.0 journeys.

Both companies have a “future-forward” approach to their digital transformation. For Bosch, it’s about standardization, modularity and data. In order to achieve those, they connected with their employees.

“You need to be hyperconnected,” said Bernd Heinrichs, executive VP and chief digital officer of mobility solutions at Bosch. “You need to leverage what you get out of it and put it into data so you can make data-driven decisions.”

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