No need to worry help is at hand. For those of my era “Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring!”
Yes industry is facing a tidal wave of change driven by an overabundance of data. Yes there are more opportunities out there to radically shake up the status quo by clean sheeting business models fuelled by greater understanding and access to consumer demand than ever before.
For most it’s not so much about being the game changer it’s more about taking on-board the attributes that will enable your business to assess changes and adjust more quickly than ever before.
So how do you ensure profitability with so much change?
A changing engineering landscape means there’s no time like the present to re-focus and seek out the technologies, working practices & processes that will deliver profitable product to market. For a number of organisations this means re-evaluating markets, competitors and strategic/tactical direction. It also means widening the view that you hold of your market, networking and working with business partners who deliver change on a daily basis.
As younger, connected generations flood the workplace it’s also wise to pursue a new type of learning experience that utilises your unique Intellectual Property, takes on board only what’s useful from the new big data environment and is engineered to react as quickly as the market demands change; this requires Intelligent Engineering.
Greater simplification and automation outside manufacturing
Increased simplification and automation within engineering has a significant role to play. This practice is old news and the standard for manufacturing even though Industry 4.0 and Additive Manufacturing have taken it to another level. Certainly automation is still a relatively unexplored territory for many engineering disciplines.
Engineering on the whole, remains very people centric as companies rely heavily on the skills, knowledge and experience of their workforce. Immersion within an industry, many years of expert problem solving and intimate knowledge of your customers’ requirements has, in the past, been a recipe for success. Now the very strength of the business has become its weakness, a choke point on the number of active projects that can be undertaken and potential blind spot to new opportunity.
Can you automate creativity?
Sounds unlikely but the digitisation of the added value processes throughout engineering, using products like the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, is making the insight and knowledge of your most valuable assets, your people, available at the point it is required. This supports a new level of innovation, including key information when design decisions are made. The ability to apply new processes, material properties and other relevant data to open up previously closed avenues of investigation dramatically improves the ability to innovate and the speed and accuracy of decision making whilst exploring new potential.
Add to this a new process of collecting and curating information from the APP generation and you have an insightful view of not just the markets you currently operate within but also the potential markets where your products or expertise can be applied.
Becoming the 4th Musketeer
Smaller, agile businesses are putting increasing pressure on large brand leaders by applying all the IP they have repeatedly and effectively. Spiced with a new generation of engineers, used to a different experience of how and where to find information, an engineering business becomes able to assimilate knowledge and bring it to profitable use more quickly.
Intelligent Engineering, a tailored and optimised combination of technology, processes and people includes making use of knowledge gained working with disparate industries to deploy a set of processes and technologies to match and make the most of the resource within a specific business. It simplifies and automates as much of the more repetitive tasks to aid decision making and speed up processes. At the same time it increases the value of the engineering data in your business by helping non-engineering departments to unlock the potential of the data generated and stored within.
Join the forum
Fine tune your Intelligent Engineering systems and business processes at the UK Intelligent Engineering Forum (UKIEF), 5th April 2017 at the MTC in Coventry. Further details can be found at ukief.org where you can join the forum and the exclusive Intelligent Engineering networking group.
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