What’s driving today’s top CEOs in Manufacturing?
I recently had the opportunity at a manufacturing conference to share the stage with leaders from Cisco, Pitney Bowes, LNS research and SAP (replay link here). The discussion focused on what top companies are doing with Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine to Machine (M2M). What follows, is part 1 of a blog series summarizing the presentations and discussions from this conference and also from my interactions with top companies and their leaders over the past 12+ months. In part 1, below, we’ll start at the top, with the CEO.
Rethinking the Business Model
The focus back in the 2008 market downturn was, in essence, to “keep the lights on” and “control costs”. As we emerged from that, the focus shifted to GROWTH. This subsequent shift is one of the primary drivers forcing CEOs to rethink their business models.
“Grow Grow Grow”
Attracting and Retaining Top Talent
Best run businesses are using advanced workforce analytics to identify top talent – internally and externally. They are tying performance metrics to working capital and training to manage their talent in more profitable ways; and they are making sure they are retaining the top talent they have identified. They identify critical staffing skill gaps that can be used for recruiting as well as future focused training. Best run businesses are using workforce analytical insights to understand workforce trends, monitor the latest social recruiting efforts, grade top talent in recruiting execution and maximize workforce performance world wide to easily identify tomorrows’ leaders and profitably meet expansion needs.
Sustainable, Profitable Growth
As manufacturing companies turn their attention to growth, the most successful are doing it profitably. They are focused on sustaining the massive efficiency improvements they created in the downturn so as to avoid achieving growth at the expense of margin. For these companies, this means a continued focus on:
- Delivering production excellence and superior supply chain management
- Providing a seamless customer experience across all channels
- Increasing solution offerings (products & services) that drive market differentiation
Out Innovate the Competitors
If you really think about it, the market, no the world, is a much different place than 2008. Devices, not just personal, have continue to expand. The amount of data (device and human generated) has continued to expand exponentially. In turn, this has dramatically expanded the points where information can be accessed and important business decisions made. This provides a unique opportunity to rethink the business model based on out innovating the competition. Best run businesses are efficiently identifying new innovative solutions that define new forms of revenue which in turn drives true growth.
Companies that are focused on the bold items above are not only generating a lot more information – aka Big Data – they are effectively leveraging that information to drive competitive differentiation, disruptive innovation and growth. To do this profitably, successful companies are moving from being Reactive (ie. scrambling and expediting) to being Proactive (ie leveraging data to predict outcomes before they happen, replacing inventory with information). Best in class companies are embracing data-driven-decision-making.
“A rising tide lifts all boats”
Please use comments below to provide us your feedback, thoughts and let us know:
- What are the top trends affecting your Chief Executive?
- What are you struggling with (Business & Technology)?
- How is Big Data affecting the kind of Projects your company is working on?
Part 2 of this series titled “Data Driven Decision Making” can be found here. In the meantime, you can watch the presentation and panel discussion I had with leaders from Cisco, Pitney Bowes, LNS research and SAP here
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About the Author
(2014) Patrick Maroney (linkedin) is part of the SAP Global Hana Platform Center of Excellence. In this role, he works closely with SAP customers to help understand the impacts of business trends on their processes and the use of technology in order to help architect business improvements. Patrick has a background in industrial engineering and business transformation consulting. Since 1992, Patrick has been working with the management teams of leading companies on improving their processes and leading business transformation initiatives.