By Jim Thompson
In a word: Service. With the coming of IoT or Industry 4.0, companies are going to have more data than ever before. This is a two-way street.
First, the producer companies, the manufacturers, are going to have more data about their production and their logistics. They can use this to temporarily gain a competitive advantage by bringing their customers more into the loop, e.g., your order was produced today to your specifications, it will be on the trucks tonight schedule to arrive at your facility at 10 am Thursday. After all, if Amazon can tell me to the minute when I am going to get a $15 order, it should be the same for $50,000 worth of paper, don't you think?
Second, customers will be able to tell producers, within 3 mm, exactly where the flaw was in the paper they bought which caused their (press) (box making equipment) (converting line) to incur a break and a loss. Essentially vision and finer resolution is coming all the way around.
In the end, of course, the final customer receives a better product and their expectations are raised.
In the meantime, those early to the game will enjoy a competitive advantage until everyone catches up and there is no choice but to produce to these new, higher standards.
In the stock market, this translates to the fastest and most successful will be rewarded on Wall Street first, and with a momentum the "me too" companies may not be able to catch for some time.