Can the Industrial Revolution keep up with the Digital Revolution? Overcoming dated Program Management practices in Industrial Equipment

Very rarely will new innovations attract global attention, but when they do, they have the potential to springboard industries into new realms of greatness. Such groundbreaking inventions have disrupted and changed history…but building a breakthrough prototype is one thing, and finding an efficient way to produce it on a large scale is another. For example, Henry Ford would not have been able to redefine the automotive marketplace had he not also advanced the industrial manufacturing process through the introduction of the assembly line. The case of Ford and many others is proof that in order to manufacture exceptional products, one needs access to exceptional resources and methodologies.

Today, efficient manufacturing is not just admired, it is expected. Companies demand smart and complex machinery to make their products, and of course, it must be personalized as well. We no longer live in a cookie-cutter world where a universal appliance can serve as a practical solution for everyone. Consequently, Industrial Equipment companies need to be flexible and timely if they are to maintain a competitive advantage. However, the process of building customized equipment is incredibly complicated, and program managers of IE businesses must work with several global partners to ensure projects are timely and under budget. Still, according to The PLM Study, only 18% of all programs are completed on time, a number that can be attributed to ineffective collaboration and lack of visibility to the right information.

Ineffective Collaboration

Overseeing a plethora of programs, each of which can have up to 50 plants and facilities involved, is no simple task, and it becomes even harder when managers are using dated systems. Industrial Equipment Manufacturers recognize the need for new technologies, yet The PLM Study found that 21% of them continue to walk around with hardcopy forms that are irrelevant by the time they arrive at their destination. Emailing documents is no better, as ambiguity arises over which file is the most recent copy. As companies continue to grapple with poor communication across many countries, it is becoming clear that a community-like platform capable of sharing documents instantaneously would save both time and money. This system could serve as a single source of truth for all updated information, so there would never be doubts as to where the most recent file is, and people would be able to work together to advance the program faster.

Lack of Visibility

Perhaps one of the biggest frustrations program managers face is the wasting of time to search for important project information, which is often buried in a mess of disorganized documentation. Managers sit through countless update and clarification meetings with engineers, who could be better spending their time working on the project, simply because the data is too difficult to access without them. In most Industrial Equipment companies, updates are done in a manual fashion such as this, and systems that were meant to reduce non-value added activities become labyrinths of irrelevancy that cloud the visibility of employees. However, if a company were to leverage technology, and have a system automatically update program data while only displaying relevant content, managers would have the ability to analyze more precisely and make better decisions faster.

History has proven that whenever breakthrough products emerge, they must be met with equally spectacular manufacturing resources. Industrial Equipment companies cannot continue to use their current systems if they are to provide these resources, but they can maintain their competitive advantage if they adopt an Enterprise Business Platform.

Chad Jackson ebookIn a free eBook, authored by Chad Jackson of Lifecycle Insights, we are going to take a deeper look into what an Enterprise Business Platform is, and how it can help IE program managers save time and money.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greg Sabey

Greg Sabey

Managing Editor, Navigate the Future; Senior PR Manager at Dassault Systemes
Managing Editor, Navigate the Future; Senior PR Manager at Dassault Systemes
Greg Sabey