Comment: Successfully scale industry 4.0 with no-code tech

No-code tools are a cost-effective resource that can be used to improve data visibility on factory floors, says Olivier Maes, co-founder and CRO, Baserow.


Industry 4.0 promises manufacturers the potential to optimise their operations by unlocking insights from data to create organisational agility and increase return-on-investment.  As supply chain disruptions and talent shortages continue to create bottlenecks for UK manufacturers, driving efficiency on the factory floor is an essential mix in improving profitability.  

In the current economic climate, there is immense pressure for digitisation to yield rapid results, and when that is not the case, manufacturers are left with significant sunk costs. Consequently, accelerating industry 4.0 can sometimes seem a daunting endeavour especially for small and medium-sized manufacturers who cannot afford for initiatives to lag behind. 

Perhaps this reluctance has contributed to why 96 per cent of UK manufacturers believe there is underinvestment in digitisation programmes across the industry. Additionally, more than half (56 per cent) reported to have lost sales due to a lack of investment in new technologies.

However, the introduction of new technologies is critical for manufacturers to increase visibility across their factory operations by using already available data differently.  Without this crucial step, it becomes difficult to progress industry 4.0 journeys. 

For instance, no-code or low-code tech are enabling modern manufacturers to address the biggest transformation challenges as well as scaling industry 4.0 initiatives in their operation.

The digitisation challenge in manufacturing

Having an accurate overview of manufacturing operations allows the management team to identify where inefficiencies and bottlenecks are. 

For industry 4.0 to yield expected results, manufacturing leaders require access to abundant and accurate information about their manufacturing plants. A data-driven culture not only drives industry 4.0 forward, but also improves the organisation’s agility to respond to market needs.

It is troubling then to see research suggesting 30 per cent of UK manufacturers do not collect or collate data systematically, with 38 per cent currently making no use of analytics. Furthermore, 54 per cent of manufacturers say they continue to rely exclusively on leaders’ intuition to inform business decisions.


It is time to remove guesswork and start making evidence-based decisions. Relying on manual data collection is the biggest obstacle to achieving a data-driven culture because manual processes are time consuming, prone to human-errors, and can lead to data silos. 

No-code tools are a cost-effective resource that can be used to improve data visibility on factory floors. Non-technical users are empowered to drive digitisation in their daily tasks. They can digitise data collection and increase efficiency powered by data insights.

Successful industry 4.0 starts with digital visual management 

A great way manufacturers can easily implement no-code to create a data-driven culture is through digital visual management. 

Companies such as Groupe Atlantic, a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning manufacturer, and leading global fastening and assembly solutions provider Araymond have saved up to 700 hours of manual work per user per year, by replacing tedious manual data capture with smart, connected systems. Improving the processes surrounding data capture through low-code tech stands manufacturers in good stead to successfully accelerate industry 4.0. Understanding how and where to optimise operations through digital transformation starts with greater visibility into what is happening day-to-day on the factory floor.

How have they done this?

Firstly, no-code tools can optimise data capture processes to improve the quality of data gathered. Frontline workers can create custom templates and forms to make data collection quicker and more accurate. Users can also assign commands and actions for each data input eliminating the need to manually input data into reports or notify process owners on updates. 

Secondly, no-code can be used to increase visibility into daily operations. Digital visual systems can connect to multiple sources of data which are automatically fed into easy to understand dashboards presenting key information. Having this data readily available can significantly speed up and improve decision-making. 

Finally, visual management systems can be used by manufacturing leaders to monitor progress on all tasks in real-time. They can assign an action or follow-up to resolve a flagged item, set due dates and priority levels, and assign them to the relevant team members. Increased visibility drives improved production as managers can see the impacts of initiatives on key performance indicators (KPIs). They can also visualise Andon systems to highlight where bottlenecks may be coming from.


The promise of industry 4.0 to unlock operational data is attractive to many manufacturers as they face economic uncertainty and rapidly changing customer demands. However, before looking to introduce new digital initiatives or scale existing ones, manufacturing leaders must ensure they have visibility into their daily operations. This is where digital visual systems powered by no-code can be used to create a data-driven culture that promotes greater productivity across the factory floor and helps scale industry 4.0.

Olivier Maes, co-founder and CRO, Baserow