Strategic Roadmapping Towards Industry 4.0 for Manufacturing SMEs
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In recent years, there is a growing focus on the role of small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs), and their development towards Industry 4.0. One way of supporting SMEs in this effort, is by utilizing the method of strategic roadmapping. This article presents a) a theoretical framework for the use of strategic roadmapping towards industry 4.0, and b) insights from a validation of the framework in four pilots - Norwegian manufacturing companies. The framework offers a systemic view of the company by focusing on five dimensions: business and strategy, product, customers and suppliers, production processes, and factory and infrastructure. Simultaneously, the framework offers a stepwise method to look at these five dimensions from a strategic perspective in a holistic way. The empirical data from the pilot companies offer insights on how the companies take up the strategic roadmapping method into their strategic operations, as well as which topics related to Industry 4.0 get integrated into their future vision, strategies and plans. The results indicate that the use of the strategic roadmapping method supports companies in seeing diverse routes towards Industry 4.0 and provides support in prioritizing relevant projects and activities.