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‘insiders’ - Manufacturing & Engineering

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Manufacturing & Engineering

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Digitization, automation and robotics are the catchwords of today’s manufacturing. Companies are in transition mode for the implications of real-time digitization -- described as Industry 4.0 -- which will change or even overhaul the way factory spaces are designed, as well as systems and processes. As the world, especially APAC nations, industrializes, new locations are being identified, as also skill sets for Industry 4.0; where humans will work alongside robots on the shopfloor.

Today’s manufacturing requires a new kind of leadership to lead the way forward in Industry 4.0. It requires a leadership that understands and has the capabilities to implement a sustainable balance between human labour and automation. It requires that companies look for the right talent at the very top; to lead into a world where industrial manufacturing is in the midst of a major transformation. Leadership suite has to take the helm against such a challenging scenario; recognizing the need for stronger technical skills – STEM – as well as not losing sight of aspects such as critical thinking, ethics, EQ and motivation. Companies also need to take a relook at their salary and compensation structures in order to attract and retain the best leadership talent. As global manufacturing transforms itself, new models are emerging. Making these new industrial models work and sustainable requires visionary C suite leadership.

CHALLENGES

  • Success in Industry 4.0 is dependent on leadership that can identify skill gaps & recruit talent aligned to it. It also requires leadership talent that understands the impact of AI, ML, IOT, Robotics and Big Data on business process & revenues. NewTech ready leadership talents are always niche to locate and require a structured approach to talent search.

  • Digitisation of manufacturing has to be balanced against human workforces with unique skills. One study suggests that 46 % of leadership cited lack of knowledge and necessary skills required for Industry 4.0 as a key challenge. Only forward-looking and visionary leadership can address this issue, and identity and nurture talent for the future.

  • Product visualization and Logistics driven locational manufacturing has put a new range of demands on the leadership’s decision making, ethical choices and training requirements. A forward-thinking C suite and board management can ensure that all three receive their due attention in a long-term corporate strategy.

  • Leadership talent in manufacturing is fungible. In several industries such as automotive, outside talent from another industry vertical has brought in fresh perspectives and vision, and the ability to make tough decisions. However, making the right leadership hires equipped with cross-functional perspectives is daunting as talent availability is increasingly scarce.

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