A great blog post from Simon Jacobson of Gartner. The top three disconnects between C-Level and Non-C-Level in management, with respect to Smart Manufacturing are in Access to Skills, Solution Scalability and Investment Justification. Those are exactly the challenges we see in the market, especially for the small and medium enterprises that make up over 98% of manufacturing. Those are also the exact areas CESMII – the Smart Manufacturing Institute is targeting with our various initiatives. Our Smart Manufacturing Innovation Platform for example, a technology to use, but also standards for automation vendors to adopt, reduce the need for specialized skills, directly addresses scalability through modelling and Plug and Play, all of which make these solutions more cost effective for broad deployment.
Strategy and Execution in Smart Manufacturing Must Meet in Middle
By Simon Jacobson of Gartner | March 16, 2021
It’s pretty cool that 84% of the 439 respondents in our recent smart manufacturing study agree that when it comes to the topic, their leadership “gets it.” Specifically, they agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing.
It is a solid reflection of how in the past two years senior leaders have stepped up and made the manufacturing function a priority. This is especially the case atop last year’s fervent acknowledgement of the efforts factory workers made while toiling away on the production lines even as office spaces were abandoned for work-from-home setups. On its surface, some of the deeper analysis of the survey data (see Figure 1) reflects this acknowledgement.
Leadership commitment goes deeper: 86% of the C-level respondents — who are also final decision makers in their organizations — agree that leadership “gets it.” Is it time to celebrate eliminating the “myth of lacking leadership commitment”? Not yet. Why? Remember that many of these leaders are the same catalysts of the “go implement Industrie 4.0” or “go make smart manufacturing happen” dialogues with clients that we have been having for well over five years. The presentations and visions are impressive, but the activities to move from “art of possible” to “reality,” less so.
Are senior leaders prepared to sustain the momentum of 2020? Or are we again pandering to a mirage of hype that has appeared, flirted with us, and disappeared oh so fast? Yes, it starts at the top, but it must be met from the bottom up. There is value in factory-level pilots — asset performance, quality improvements, cost reductions — because they are easy to measure, rally around and leverage as a platform to improve reliable supply. These minimal viable outcomes are what purchase the credibility which, in turn, creates pull for initiatives to scale, at least in a perfect world.