iSoftStone: Pathfinder of Intelligent Manufacturing
A decade ago, domestic science fictions were no stranger to such scene: Scientists used computers to promote manufacturing, cutting-edge scientific research, and even predict the future of the universe. Even Cixin Liu, author of The Three Body Problem, cannot but follow the conventional practice. Today in China, such scene is no longer a mere science fiction. Rapid technological development makes “fantasy” a decade ago a reality in every factory.
From OEM at the bottom of the industrial chain to industrial digitization, China, thanks to the efforts of countless scientific researchers in industrial upgrading, has made remarkable achievements in its 40 years of reform and opening up. Founded in 2001, iSoftStone is the leader in empowering industrial upgrading under the wave of industrial upgrading. In response to the Guidance on Deepening Integration of Manufacturing Industry and Internet and the Intelligent Manufacturing Development Plan (2016-2020) and other relevant policies issued by the State, iSoftStone has made great achievements in the field of intelligent manufacturing. On the IDC Digital Transformation Summit 2019, iSoftStone shared its high-quality cases with peers and received unanimous recognition in the industry.
Why iSoftStone is the pathfinder?
As a “world factory”, China has long been plagued by lack of technology and brands, making Made in China get both praise and blame. Although Chinese products are famous for their good quality and cheap price, they also face many negative comments of “low-end” and “copycat”. Therefore, digital transformation and upgrading in the manufacturing industry will not only make China a manufacturing power, but “cure” China's manufacturing industry.
iSoftStone has been engaged in intelligent manufacturing for over 10 years, and boasts rich industry consulting and implementation experience. By virtue of IoT, Internet, cloud computing, big data and other related information technologies, it may facilitate transformation and upgrading through various solutions such as “intelligent manufacturing platform”. Looking back, iSoftStone, thanks to its forward-looking layout, gains rapid development in such context to become a high-tech enterprise in China.
This “intelligent manufacturing platform” is a crucial achievement of iSoftStone after years of efforts. The platform may assist manufacturing enterprises from decision-making to implementation, from sales to production, from planning to design, from enterprise affairs to upstream and downstream industry chain service, and quickly build a unified information service center. In addition, it may ensure efficient information sharing among enterprises during the production process, fully integrate superior resources between enterprises, improve efficiency in each part of the industrial chain, and promote intelligent production of enterprises. Undoubtedly, its most crucial role is to help domestic enterprises to get rise of handicap of foreign countries in industrial digital transformation.
By virtue of its unique development layout, iSoftStone may safeguard Made in China without fear of foreign competition. It carries out research and development of “industrial Internet” from two aspects: One is to regard manufacturing industry as an industry from the perspective of industry; the other is to treat IoT and 5G as key technologies from a technical point of view.
The industrial cloud platform developed for the manufacturing business line realizes the overall collaboration from factory to customer and reduces communication and manufacturing costs. On the IoT technology line, iSoftStone has also built its own technology team. A number of university experts and iSoftStone engineers work together to facilitate application of algorithm in the industrial field. Such layout has not only achieved the effect of 1+1＞2, but constructed a technical system and business logic in the field of intelligent manufacturing. Most importantly, it helps China to stand firm in this round of technological change and compete with the Industry 4.0 proposed by Germany, an old manufacturing power, and trains talents and accumulates experience for the next industrial change.
Taking automobile manufacturing as an example. It is well known in the industry that the core localization of auto manufacturing can bring significant practical benefits to auto manufacturing enterprises. But until 2013, a well-known domestic OEM manufacturer was still using foreign Hermès system. After becoming its software supplier in 2014, iSoftStone customized and developed a domestic system that could reduce maintenance costs by RMB15 million per year. Leaving aside the actual benefits, the system also lays the foundation for future digital upgrading and industrial Internet construction.
The following year, iSoftStone, based on this management software, made further progress in the company's production line: Cross-brand and cross-factory flexible production. Since then, the OEM auto manufacturer has been carrying out cross-brand and cross-factory production, thereby achieving hourly capacity sharing. This complex system efficiently integrates production capacity of enterprises. When it is necessary to change the processing products, the whole system can finish the processing of new products quickly and automatically according to the new requirements by changing the production planning information, technical parameters and processing procedures transmitted to the information system. It perfectly avoids overcapacity and undercapacity, and truly achieves a modern factory in line with market demand.
After years of mutual trust and cooperation, iSoftStone continues to optimize and upgrade the system, further saving more costs for the company. Besides, it realizes small-batch, multi-batch and flexible production to meet the unique demands of the company.
The following data can truly reflect the improvement brought about by iSoftStone:
In terms of logistics management, it helps to improve inventory accuracy by 5% ~ 50%; eliminates redundancy and missing records, reduces inventory holding cost, and reduces inventory by 8% ~ 15%; reduces associated cost of physical inventory by 75%; reduces overdue product scrap by 13%-30%; and improves the overall warehouse productivity by 10% ~ 25%. In terms of personnel, it directly saves personnel by 20% ~ 30% and indirectly saves personnel by 15% ~ 25% (such as warehouse administrators).
If science fiction is man's exploration of the future in the field of thought, iSoftStone can be said to be the real “pathfinder” in the real world.
For the manufacturing industry, factory capacity upgrading and digital transformation, not like a new technology concept or faddish product in the Internet industry that vanish as soon as they appear, may help to identify and solve problems in the production process. Also, some forward-looking business leaders will implement technologies in a top-down manner.
Thanks to such characteristic of the manufacturing industry, iSoftStone may establish a long-term industry-university-research cooperation and collaborative education mechanism through a decade year of efforts in innovation and sustainable development. In addition, a range of innovative R&D organizations worldwide, including 30 capability centers, 10 research institutes and over 50 technology ecological partners, are also boosting the development of China's manufacturing industry and rejuvenating China's intellectual exploration of cutting-edge technologies and commercial applications.