Going digital? Prioritize talent over tech.

Andrew Rieser
By Andrew Rieser | President and Co-Founder, Mountain Point
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6-minute video

"Success in modern manufacturing comes down to the same thing it's always been driven by: people."

When we talk about digital transformation, we talk a lot about AI, IoT, ERP — and many other acronym-laden technologies.

But success in modern manufacturing comes down to the same thing it’s always been driven by: people. In fact, attracting and retaining top talent has never been more important.  

As technologies advance and competition heats up, manufacturers are adding new roles to their rosters. Titles like “data scientist,” “marketing automation specialist,” and “AI engineer” are popping up on the hiring pages of manufacturing companies across the globe.

But these new skillsets aren’t limited to the c-suite and the back office. Workers who are on the shop floor and providing service in the field must also have a higher level of technological and data literacy than ever before. In this short video, we talk about the 4th industrial revolution is better characterized as a race for talent than for the latest and shiniest tech.

This episode continues our series of discussions around the 10 Best Practices for Digital Transformation.

Have a question you’d like answered?

Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll talk through it on a future episode!


 

What's the ROI? Just six months after implementing their digital transformation efforts, luxury textile manufacturer Matouk saw a 233% return on their investments. 

Read the Matouk ROI report

 


Transcript: Going digital? Prioritize talent over tech.

Jessica:  Hi and thanks for joining us for our ongoing conversations about best practices and digital transformation in manufacturing. My name is Jessica Vodden, I'm a team member here at Mountain Point, and I'm joined by Andrew Rieser, our president and co-founder. Hello, Andrew.

Andrew:  Hi, Jess.

Jessica:  Hi. So, today we're gonna break down step eight of our 10-step guide to managing a digital transformation project, and that really focuses on talent. So, what we're seeing in the world of manufacturing is a lot of new roles are emerging that maybe didn't exist in previous decades, things like data scientists and marketing automation specialists. And across the board, I think, from technicians to the factory workers to back office employees, everybody has to have a much higher level of both technological and data literacy than ever before. So, Andrew, tell us how these trends are affecting the industry and what manufacturers can do about it.

Andrew:  Yeah, sure. So, I think you did a great job of explaining what's going on as it relates to talent. And I think talent, no matter what the industry, is always gonna be a driving factor that is on the minds of business leaders. But to your point, there's a new wave in the manufacturing world of the types of talent. There's a skills gap and shortage for sure, as some of these factory line workers and folks that have more of the blue collar background and experience, what we're finding is that that's being offset by new hardware, new automation, and new technologies. So while there's still always gonna be a need for skilled laborers, we're finding that manufacturers are also seeking different types of folks, folks that can help assist with the digital transformations that we're talking about and can help be key players to think about the new world order of new business processes and new digital processes that these manufacturers are encountering, and more importantly how they can take that and make sense of these new tools of technology. And that's where I'm super intrigued about it on the data side. So, lots of new roles as it relates to understanding manufacturers data, both operational and customer-related information around big data.

Jessica:  Yeah. And one of the things that I think is interesting is, because there is this shift, and it's happened within just the past handful of years, I imagine that these sort of new folks who are showing up in factories across the country, they're probably a little foreign to the folks that have worked in the industry for years. And so how do you build a team that embraces these new team members and the value that they're adding? How do you communicate why these folks have been hired and why they're on board?

Andrew:  I think that's an interesting dynamic because a lot of that is change management-related but it's also acknowledging that folks that have been in the industry for such a long amount of time, decades plus, they have a wealth of knowledge. So they understand whether you're talking about the product line and the engineering side and where it all has gone into the product and how the product's evolved to folks that are on the customer service side or are on the sales side. So, a wealth of knowledge of decades of experience, not only in the industry but also in whatever swim lane it is from a business standpoint. That knowledge doesn't easily translate into a lot of the tools and technologies that we're talking about, I think that gives an opportunity for the new guard, if you will, that's coming in that is well-versed in mobile and these new digital applications but they're lacking the industry expertise and knowledge that they don't have the past 30 years of experience of living and breathing in. So I think it's finding that balance of how to not let all that knowledge and industry experience walk out the door through natural attrition or retirements but really creating a game plan so that as younger talent comes in, the old guard feels invested in training and them handing off that legacy and that information and knowledge. And that can be done in a variety of ways. So I think when we talk about the change management aspect of these digital transformations, that's definitely a piece of it.

Jessica:  Yeah. And in some ways it's almost like, you can think about it from an analytics perspective, this benefit of qualitative versus quantitative analytics. You have your new folks who are coming in who are very data-driven, who are crunching numbers, using spreadsheets and dynamic programs to really analyze trends. But then you have these people with, as you said, wealth of knowledge and history that can really give you the on-the-ground perspective and the real life perspective to enhance and counter that. And I think that that's really valuable to have both sides of it. So, figuring out how those two can really work together and appreciate each other I think it's really important.

Andrew:  Yes, absolutely.

Jessica:  Well, Andrew, as always, it's been great to talk to you. For those of you out there listening, if you have a question or an issue you'd like for us to address in future episodes, we'd love to talk about it. Just hit us up online and let us know. And over the next couple of weeks we'll continue walking step by step your 10 best practices for a digital transformation. Thanks again and talk to you soon.

Andrew:  Thank you, Jess.


 

What's the ROI? Just six months after implementing their digital transformation efforts, luxury textile manufacturer Matouk saw a 233% return on their investments. 

Read the Matouk ROI report

 


Topics: Digital Transformation, Manufacturing Cloud

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