As to be published in Trends Magazine on May 30, 2019.
A train is hurtling down the tracks, full of industry 4.0 and smart factory/supply chain concepts: smart devices, IoT, digital twins, you name it. You can’t afford to miss it.
But how do you get on board?
Read the full interview with Anouk Schoenmakers (Managing Partner at Bluecrux) below and discover why focusing on the human factor is THE key enabler for sustainable change within your company’s digital transformation.
How do you believe companies can achieve optimal success in these times of digital transformation?
“It is all about having a digital concept vision, but combining it with building a digital change organization is at least as important. In other words: you need an optimal combination of the digital factor and the human factor. And we have noticed that the latter is extremely important. This is because we see greater chances of success, and of succeeding more quickly, among customers who pay sufficient attention to it. So you might well call it the crucial success factor for a sustainable digital transformation.”
But what does ‘the human factor’ actually mean?
“We see it as a twofold issue at Bluecrux. On the one hand, it has to do with the impact that all the employees in a company have on the success of digital transformation. That mainly means the acceptance of change and the way it is presented. A few important elements from our project methodology that anticipate this are, for example, the creation of a positive ‘sense of urgency’, the right content at the right time and personal impact assessments, as well as a strong communication plan.”
“On the other hand, it also has to do with transitioning to 4.0 concepts and new profiles: who is the operator of the future? Do we need a data scientist in every department? How important are data analytics skills? And how do we incorporate these capability demands into our transformation journey?”
So how can Bluecrux companies provide practical help within this digital transformation?
“As supply chain and operations consultants, what our customers appreciate most is our pragmatic approach to business transformation. Our people draw their passion from operationalizing change, implementing it together, and creating impact. One of the distinguishing elements also lies in the combination of content expertise with change management.”
“Many companies ask themselves how they can embed digital transformation in their organization. That is exactly why we have developed our own change method, MountK. It adds pragmatic steps to general business transformation processes to guarantee that they will be embedded and accepted. We see a direct link between this and successful transformations!”
In which areas do you help your customers transform?
“We have a clear track record in supply chain planning, from APS selection to the complete implementation of an E2E planning concept supported by a more central planning organization and the correct tools. Besides that, we also help our customers with their transformation processes in customer management, digital operations, and warehouse and distribution optimizations.”
How do you view the link between digital transformation and co-creation?
“A digital transformation always needs to be a story that involves everyone, a co-creation between all layers of the organization. The strength lies in getting the digital management vision translated by the employees for the employees. We also believe very strongly in a story we share with our customers, creating it together and aiming for tomorrow’s solutions.”
“The icing on the cake is that this has resulted in products of our own. This means that, besides offering our customers business transformation consultancy, we can currently also offer two software tools: Binocs (our workforce planning tool) and Axon (our augmented planning platform). We are very proud of the two products because they are the result of the shared search for a solution to a specific business need in the digital transformation.”
Bluecrux makes the difference with an approach to digital transformation that pays attention to both digital content and human changes. This is clearly expressed in specific projects for customers, such as the one for Smart Factory: their digitization project in partnership with VCST.
Arming our customers for the future
In 2018, Bluecrux started up a series of pragmatic digital discovery workshops along with VCST. It did so to gain insight into the conversion of industry 4.0 concepts into implementable and usable solutions that would be useful for the factory (and other factories). The aim of the entire project was to arm VCST for the future.
Implementation in full swing
Bluecrux and VCST are currently hard at work implementing the solutions they designed as part of the Smart Factory pilot. They range from an IoT platform that supports connectivity and visualization throughout the factory to rolling out smart mobile devices and other tools that help operators of the future to do their daily tasks.
A few tips & tricks to prepare your company and employees for the future as well:
- Pay sufficient attention to the ‘why’ aspect of your story
- Involve your employees from the outset
- Communicate, communicate, communicate
- Go for agile implementation with short go-live sprints
- Surround yourself with experts