Embracing a new manufacturing era:
Hiking up the hyper-hill

Article - Operations
By Sarah Tijou|21st June 2023

In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, technology continues to evolve at an unprecedented rate, transforming the way we live, work, and interact. As we delve deeper into the digital age, three key trends have emerged as driving forces behind this transformation. What are they? Let’s find out.

In brief:

  • Hyper-automation, hyper-personalization, and hyper-connectivity are reshaping industries and revolutionizing the way we live, work, and connect.
  • Keeping up with programming languages, software, and technological advancements is essential to maximize the potential of automation.
  • With new technology comes new risk! Security measures are needed to protect against external threats and ensure employee knowledge aligns with the principles of operating advanced manufacturing equipment.

Hyper-automation, hyper-connectivity, and hyper-personalization will be receiving a lot of hype from manufacturing leaders and industry experts in 2023 – and rightfully so. But what do these terms mean and what benefits will they bring manufacturers?

We found out during GDS Group’s recent Manufacturing North America virtual summit. During a panel discussion, we heard from three manufacturing executives. Here’s what they had to say…

Hyper-Automation: Unleashing the Power of Intelligent Machines

Hyper-automation refers to the convergence of advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), robotic process automation (RPA), and more, to automate complex and repetitive tasks.

“The industry is probably now at the slowest it’s ever going to be in terms of overall acceleration.”
Amish Chadha at Kimberly-Clark

Organizations are increasingly leveraging hyper-automation to streamline operations, improve efficiency, and free up human resources for more strategic and creative endeavours. From intelligent chatbots and virtual assistants to automated data analysis and predictive modelling, hyper-automation is revolutionizing the way businesses operate.

However, Tim Mbanga, Chief Metallurgical Engineer at Nutrien, expresses concerns about the ability to keep up with the influx of data and the potential safety threats from external sources. The speed of automation raises questions about over-dependency on machines and the lack of basic understanding among employees.

He asks, “how safe are we going to be? Are we going to be able to keep up with the speed at which the technology or the information is coming in?” For this, the executive believes the workforce must be adequately trained to adapt to the accelerating changes and transition into the future effectively.

Hyper-Personalization: Delivering Tailored Experiences at Scale

In an era where customers have come to expect personalized experiences, hyper-personalization takes personalization to a whole new level. Powered by data analytics, AI, and machine learning algorithms, hyper-personalization enables organizations to deliver tailored content, recommendations, and experiences to individual customers based on their unique preferences, behaviours, and needs.

Whether it’s personalized product recommendations, customized marketing campaigns, or individualized healthcare solutions, hyper-personalization is driving enhanced customer satisfaction, loyalty, and engagement. And the only way to win the perfect customer experience, is to start with the employee experience, the two go hand-in-hand.

The best employee experience is governed by the training provided, and this is required at pace to bridge the skills gap. Tim highlights the challenge of training new employees in an ever-evolving industry and the need for collaboration with universities to ensure graduates are prepared for the industry’s demands.

“Do we have the training to understand the baseline?”
Tim Mbanga at Nutrien

Keeping up with programming languages, software, and technological advancements is essential to maximize the potential of automation. Tim adds, “There needs to be a fundamental shift in thinking about the job architecture that is required for different aspects and different components of the organization. Your technology lens will not be the same as your manufacturing lens.”

Hyper-Conectivity: Building Bridges in a Digitally Interconnected World

Hyper-connectivity refers to the pervasive and seamless connectivity between people, devices, systems, and organizations. The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G networks, and advanced communication technologies has brought about a world where everything is interconnected.

This hyper-connectivity enables real-time collaboration, data sharing, and communication across geographies, transforming industries and creating new possibilities. From smart homes and connected cars to smart cities and industrial IoT, hyper-connectivity is fostering innovation, efficiency, and improved decision-making.

But with new technology, comes new risks, as Amish Chadha, Global Technology Strategy Lead at Kimberly-Clark, highlights. He says the importance of robust security measures to protect against external threats and ensure employee knowledge aligns with the principles of operating and troubleshooting advanced manufacturing equipment.

“When it comes to the security apparatus, the three fundamental pivot points are capacity, reliability, and security.” To pivot these, Amish says it’s all about the data. “Everybody’s trying to tap into data. Everybody’s trying to understand what data they’re sitting on. If it’s there and you’re not looking at it, how do you capture it?”

The Synergy of Hyper-Trend: Opportunities and Challenges

While hyper-automation, hyper-personalization, and hyper-connectivity offer immense opportunities for businesses and individuals, they also come with their own set of challenges. Security and privacy concerns, ethical considerations, and the need for upskilling and reskilling the workforce are just a few of the issues that need to be addressed.

 

But, as Vivek Kariyavula, Director, Head of Supply Chain, IT Platform Architecture at Philips says, “we all need to remember one thing. We need to restart from fundamental foundations. We should not forget them.” By understanding and embracing these hyper-trends, one step at a time, organizations can stay ahead of the curve, deliver exceptional experiences and unlock new levels of productivity and growth.

“If we’re not hyper, will we be left behind?”
Amish Chadha at Kimberly-Clark

As we embrace the hyper era – hyper-automation, hyper-personalization, and hyper-connectivity are reshaping industries and revolutionizing the way we live, work, and connect. Organizations that embrace these trends and leverage the power of intelligent machines, personalized experiences, and seamless connectivity will gain a competitive edge in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

It is essential to adapt, innovate, and harness the potential of these hyper-trends to thrive in the digital age and create a brighter, more connected future for all.

Our recent Manufacturing North America virtual summit had ended with an impressive average content attendance of 96% and meeting completion rate of 127%.

Partnering with GDS Group can help you get in front of the right people at the right time.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to attend one of our unforgettable event experiences that promise to leave you feeling inspired and empowered.

Check our calendar now and join us. We can’t wait to see you there!

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