Back to Operations Blog

Lighthouse manufacturers illuminate path to the next normal

The Global Lighthouse Network of leading manufacturers are using flexible automation, connectivity, and intelligence at scale to move further and faster than their peers. These organizations are convening Sept. 17 for the inaugural Lighthouse Annual Meeting.
Enno de Boer

Leads the firm’s global work in digital manufacturing and collaboration with the World Economic Forum on technology adoption

Around the world, there are factories lighting the path to the next normal by demonstrating how to reimagine and rebalance operations in the face of unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These companies have been able to move further and faster than their peers, exhibiting levels of resiliency that companies across all industries are now trying to attain. The Global Lighthouse Network of organizations—a collaboration between the World Economic Forum and McKinsey—understand the potential of technologies to increase resiliency, and enable their participation in the next normal.

Across sectors and industries, organizations of all sizes are using flexible automation, connectivity, and intelligence at scale. This level of agility and resiliency sits at the core of true Fourth Industrial Revolution innovation. And in the current context of unprecedented challenge, these Lighthouses can guide us into a stronger, resilient future.

As a fellow manufacturing leader, you are invited to join us for the inaugural Global Lighthouse Network Annual Meeting to learn how organizations of all sizes are reimagining operations, and register your interest in becoming part of this network of influential innovators.

How are some organizations beating the odds of success?

Manufacturing has experienced a decade of productivity stagnation and demand fragmentation; thus innovation has been long overdue. The World Economic Forum, in collaboration with McKinsey, launched an unparalleled assessment of over 1,000 manufacturing sites globally. Since that time, the assessment has found 44 leading companies, with an additional 10 joining this month, that are succeeding in the adoption of 4IR technology at scale.

Where Fourth Industrial Revolution innovation has been taken to scale beyond the pilot phase, unprecedented increases in efficiency have occurred, with minimal displacement of workers. However, most companies appear to be stuck in “pilot purgatory.” By contrast, this select group of manufacturing sites represent the leading edge of technology adoption at scale. They demonstrate how forward-thinking engagement of technology can create a better, cleaner world through new levels of efficiency in manufacturing. Likewise, they illustrate how Fourth Industrial Technology at scale can transform the nature of work itself by upskilling and engaging human workers with minimal displacement.

Common elements distinguish Lighthouse organizations, and by harnessing these intelligent approaches to their business operations, they show what is possible with true 4IR innovation. They engage value drivers including big-data decision making, democratized technology on the shop floor, an agile working mode, and new business models. As a result, Lighthouses showcase notable, measurable improvements across several key performance indicators (KPIs), including productivity, sustainability and eco-efficiency, agility, speed-to-market, and customization.

The sheer range of use-cases across such a diverse collection of manufacturers makes clear just how much is possible for organizations willing to invest in transforming their operations. Learn more about this at the GLN Annual Meeting Industrial Operations: The Great Reset, which will include an announcement of newly appointed Lighthouses and interactive panel discussions on the digital transformation of operations.

Connect with our Operations Practice