At Automation Fair in Chicago Rockwell Automation and Accenture’s Industry X.0 announced plans to team up to develop a digital offering to help industrial clients move beyond existing manufacturing solutions to transform their entire connected enterprise.

“With this agreement with Accenture we are able to take the ability to unlock additional productivity in industrial companies to a new level,” Blake Moret, Rockwell Automation Chairman and CEO, said. “It’s about game changing digital transformation and Rockwell is very happy to now be working with an absolute leader in this space.

“One of the fundamental principles of our work together is there had to be tangible value; it couldn’t just be a handshake and a smile although there were a few of those. It had to be about quantifiable value and so over the last six months we developed an application for supply chain optimization in life sciences and food and beverage. Those are two important industries that have a lot of opportunity to scale, it’s been a good series of first impressions.

The engagement is designed to capitalise on the expertise of both companies to deliver new capabilities for greater industrial supply chain optimisation. By providing customers with a single, trusted provider of digital solutions, the collaboration will enable clients to more effectively leverage the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and ultimately drive measurable growth outcomes.

Encouraged by initial industry feedback to these types of digital offerings, the two companies have begun working together to develop solutions and services that create value along the industrial value chain. To date, the collaboration has yielded, among other early-stage successes, a prototype for supply chain management designed to deliver supplier cost optimization and an improved ability to track the exact movements of products – two particularly important areas of investment for industrial companies seeking growth.

Rockwell Automation will provide leading industrial automation technology and domain expertise, including FactoryTalk InnovationSuite IIoT software, and analytics solutions. It will also bring network services, operational technology security, and application development, installation, integration and support. Accenture will provide enterprise business and technical capabilities, including consulting, analytics, application development, systems integration, change management and support.

“The first thing is we love Rockwell’s open innovation approach and vision to really help clients think about where value can be created, not just with what’s inside the walls of the plant, but looking across their supply chains and their ecosystems and thinking about how you can partner together to do something new and interesting,” Mike Sutcliff, group chief executive of Accenture Digital, added. “I think our teams have been surprised at how quickly and easily they have come together to look at quality efficiency throughput. Not just within the boundaries of factories, they look at optimisation inside the factory, optimisation across the supply chain, optimisation across the enterprise, and they have come up with some very good use cases.

“What has excited us is the ability to work in specific industries around specific value propositions. Where we can talk about what is going to impact the income statement, the balance sheet, how we are going to start at one part of the enterprise and move across to really create value of speed. We are looking forward to repackaging that and bringing them out to the industry together

“We are really collaborating with the ecosystem and thinking very clearly about where value can be created. Rockwell have already invested in factory innovation and are a clear leader in the space, so bringing that together with our capabilities we are pretty sure we can help the industry move more quickly.