The Road to the Digital Enterprise - Myths, Risks and Solutions
In the world, as in our country, software companies are growing like mushrooms after the rain, moving on the trend of digitization. It offers digitization of data and their processing into "nice to have" development charts, cakes, diagrams and information on the current state and development of key indicators of the company.
Terms such as ERP, MES, IoT, PLC, CAD, PLM, sponsors, cameras, robots, cobots, bots are discussed. Advanced technologies are being tested to increase productivity and save costs.
In the flood of promises to increase efficiency, all we have to do is shout: "Go look at the production in what condition the 5S is, whether it is possible to minimize waste in everyday activities, whether it is Mudu or Muri, Mura."
How are the operators who add value motivated, and are their brains involved in streamlining work operations?
How is process data collected and transmitted, how much is it used instead of sophisticated Excel programs?
Those who offer digitization move in their world of technical terms, and those who manage companies, production, logistics and other business processes have their needs for useful information and their purpose.
Wondering what myths we encounter most often?
- Digitization concerns (mainly) new processes
- It is enough to involve only a small part of the company in digitization
- With digital transformation, good results can be obtained in a short time
- Digitization is mainly a strategic and technological project
- Technology is a key element of digital transformation
We often discuss the risks of the digitization process in companies. The clear winner is the risk of mutual understanding, on the part of the company that wants to digitize and on the other hand the software company. It is tempting for software engineers to offer a solution that has been implemented elsewhere and try to convince a potential customer of their product as the greatest benefit for the company. The result is best described by the slogan "deed escape". Creating value has been "lost in translation".
The following is usually presented as a digital transformation of a company:
- Delivery and deployment of sensors, cameras for data acquisition, transmission and processing
- Data transfer from existing programs
- Installation of digital boards in production, logistics and other places in the company and in managers' mobile phones
In the absence of a central cockpit in the main control room - Obeya room se the added value of digital transformation in a sea of lost opportunities is lost.
The language of metaphor: The company bought a powerful modern car. Let's look at how the advanced features of a car are used. So how does deviation management, root cause analyzes and A3 projects work to achieve budget goals and daily Shopfloor Management (SFM), daily operational meetings, Gemba Walk in production, level audits and other daily management routines?
How does digitization save time for managers and employees?
Another weakness of digitization is prediction or the creation of future scenarios. If we use the metaphor with a car, then we drive the car according to yesterday's data ⫸ by looking in the rearview mirror. In this setting, the front view of the car windshield is missing.
Is before the digitization of the process of its optimization analysis, how much waste is in it and its elimination? Or is it digitized regardless of waste in processes - digitization of waste?
What can you do to eliminate waste from the digitization process?
- Examine the real needs first. Do not compile a list of requirements straight away. The requirement is a unilateral order, there is no constructive discussion between the contracting authorities and implementers, no alternatives are addressed. Improve the demand management process.
- Bring the two worlds closer together: the management of a digitized company and a software partner. The goal is to understand each other. Work on the vision and strategy of digitalization of the company.
- Use digitization to save time and better decision-making and analysis in the daily SFM routine and aggregate outputs in the central control room - Obeay Room. Focus on the main output of the digitization process - for example, the Digital Management Information System (MES) and, in the future, the digital twin.
- Include predictions to use future development scenarios to make decisions. Start digitization by analyzing processes to eliminate waste. Set goals and calculate the return on the digitization project.
- Pay attention to the structure of the project assignment. Identify unique critical processes and optimize to the desired state before their fixation by the system.
- Also digitize office processes.
- Work on an overview of skills that employees will lack when developing corporate digitization.
Miroslav Bauer and Markéta Nováková, 8.11.2020
About the authors
Miroslav Bauer until the 1989 revolution he worked in the supply- engineering plant of Vitkovice zelezarny (Ironworks). After the revolution, he got an internship at Voest Alpine in Austria and studied leadership and other managerial skills with Austrian managers. After returning in 1991 he founded ASA – Abfal Service Austria branch and led it to the first position in the Czech Republic. Since 1993 he has been working as a consultant and crisis manager in companies such as Valcovny plechu Frydek Mistek, Kralovopolska and others.
Since 2000, he has also been working as a coach of managers. In 2005, he founded the Kaizen Institute in the Czech Republic, today's Bauer Lean Consulting. He has experience in cooperation with companies in Austria, Japan, Russia, Germany, Mauritius and other countries in Western Europe, America and Asia.
He currently works with approximately twenty leaders of large companies and coaches.
Markéta Nováková has been developing people as an HR manager, lecturer and consultant for more than 10 years. At Bauer Lean Consulting she focuses on leading lean coaching and effective change management projects. Her passion is connecting communication and technology. She enjoys sports psychology and initiating change in the people themselves. She is a member of EMCC - European Mentoring and Coaching Council.