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LEADERSHIP AND CAPABILITY ARE THE KEY FOR 4.0 PROGRESSION

How Digitization Is Potentially Changing The Game And The Rules

by Filippo Mantegazza

Returning from Barcelona, where I attended the World Congress for IOT Solutions
#IOTSWC19
, I brought back 3 strong impressions:

  1. Connectivity is a fact, even becoming a commodity.
  2. We are starting to see many instances of IoT in Manufacturing and Supply Chain and a lot of application of Advanced Analytics, but we still do not see a well progressed 4.0 transformation. This will be the next step.
  3. What is key for the next step, apart from the architectural capability, is the ability to develop people with new leadership and new capability, new roles, new knowledge and new skills.

This is where we must focus our efforts.

DIGITIZATION IS POTENTIALLY CHANGING THE GAME AND THE RULES

Today, companies spend a lot of time experimenting because they do not feel ready. On the one hand, Leadership is preaching and promoting digitization but on the other, there isn’t a clear vision of how to get there and there are many concerns about the potential consequences for the business.

This is understandable, leaders may fear jumping into the unknown. Digitization is potentially changing the game and the rules, and it is not yet clear in which way, and how to align people’s competences with this change. In addition, the digital change requires a lot of trust; trust in the fact that the digital infrastructure will be stable and will not disrupt the continuity of the business, trust that the team can grow and keep control, trust that when relying on such a powerful system it will not lead to a culture where no one takes responsibility but relies on the system to cope; the consequence being that competence and knowledge are lost.

DEFINING A STRATEGY IS KEY TO PROGRESS IN THE DIGITIZATION JOURNEY  

The good news is that, once we have defined a GOOD DIGITIZATION STRATEGY, companies do not have to jump in at the deep end, instead, they can progress step by step towards the vision, giving the team time to learn and adapt:

  • Working on PROCESSES to obtain WORLD CLASS DIGITALIZATION by exploiting all opportunities that these new technologies offer, to improve performance and reduce cost in all operations
  • Working on developing PEOPLE in terms of ADOPTION AND ENGAGEMENT, KNOWLEDGE, CAPABILITIES, SKILLS AND BEHAVIOR in order to make them able to stand out front and lead the future growth of the company
  • Working on the DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE by developing the conditions for agile and stable operations and exploiting the most advanced technologies in ANALYTICS AND ROBOTICS.

Today we are ready to define this good digitization strategy, we know what to do and how, both at the beginning of the program and during the program itself. We know how to govern the program and how to build central resources with partners and digital teams, as well as academies to guide and facilitate the journey. We can define the most relevant areas to start from and implement with success. And finally, combining new digital inputs with the LeanSigma-TPM experiences, many companies will be ready to build the capability needed to expand and scale up the solutions.

What is clear is that the moment to start is NOW and I’m sure that soon we will start seeing the first successes, where some excellent companies will really embrace and progress in the digitization journey in a radical way. 

About the author:

Founder of EFESO Consulting Group, CEO for 38 years and currently Vice President of the Supervisory Board, Filippo Mantegazza focus is Operation Strategy, Execution and Improvement, and in this field, he has been involved in hundreds of projects for Multinational Companies in highly competitive industrial sectors. Today he is responsible for the Buy & Build Strategy for the EFESO Group as well as on the development of Manufacturing 4.0.

After many years of cooperation with large public authorities and international experts as Fuji Consulting, the Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance and Richard J. Schonberger, a World Class Manufacturing guru, he led a team developing and implementing WCOMTM (World Class Operations Management).

Filippo Mantegazza is the author of many publications and has chaired international conferences in Europe, America and China.