SMEs in Failed Transition Towards Industry 4.0: A case study of a Czech SME
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With upcoming new smart technologies, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) have to deal with the implementation of industry 4.0 and smart principles. Being known for their constraints in human, technical, and financial resources, SMEs may struggle in the transition phase during introducing industry 4.0. A case study from the Czech Republic should shed some light on the opportunities and issues of the introduction of industry 4.0 in an SME in practice. With an initial plan to target the introduction of industry 4.0 in six steps, the company and its transition project had been overseen in the course of four years, in which the company was able to achieve the first steps of the project successfully. However, the core of industry 4.0 principles was overthrown due to missing expertise and resources. Sum-up meetings and expert interviews in the company created the picture that the company and its workers did not fully understand the core of industry 4.0 due to this missing expertise. This company overrated its abilities, and as a result, the company confirmed that the self-set initial project was out of its research and out of its interest. This paper suggests that SMEs do not only struggle with the resources, but also with the expertise and the management support in terms of difficulties concerning new technologies. With the threat to go into a failed transition, SMEs may need to acquire external expertise in order to be prepared for the upcoming challenges.
Document typePeer reviewed
Document versionFinal PDF
SourceJournal of Innovation and Business Best Practice. 2021, vol. 2021, issue 1, p. 1-16.
- Ústav managementu