Ignorance of industry best practices is one of the key challenges
Published by : Industrial Automation
Kannathasan Meipporul, Chartered Engineer
After a decade of Industry 4.0 what is the extent of digital transformation in the manufacturing space in India?
There was the time having mobile and laptop was a luxury. Today these are basic needs for all of us. Why and how it became basic needs? We are all driven by data, which forms a meaningful information for any decision. Now, the industry has reached a point where it validates the life cycle of data. If the transaction data captured as it is at the place of happening the derived information would be more precise. Industry 4.0 gives the architecture of connected ecosystem where systems and machines are talking each other and give the recommendation for the best possible outcome. Digital transformation plays vital role to achieve seamless data flow between systems and machines by having appropriate data capturing device (Barcode, RFID, SCADA) and connected through intelligent data aggregation methods. As a whole the uniqueness of data modelling is important to achieve desired result.
How should an enterprise begin the process? Is there an ideal roadmap to follow for companies beginning their digital transformation journey?
Business Process re-engineering is the core process towards data centric which means no transaction ignored by the system in the business process and derive the phases of implementation.
The ideal road map for the Digital transformation:
1. Plan the core team members who are responsible to train the trainers and lead the input data preparation
2. Input data (Master data) preparation at all levels (customer, supplier, inventory, manufacturing process, work centre, tools, consumables and Bill of Materials)
3. Infrastructure or hardware requirement to be in place based on data collection methods, storage and transaction servers or clouds upon stakeholder decision
4. Establish the connectivity among the systems, machines and devices, and
5. Proceed with phases per business process re-engineering.
What is the role for various stakeholders in the organisation in this endeavour?
The responsibility of various stakeholders is mainly sparing valuable time for the error free input on time and testing the system at User Acceptance phase thoroughly. Major hiccups in every project is trying to test the system while giving input data with general configuration and started assuming things and ignoring the necessary input data causes time delay overlapping the phases and end conflict of understanding. Later they never reach the phase of user acceptance and end up in a chaotic situation.
In general, what are the key challenges to overcome in the process?
Key challenges are misconception in phases and expecting all at the same time which never works. Also stakeholders fail to demark the cost of phases, which sometimes leads to halt of the project itself. Ignoring the structure of input data preparation, most of the times people used multiple names or same name for the same item or machine, which they try to demonstrate its their requirement, its again ignorance of industry best practices.
Will the current scenario act as a catalyst, or rather the companies use this opportunity?
In the current scenario – catalyst or opportunity – digital transformation is essential, which every business house has realised now. The best example, which the whole industry has seen by now, how Jio capitalised their digital platform even as every other industry was thinking of lay-off. The future of business nerve (network) system is Digital Platform with data driven decisions.
Kannathasan Meipporul is a Chartered Engineer over 3 decades plus experience in the Digital Transformation and industrial automation solutions in large platforms of SAP ECC, S/4 HANA, Business One, C/4 HANA and Leonardo & Inductive automation on in-premises & cloud environment for diversified verticals like Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Telecom and Retail. He has handled Global Clients Delivery & Support with Solution Architecting functions which entails more than 20 End-to-End Implementations which includes EQUATE – Ministry of Petroleum Kuwait, multiple Roll-outs and Support Projects with the overall value of 25 million USD at an average of 1million USD per project. Kannathasan has practiced in the areas of Conceptualisation, Budgeting, Planning & Execution, Performance Monitoring and Client Engagement. Established RoI by appropriate Organisation Change Management and Overall Business process Management with Solution Architect responsibility. Design Thinking, Process Definition and Technology Transformation are the basic discipline demonstrated across project implantations to keep the customer engaged, as value partner.
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