Transforming an Old Line Manufacturing Company
New leaders stepping into leadership roles in old line manufacturing operations have significant challenges they are faced with immediately. Impacts of natural attrition in their skilled labor workforce, antiquated business systems and processes, and figuring out how they can clearly articulate, prioritize, set in motion and execute a transformation strategy to ensure the business not only sustains; but becomes a competitive force in their industry for many more decades to come.
Rob Goldiez, GM Manager of Scott Fetzer Electrical Group (SFEG) in Nashville, TN, epitomizes this role as his organization embarks on their digital transformation.
Rob shares his vision of the Factory of the Future by stating "It must start with a vision. An aspiration. A belief that there’s always a better way. A conviction that if we don’t transform our business— our products, our manufacturing posture, our supply chain design, our systems, our thinking — we will lose out to a competitor that will.”
With SFEG, Rob and his team aren’t just going through the motions, they are taking calculated risks in order to be on the cutting edge of new technologies and at the forefront of the Internet of Things era where "manufacturing and product data is not only a tool to improve processes, but evidence of our commitment to quality and service, much in the same way that companies like salesforce.com establishes trust by publishing its systems performance.”
Agility is the New Scale
An Agile / Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach is at the heart of SFEG’s current initiatives:
- replacing a 15 year old Legacy ERP system with Cloud ERP;
- setting up robots on the shop floor;
- creating Hackathons with the engineering team;
- and using marketing automation and content to drive engagement.
To give you an idea of our approach "within 10 days of receiving our first robot we had it setup and operating on the production line and now have justification for 5 more on order” stated Matt Bush, SFEG’s Director of Operations. “We aren’t worried about getting everything perfect out of the chute and are focused on continuous improvement to keep moving towards our vision.”
It’s easy to get caught up in the minutia of the day-to-day operations and live in the reactive mindset. However, when having discussions with Rob it is clear that his mind is always on the future. SFEG is building an innovative culture by challenging their team to think outside-the-box and find ways to be more collaborative and social— connecting customers, suppliers, and employees with shortened communication channels leading to accelerated results.
We are excited to be supporting SFEG’s transformation efforts and are looking forward to the exciting challenges and opportunities to come.
SFEG, based outside of Nashville, TN, combines expertise in transformers, power supplies, motion controls and drive systems with a U.S. based manufacturing footprint to create a platform of new product development that will fuel the future of intelligent power. SFEG is part of Scott Fetzer Company, whose parent company is Berkshire Hathaway. SFEG includes product lines: France Power Solutions, Northland Motor Technologies and Kingston Products. More information can be found at http://www.sfeg.com.