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Engineering, no longer ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’

‘If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.’

It used to be a comforting response in many engineering situations that maintained a functional status quo, but no longer.  In some ways it allowed focus on more pressing issues like poor performance, failure, processes that weren’t working or catastrophic failure.

So, why now?

You will no doubt have heard of disruptive technologies or disruptive innovation.  You should have, it dates back to the mid-nineties. It’s all about using the latest creative and innovative technologies and processes to unlock new markets whilst breaking up existing markets, establishing a new value network and generally mixing things up a bit.

A radical rethink of strategic business planning

One of the most valuable skills a business can possess today is the ability to instigate and successfully deliver change. Match this with emerging technologies and ways of working that just weren’t possible a couple of years before will drive business towards taking an almost ‘clean sheet’ approach to strategic planning. That would be shocking for many business leaders to even consider.

There is a definite feeling of ‘all bets are off’ when business leaders think about where they want their business to be in 5 and 10 years’ time (short termism in some planning circles).  There needs to be more of an anticipatory/reactive element built into management process and strategic planning.  Plugging into the external business and technology environment has been made easier than ever with social media and the more general easing of information access. It has, in almost contradiction, to provide a clearer and more focused resource to aid decisions. Internally engineering dashboards will give valuable insight and KPI data. Externally the most valuable information comes from an extended and time invested networking community either committed to you or who share your goals and targets.  

A new breed of partnership

Suppliers really need to become your partners with a vested interest in your success.  The partnership needs to focus on specific value driven activities that support end customers and clients.  This approach is in their best interest too as small and large customers flex their businesses.  In the end who knows where the next big product or service is coming from and which markets will appear, collapse or morph into something new.  These are interesting times for every business. 

Join the forum today

Fine tune your Intelligent Engineering systems and business processes at the UK Intelligent Engineering Forum (UKIEF) on 5th April 2017 at the MTC in Coventry. Register today and gain access to the exclusive Intelligent Engineering networking group where you can start networking and using the group resources today.

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