Are You Ready for Industry 4.0?

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“Technology evolves rapidly while business models evolve slowly.”

We all are aware of the rapid changes that technology is bringing into our personal and professional lives. The changes are so profound that economic historians are coining this time of innovation and disruption as the Fourth Industrial Revolution or more colloquially as: “Industry 4.0.”

The challenge of meeting the challenges and opportunities of I 4.0 is a realignment of the corporate culture and organization to better integrate people and technology in an efficient way as rapidly as possible. Indeed, there are companies who have already successfully made those adaptations and are pulling ahead of the pack. However, human beings and management are normally resistant to change and address the need for change in two very distinct ways: proactively or reactively. However, in I 4.0 the paradigm is changing rapidly almost at the same pace of technology. So, for most companies, large and small alike, playing catchup is the management challenge of today.

Some companies are lucky enough to have the talent to successfully make the changes necessary, but for the vast majority, that talent is hard to come by…and even harder to keep. Ron Crabtree, CPIM, CIRM, an internationally recognized expert and author in cutting-edge business process improvement methodologies, saw the opportunity and need to create a resource of extreme experts in the field of change and adaptation to I 4.0. Thus, he established MetaExperts™, a division of Meta Ops™, dedicated to helping companies make the successful transition to I 4.0. Indeed, the term “meta ” is referring to what are the strongest strategies currently in practice.[1]

I asked Mr. Crabtree how he chooses his metaexperts™:

Crabtree: We look at the very top in their fields of expertise and invite them to apply and undergo our 300-point selection process. Typically, these are high-level professionals who have “been there and done that” when it comes to modern problem solving and actual IMPLEMENTATION OF SOLUTIONS. These are mature folks with tons of qualifications and experience who are either semi-retired or hang out their own shingle but prefer to work in the “Gig economy” helping the client by leverage their expertise and experience. Our formal description of our MetaExperts is:

“MetaExperts™ are extremely talented OpEx hands-on-deck consulting, training, and get-it-done partners. MetaExperts™ is not a consulting company, but a global network of OpEx deployment experts and resources for flexible, on-demand short-term contract or contract-to-hire needs. MetaExperts™ align with your industry and OpEx initiatives (i.e., successes in Lean, business process improvement, change management, etc.), and are vetted through our unique 300+ Screening and Evaluation Process that thoroughly vets each contender’s skill-set, tool-kits, and experience.”

Staff: What do you see as the main obstacles for management to make the needed changes?

Crabtree: Many executives don’t know what questions to even ask! As a result of that fact, we have established what we call “Remote Center Of Operational Excellence or RCoE™.”

Staff: What does the RCoE™ do, exactly?

Crabtree: About once a month, we offer a FREE Webinar open to all who are interested in engaging in the discussion of I 4.0 and the various methods of making a successful transition. We gather a panel of some of our over 30 experts to discuss certain topics as well as take Q&A from the audience. Each webinar lasts about 45 minutes.

Staff: Do you actually do any training at these Webinars?

Crabtree: No. We are focused on making managers aware of what is taking place and ideas of how to create initiatives for change within their own companies. Again, many folks aren’t even aware of the impact of NOT BEING PREPARED can have on a company’s future. For example, experience shows that employing the Lean Philosophy and its new applications can add 5 to ten times to sustainable ROI. That said, if attendees of the Webinar wish to pursue their interests, they can make contact with us to discuss their individual concerns.

Employing the Lean Philosophy and its new applications can add 5 to 10 times to sustainable ROI.

Staff: So, the free Webinars is a sales technique?

Crabtree: This is not the typical consultant model where an assessment is made, a scope produced and then the big project is taken on. Our concept is that our experts can make a quick and correct diagnosis based on experience and then help develop an effective initiative. Whether or not the client chooses to do the implementation or not, we are available either way.

Staff: How does the panel choose which subject to discuss for each Webinar?

Crabtree: It’s a collaborative methodology. Normally, we discuss what our experts see as the current topics of interest in their field: however, our webinars are pretty much free flow as we discuss questions of interest to the attendees. However, we do try to stay within our allotted 45-minute time slot.

Staff: Speaking of the timeslot, when is the next Webinar?

Crabtree: May 23rd at Noon Eastern Daylight time. The subject will start out with the discussion of bypassing an assessment and going straight to new initiative training. Again, we are open to discussing what questions our attendees ask. To help provide you readers with an actionable item, here is the link to reserve a spot for the webinar as well as a quick review of the panelists:

Register here: Wednesday, May 23rd at noon EDT. It’s FREE and lasts 45 minutes.    

Meet the Panelists

George Bowman, MBA, is the Executive Vice President of Operations for MetaOps, Inc./MetaExperts and an innovative and results-driven leader focused on achieving exceptional results in highly competitive markets. He’s an OpExpert experienced in driving product processes and customer improvements while building partnerships with key business decision makers. He consistently increases productivity, reduces operating costs, and improves product quality by utilizing world-class operating methodologies and teaching organizations’ teams to transform their culture so they can do the same.



Business Growth and MetaExpert Andy Goldstrom, MBA, expands companies profitably and does it fast. He is a sought-after consultant, speaker, trainer, and business growth expert.  Andy honed his craft as a senior executive at two companies that both earned Inc. 500 status. He leverages these experiences with an innovative and consultative management approach based on process industrialization and use of technology to help businesses and their leaders achieve their goals. What separates Andy is his ability to build and lead high-performance teams. Based on his engaging management style, Andy was asked to create a leadership development program at a major investment bank that was successfully delivered to over 1,000 professionals. He is also currently writing a book on the topic.



etaExpert Gregg Young has over 30 years’ experience leading problem-solving and innovation in a variety of manufacturing organizations. He is an OpExpert with extensive experience as a leader, instructor, coach, project practitioner, consultant, mentor, and problem solver for many high performing organizations. He improves business results by improving process effectiveness and efficiency. He leverages deep expertise, outstanding collaboration skills, and a bias for results to yield millions of dollars of bottom-line results. Mr. Young is the author of the book Reasoning Backward: How Sherlock Holmes Can Make You a Better Problem Solver.



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