As part of our Industry 4.0 for Fridays, I realised we hadn't really delved into the idea of smart factories so I reached out to Fujitsu's Head of Smart Factory, Senior Director, Digital Transformation, and IIoT Ray Russ and invited him to come on the podcast.
Along with Ray, I also invited Vanessa Molina back on the podcast because Vanessa has worked with Ray in the past, and smart factories is kinda her wheelhouse too.
We had a truly fascinating conversation about smart factories and, as is often the case, I learned loads, I hope you do too...
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But interesting enough, we put augmented reality in our manufacturing plant. We make network communication devices as well. And we've been able to reduce assembly time by 40%.Tom Raftery:
Good morning, good afternoon or good evening wherever you are in the world. This is the digital supply chain podcast, the number one podcast focusing on the digitization of supply chain. And I'm your host, global vice president of SAP. Tom Raftery. Hi, everyone. Welcome to the digital supply chain podcast. My name is Tom Raftery with SAP. And with me in the show today, I have my two special guests, Vanessa and Ray, Vanessa and Ray, would you like to introduce yourselves with maybe Ray going first?Unknown:
Sure. Thanks, Tom. Ray Russ. I'm with Fujitsu. I am the head of all of our smart factory industrial IoT solutions for North America. Previously to this role, the last two years I was met as our SAP Center of Excellence for North America. So I've been in the sap ecosystem for about a little over 25 years, and specifically in manufacturing. So thanks for having me today, Tom.Tom Raftery:
No worries and Vanessa, welcome back. For people who might have missed your previous episode. Do you want to reintroduce yourself?Vanessa Molina:
Oh, yes. Thank you so much, Tom. And thanks Ray for for joining me in coming on today. My name is Vanessa Molina and I am the global director for industry for dot now at SAP is industry four dot o initiatives, I manage our global partners in helping them take their industry for strategies to market.Tom Raftery:
Fantastic, fantastic. And I should have mentioned at the outset that this is one of our industry for dot o for Friday's series. So welcome aboard everyone. And Vanessa, in our prep call. You mentioned the kind of the change the changing lane of business buying decisions. We had a bit of a chat about that. I thought you made a couple of interesting points there. So do you want to expound a little bit about that for people who are listening?Vanessa Molina:
Sure, thanks. So yeah, in my experience, over the course of the past four to five years, we've seen buying decisions moving away from it and moving more into the different lines of business. But I think for manufacturing and supply chain, it's been slightly different in that manufacturers and supply chain. It's not just the it and the operations that are happening. It's it operation technologies, and now we have engineering technologies that are affecting the entire organization. So line of businesses are super independent, interdependent, especially in this post COVID world it highlighted more than anything how interdependent they are. And despite the fact that they have different needs pains domains, they jointly decide on initiatives and purchases for these initiatives, because at the end of the day, they all benefit from them. And they all have the same pressure to be more agile to increase their response times to market conditions. So yeah, that's, that's one of the most dramatic changes, I think, when it comes to manufacturing and supply chain. And, you know, as I said, in our previous podcast, to me, this just underscores that, you know, industry for initiatives are really about data fabrics, its workflows, and processes beyond the four walls of the plant initiatives have to drive an operating model that aligns the factory with product development, product supply strategies, supply chain management, on how the business works. So, you know, This to me is is is really one of the biggest changes that you see.Tom Raftery:
Okay, and Ray comments on that.Unknown:
Yeah, you know, Vanessa, and we talked about biases and and how it's changed. You know, you and I have known each other for quite a while and what we what we saw early on, you know, the days of Fujitsu, about eight or nine years ago, we saw a lot of chaos Caesar, you know, pilots actually, or proof of concepts that were one offs. And they were pretty much managed by the IT department. And I think traditionally, as a systems integrator, we traditionally worked with the CIO, we saw a lot of projects failed, because it really wasn't working with the business, one of the largest areas of shadow it in a company or plant managers, because you're not getting what they need from enterprise IT. So you talked about it, OT and et integration, we saw a lot of projects actually get started because somebody gave someone something to a developer, they built out an application, send it down to the plant, the plant manager said, This is not what we needed. We had one particular customer said we had two shots at this, if we come in and do it again, we're going to fail. So we were brought in to help them. The first thing we did was get out of the plant, work with the operators work with the plant manager and help develop out that application and have been successful. The other thing we did is we saw the the decision making process change was because again, the business was not involved. The other thing we did, Vanessa is in term, you know, we looked at what a smart factory needed to be. So I took my team into a conference room in Chicago, locked ourselves in with a few days and a bunch of sticky notes and defined from a business perspective what a smart factory is. So from an attribute perspective, perspective, real time connected, intelligent, and then the domain areas that that a smart factory needed to focus on whether it be operations, maintenance, quality, and so forth, sustainability, and so forth in about eight or nine different domain areas. And then the third thing we focus on is a technology, whether it's an IoT platform, an MBs, solution, augmented reality, and so forth. But our approach was really to take a technology agnostic approach, when we started the framework go in to find the strategic outcomes that customers or clients looking for. And from a top down perspective, and then from a bottoms up actually doing the discovery and build up that long term framework. We also built in Michael hammers, process enterprise maturity model and a hybrid version that's specifically for manufacturing. So as you build out that framework in that roadmap, we can help them determine specifically where they're at along the roadmap at each different phase, to become a smart manufacturer.Vanessa Molina:
And, you know, right, this is why s eyes are so important to us. They really facilitate the alignment of business functions during the design, implementation and integration of new Tech's technology phase. And this results in better data collaboration, which is ultimately what we want for our customers.Unknown:
Yeah, that's a good point, you know, that I should, you know, work very closely with you and your team and the whole manufacturing team to make sure that we're working with you to, to define the solutions, what we're hearing from our customers, but also help your customers be more successful as they roll out SAP solutions,Tom Raftery:
right? I mean, that this smart factory framework you're talking about sounds really intriguing. Are there any successful implementations you can talk about?Unknown:
Tom? Absolutely. by two years ago, we got brought into a company that was struggling to implement SAP manufacturing solutions, EMI and NBS, we got brought in they had originally had 12 different MEMS solutions in 12 plants, but they had a total of 22 plants. We came in and implemented SAP EMI and MEMS, one instance, across 22 different plants integrated to the earpiece solution, this company makes about 40, or 50,000 orders a day 95% Custom orders, really a lack of visibility into the orders and a whip whip into production and inventory and so forth. Very successful go live. About six months later, I was on a manufacturing forum, virtual one This was earlier this year. And one of the executives on the on the forum happened to be the head of customer service for this company. Previously, she had to have and I'd never met her before. And I remember this early on in my career, somebody having to pick up the phone and call a plant to say okay, or call a planner and say where is this order at which plant and then call that plant and find out where it was in her customer service reps for under 50 them across the country had to do that, too. And then have to call back a customer to find out and let them know when the order be be ready. She told me that she had a real term real time visibility now retired team did log into the CRM system be talking to a contractor or a customer and be able to tell them exactly where the order is and when the ship date and when it would be on their on their doorstep. So great example what we're able to accomplish with this framework.Tom Raftery:
So huge uptake, obviously in customer satisfaction. Absolutely. Absolutely. And that's the whole the whole goal, right. Yep. Exactly. Exactly. Vanessa, for companies considering industry for Dotto proof of concepts. What advice?Vanessa Molina:
Great question, I would say first, don't just look at it from a cost cutting perspective for operational efficiency, which is very common right for plants and manufacturers to look at it, I actually take the suggestion that you should focus on the data, focus on processes focus on silos, raise example, just highlights, you know, really the the benefits that you can reap, from breaking down those silos and really looking at the processes and allowing the data to flow. This will allow you to, you know, get benefits of Process automation, or even hyper automation of common repeatable tasks. I would say robotics and machine learning, they can be leveraged more broadly. They can be applied to increasingly sophisticated tasks, you know, product development, manufacturing operations, supply chain, sales, marketing, and even customer services re highlighted. I would advise them to use caution with initiatives that are just technology projects at the site. It should be part of an end to end supply chain network design, or cascading strategy, basically, across the supply chain that that gives you better quantifiable business outcomes, kind of as Ray outlined in the smart factory methodology, I think, I think they do a great job of ensuring that the proof of value is tied to business outcomes. Okay,Unknown:
right. Yeah, Vanessa? That's a really good point. I mean, are the output of our smart factory frameworks exactly that tied to business value in the outcomes right? Your comment around the silos in the domain areas and process I think is really key. When we start these things, again, we're doing we do. Technology is important. And we do do a technology or an asset inventory while we're doing the maturity model and identifying the business processes, right, cuz that's important. We got to come back to that. But we do start in the whole focus is to find is looking at those business processes by domain area, making sure we understand the the integration points, right. But tying every single one of the initiatives back to the business value in an ROI is important. Exactly. Not just doing sexy projects, because they're sexy back in the day, everyone did augmented reality, right. But interesting enough, we put augmented reality in our manufacturing plant, we make network communication devices well, and we've been able to reduce assembly time by 40%. SoTom Raftery:
just want to highlight that 40%Vanessa Molina:
that is actually very fascinating thing that that you do do at that plant, by the way. I've seen it in action.Tom Raftery:
Well, that's impressive. We're coming towards the end of the podcast now, folks, is there any question that I have not asked that you wish I had? Or any topic we've not discussed that you think it's important for people to be aware of? Remember, you go first?Unknown:
Yeah, Dennis and I were talking earlier today about him. I mentioned it earlier to about PLCs. And then, and PLCs aren't a bad thing. They're a good thing as long as you're as long as they're tied. But like I said, earlier, we've seen projects fail because they get caught in PRC purgatory is a new buzzword, right. But last year, we had a company that makes tissue papers you can imagine they couldn't make enough. We had wanted to go through lay out the entire smart factory framework and roadmap for them. But at that point, right, right, then all he wanted to do is understand their production. We did do a proof of value of PSC in about three to four weeks weeks working with SAP to make that happen. We then went out and rolled out the the solutions Oh II solution. With sa PMI, we did the entire project remote, including discovery with cameras walking the line, because due to COPPA, we couldn't be on site. But we were to prove that out now we've gone back with them. It's COVID loosen up. And we are working with them to build out the rest of the roadmap and the framework. So pvcs aren't bad. But they got to have purpose. Very good.Tom Raftery:
Pretty good. Vanessa?Vanessa Molina:
Um, no, I think he covered it really well. I agree. PLCs aren't in bad. I think, you know, you really just need to make it less about cost cutting and more about efficiency and processes and letting the data flow. Okay.Tom Raftery:
Excellent. So if people want to know more about re yourself are Fujitsu are Vanessa, are any of the topics we talked about in the podcasts today? Where would you have me direct and folks, Ray You go first?Unknown:
Sure. Probably best way to is to reach out to me by email. It's Ray dot Russ r u s s at Fujitsu a few j it su calmTom Raftery:
superband. Vanessa,Vanessa Molina:
you could visit me at SAP on our website. We have the innovation hubs and you can actually experience for yourself. Some of the things that we highlight in this podcast and more importantly, some of the great innovations that sa p does.Tom Raftery:
Super, folks. That's been great. Thanks again for coming on the podcast today. Thank you, Tom. Thanks, Tom. Thanks, Vanessa. Okay, we've come to the end of the show. Thanks, everyone for listening. If you'd like to know more about digital supply chains, head on over to sa p.com slash digital supply chain or, or simply drop me an email to Tom firstname.lastname@example.org. If you'd like to show, please don't forget to subscribe to it and your podcast application of choice to get new episodes as soon as they're published. Also, please don't forget to rate and review the podcast. It really does help new people to find the show. Thanks. Catch you all next time.