Digital Transformation in Industrial Manufacturing: Opportunities & Challenges

Jul 20, 2021 12:30 pm1:30 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

People are seeking a personalized experience in today’s market. But there are challenges companies face — including how to execute on pace with evolving trends. How can you leverage the acceleration of your business?

There is an opportunity to evolve your digital ecosystem by becoming more robust in upgrades of cloud infrastructure. In order to thrive, a company needs to react and adapt to extraneous factors, such as digital change. So, how can you pivot from a product organization to an experienced organization within the digital ecosystem?

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant sits down with Ravi Shankar, Executive Director of Global Customer Program Strategy and Commercial Excellence at Johnson Controls, Vijay Narayan, Senior Vice President and Head of Core Manufacturing Americas at Infosys Ltd., and Jeff Hennige, Practice Director of the Digital Strategy Group at Adobe. They discuss the challenges of digital transformation, the importance of optimization and innovation, and what it takes to build a culture of experimentation.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

 

  • Vijay Narayan discusses the digital ecosystem in the industrial manufacturing space
  • How you can increase and optimize your supply chain
  • The importance of visibility as a whole
  • Ravi Shankar talks about the integrated eCommerce experience
  • The digital transformation obstacles companies face according to Jeff Hennige
  • What does it mean to have an organizational message?
  • Why it is important to develop the best practice business model across geographies within your company
  • Vijay details the importance of placing a sensor in your digital architecture to follow the market
  • Ravi discusses managing data and analytics
  • Understanding the digital environment and architecture
  • How do you balance evolving market trends?
  • The culture of change takes small steps
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Event Partners

Guest Speakers

Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Jeff Hennige

Practice Director, Digital Strategy Group at Adobe

Jeff Hennige is the Practice Director of the Digital Strategy Group at Adobe. He is a strategic adviser to business leaders looking to transform and grow their companies. At Adobe, he works with an in-house strategy consulting team for manufacturing clients.

Vijay Narayan

Sr Vice President & Head, Core Manufacturing Americas at Infosys, Ltd

Vijay Narayan has over 25 years in the industry and is the Senior Vice President and Head of Core Manufacturing Americas at Infosys Ltd. He is responsible for the P&L sector at Infosys and sets the strategic roadmap for core manufacturing. He started on the shop floor and now works to build and nurture high-performance teams.

Ravi Shankar

Executive Director Global Customer Program Strategy, Commercial Excellence at Johnson Controls

Ravi Shankar is the Executive Director of Global Customer Program Strategy and Commercial Excellence at Johnson Controls. He has over 22 years of experience in building a robust global customer enablement roadmap. At Johnson Controls, he evaluates business goals and strategies against business processes and technology solutions.

Event Moderator

Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Jeff Hennige

Practice Director, Digital Strategy Group at Adobe

Jeff Hennige is the Practice Director of the Digital Strategy Group at Adobe. He is a strategic adviser to business leaders looking to transform and grow their companies. At Adobe, he works with an in-house strategy consulting team for manufacturing clients.

Vijay Narayan

Sr Vice President & Head, Core Manufacturing Americas at Infosys, Ltd

Vijay Narayan has over 25 years in the industry and is the Senior Vice President and Head of Core Manufacturing Americas at Infosys Ltd. He is responsible for the P&L sector at Infosys and sets the strategic roadmap for core manufacturing. He started on the shop floor and now works to build and nurture high-performance teams.

Ravi Shankar

Executive Director Global Customer Program Strategy, Commercial Excellence at Johnson Controls

Ravi Shankar is the Executive Director of Global Customer Program Strategy and Commercial Excellence at Johnson Controls. He has over 22 years of experience in building a robust global customer enablement roadmap. At Johnson Controls, he evaluates business goals and strategies against business processes and technology solutions.

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Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant 0:18

Happy Tuesday everybody. My name is Aaron Conant, the co founder, Managing Director of BWG Connect. We're a networking and knowledge sharing group with 1000s of organizations who do exactly that we network and knowledge share together to stay on top of the newest trends, strategies, pain points, whatever it is that shaping the digital landscape as a whole. I connect with 30 to 40 organizations a week to network now and share strategize with them. And from those topics from those conversations, we get the topics for our events as a whole. So, you know, one of the things that we really like to do on any of these events is make them as educational informational as possible. So at any point in time, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to drop them in the question section there drop into the chat or email them to me, Aaron aaron@bwgconnect.com. That's even an hour after the call tomorrow, next week, you have questions in the space, don't hesitate to shoot them over, we'll get you an answer, usually in under a day or so. So, you know, a couple housekeeping items as we kick it off.

We're starting a few minutes after the hour, and just a heads up, we're gonna wrap up with three to four minutes to go on the hour as well. So just you know, we're gonna get you plenty of stuff, give you plenty of time to get into your next meeting without being late. The next thing is, we really want questions. I want everyone to have a great conversation today. And we want to make sure we get as many of those answered. So yeah, just drop into the question section. And so as we kick it off, a lot of you knows we follow digital transformation as a whole, we do a lot of events on the CPG side, you know, the food side, but a pair or whatever it might be. But we've had a lot of questions lately from the organization as a whole on industrial manufacturing, what's happening in this space across the board. So we got some great friends, great partners, great supporters of the network as a whole on the line today to kind of, you know, help us understand the space what they're seeing, and then his answers many questions we can throw at them. So we also have a kind of a consolidated report here that we ran in Kyle is going to be on to kind of walk through some of those findings. But I kind of kick it over to everybody on the line today. We kind of do a round table of intros, you know, Jeff, I'll kind of kick it over to you, then we can go to Vijay. Then we go to Ravi and then to Kyle. But Jeff, do you want to do a brief intro on yourself in the organization? That'd be great.

Jeff Hennige 2:29

Sure. Thank you, Aaron. Yes, my name is Jeff Hennige. I work for Adobe and I lead the manufacturing vertical for Adobe's Digital Strategy Group. You can think of our group as Adobe's in house strategy consulting team, to team we put together your strategic adviser to our manufacturing clients. Again, our strategy at Adobe is we want to be a strategic partner. We don't want to just be selling software. And so our group was formed with that purpose in mind.

Vijay Narayan 2:55

Great to be talking to you today. Yeah, awesome. Vijay to get over to you. Hi, my name is Vijay Narayan. I lead the industrial manufacturing core manufacturing sector for Infosys in the Americas. Minnesota, Wisconsin, right and out of invest, been in the industry for more than 25 years now. Started from the shop floor and done everything from IT consulting to business consulting, Mr. Lee, the p&l for the sector and work with manufacturers across America.

Aaron Conant 3:27

And great to be here. Yeah, we'll jump back to Ravi, Kyle, I'll kick it over to you and we can kind of get Ravi’s dial you want to jump in?

Kyle 3:36

Absolutely. And hopefully my audio is coming through clearly Aaron, just quick confirmed before dumping. Excellent. So, so nice to be joined. By you all today, I'm going to keep this short and concise, I just want to do a quick walkthrough of the report that we put together. And please reach out if you have any questions on the report where if you didn't receive a copy for any reason, we'll be happy to help on that front. So what the task was here was a collaborative effort with with the team over at Infosys and, and with BWG, to go out into the industry and engage with manufacturing and industrial organizations across a number of subcategories. So we were able to engage an audience of nearly 120 professionals. These were heavily focused on the senior decision makers at organizations above a billion in revenue. So we're talking to, you know, some of the largest most established enterprises out there in the manufacturing space. And basically, we're able to assemble a broad set of views in terms of what people are prioritizing and and where their their sights are in the wake of the pandemic. So you can just see a quick bit of descriptive information in terms of whom we sampled, again, mostly that senior level decision making

And, and focused on organizations, over 1000 employees at billion dollar plus in revenue. three key takeaways from the report, we found that enterprise are heavily focused on efficiency, resilience, and new digital business models, much of which we'll be getting into in just a moment in the live conversation, if we break each of these down and put together a few key data points. So two of the top three forward opportunities that were identified by our panel had to do with efficiency becoming more robust and more lights on 24. Seven in a post COVID World 65% of that sample, viewing it as a high priority and a large increase in terms of the perceived opportunity there. In terms of workforce and services, automation, we all hear the pain points around labor and hiring today. It's every conversation that you're doing, I'm sure. This was this saw the greatest increase in Priority among initiatives, it's increasing for 77% of the sample. And I'm sure it's only become more accentuated as the pandemic has gone on. Just moving along, just summing up some of the off, off air comments that we've received is, you know, labor costs are going up 10%. Plus, you've got a dysfunctional supply chain, that's just driving the need for the efficiency across all of these organizations in their manufacturing processes, as well as their front end and back end software stacks.

You few other things, if I had to boil it down, the key initiatives taking place to raise efficiency in the technical sense have to do with those cloud infrastructure upgrades. I'm sure we all saw the recent Morgan Stanley survey that only about 20 20% of workloads, in their recent CIO outreach or in the cloud just shows how nation we are, even though we've been talking cloud cloud cloud for a decade, SAS adoption is accompanying that. And then of course, we're seeing that hardware automation, with robotics on the factory floor and other initiatives. And then again, this is this is hectic and challenging, but it is there is a silver lining, we're seeing record sales for many, many of these manufacturing and industrial organizations, we're simply trying to deal with a cup that's overflowing. So we have a lot more great data in the survey. But I'm going to keep moving on. As far as resilience. This is this dovetails with deficiency nicely 65% of the leaders that we spoke with their increase, they view increasing speed and resilience from digital transformation as their number one forward looking opportunity. And that's over a 12 month viewpoint. But I'm sure you could extend that outward more resilient, is it again, one of those things like labor coming up in every conversation, because people are, quite frankly, shown high degrees of concern about the continuity of their supply chains, their workforces, and just keeping the lights on and having a 24 seven global work operation. So again, just a quick data point there was that supply chain is being viewed by 60% of the sample as a as a high risk and 59%. Seeing cybersecurity another key issue in the resilience conversation, we've all seen the recent jvms and other ransomware attacks. So that ties into resilience and how people are spending their dollars this year. And then just to close out on that thread as we move to a robust and global supply chain, take back some of the just in time operating models and reform them. People are focused on how do they make flexible employment work. That's not a luxury for many manufacturing organizations. But for those that are corporate or remote, that's a top pain point. In fact, it was the number two challenge mentioned in our survey. In our survey, and just the flex environment is a key area of focus. Just to wrap up that new digital business models which I know there's been some interest in prior to the discussion, we're seeing a ton of interest from manufacturers and upstream suppliers direct, directly engaging with their downstream customers more doesn't mean that the channel or intermediaries are going anywhere, but you do have 33% of the respondents that we spoke to that are engaging in major increased prioritization of online and digital sales over the coming 12 months and and that's both backward and forward looking in terms of reviewing what, what took place in the past 12 months during the pandemic. So more to come on that but we've talked about it if you go into deep dives in the report, there's virtualized trade shows, there's new digital marketing opportunities, and just a host of other approaches that the industry Organizations are engaging in. And we should see that accompany the m&a boom as, as tech focused organizations start to layer on, basically become assumed by some of these traditional manufacturing and industrial organizations to help bridge the gap. Don't just leave it on this final slide for you all, I just thought it would be informative to sum up the pre the three top areas in each of these categories, which we asked about in their accompanying data slides in the survey report. Once again, feel free to follow up with us if you have any questions. But I'll leave this up as food for thought during the discussion and hand it back to you. Thanks, everybody.

Aaron Conant 10:41

Awesome, Kyle. Hey, thanks so much for jumping on and kind of sharing and thanks for leaving this slide up as kind of guides our discussion along the way. And just a quick reminder, as you have questions for the panel today, just drop into the Questions section, we'll get as many of those answered as possible. But you know, it'll Vijay, if I started with you, you know, what are some of the key Digital Trends that you see in the industrial manufacturing space as a whole would love to kind of kick off the conversation there? I know you guys have a lot of insight in that area across the board. So we'd love to hear your thoughts. And we can kind of bounce around the panelists as well.

Vijay Narayan 11:17

Ya know, I'd love the other panelists also to chime in. But what I'm seeing is, you know, three big areas. One is new business models, as we talked about in the in the deck. The other thing is what we call the b2b to see aspect of what was earlier b2b. And the third, I think, is the pandemic itself, and what it has meant to the entire digital ecosystem, which everyone is trying to burn. The first one, which I mentioned about the new business models, I mean, for example, right? I mean, most industrial companies, manufacturers, now we're trying out new business models, like, you know, servitization is one of them. If you look at the and I won't probably also the chairman out here, if you look at the building management industry, I mean, you look at carrier, you look at a rim, you look at a Johnson Controls, all of them are moving away from just selling h wax, and coolers and stuff like that are trying to provide so called comfort as a service, you know, the entire building management as a service, you know, buildings as a service, it's such a big trend. And if you look at it, I mean, it's not just business models, it's completely new products from startups, which are, you know, completely changing the way companies think about it. For example, right? I mean, we all know about Tesla, but if you look at the lawnmower industry, right? I mean, if you look at what Husqvarna is doing, I mean, they are cannibalizing their own business by creating new robotic AI controlled mowers, which will cannibalize their own industry, but that's necessary. Similarly, the servitization aspect of earnings could mean that you had to overhaul the digital backbone, the ecosystem of your, of your company to take care of sales and marketing, service service, aspects of billing and stuff like that. So that's one big aspect. The second is obviously b2b to see right. I mean, with Amazon effect, all companies now want to control not just the buying experience, the pre shop experience, the shopping experience, and then this after ownership experience, which, you know, brings in all the services aspect to it, they want to control the entire aspect of it, right. And if you look at it, even b2b customers, they do 65 to 70% of b2b customers research a product before they actually buy. So you need to be focused on the pressure part of the shopping part has to be extremely, you know, controlled has to be asked to give a premium experience and then after the ownership experience has to be the channel for driving a lot of the after sale services. And this doesn't mean the channels dealers partners go away. It's about in a lot of cases, ensuring uniformity of the brand experience and in some cases, enabling the GL channels dealers, to be able to use their tools to be able to sell better to be able to have the brand experience better. And obviously augment that with direct channels. The final part of it, I think, is the pandemic pandemic meant that a lot of stuff which used to be good to have or things which could take time. For example, a smart factory could be connected products and design loops, field service, which is remote diagnostics, remote diagnostics, you know, making sure that the amount of time Field Service Technician spend, if not at residences or businesses really slow. All of these actually have been accelerated, it's not a good to have a must have. So this means that these trends are accelerated, you know, remote working has created a new problem, as well as imperative it also means you know, cybersecurity has changed so all the stuff is the pandemic has accelerated and now people are looking forward as to how can I leverage the acceleration of the because of the pandemic to actually be in on my company. So in my view, the three big things that you business models of b2b b2c conundrum. And finally the whole pandemic acceleration of the other Digital Trends. But Ravi I mean, you know, I did talk about the building management space. But if you have any thoughts would love to hear from you too as to from from Johnson Controls perspective what you're thinking but that's my view.

Aaron Conant 15:17

Jeff we'll kick it over to you. Ravi gets the microphone working over there. But Jeff, would love to hear your thoughts here, as well.

Jeff Hennige 15:27

Yeah, no, I think what you just outlined Vijay is very consistent with what I've been talking to clients about regularly every week. And I sort of describe it as there's really a need now to pivot from being product company to an experience company, that that's the way we often engage with our clients. So they're really trying to deliver that end to end experience, you know, as you think about b2b b2c, as you were describing, it creates a new set of complexities, really, they have to change the way they operate. And so a lot of the things that I'm talking to clients about is really the How to, I've seen a shift from, as you were describing an acceleration of people getting very focused on on digital transformation, where before, it was a lot of head nodding, and, you know, maybe not as much as sort of a burning platform to to to take action. Now, we've seen big change there and a lot of investment happening. But what now I'm seeing is, well, how do we do it? Right, we understand we have the vision now. But as I as I engage with our manufacturing clients, more and more, they're asking us, yeah, we understand that we need to do this, we understand what good looks like, for the most part, tell us how to do it. And I can share more on that as we go through the conversation of some of the pain points that I'm talking to clients about or observing to try and execute on some of these ideas, as well as some of the things that we're helping them implement to to accomplish those goals.

Aaron Conant 16:55

Yeah, awesome. Get Ravi, it's like, we got some audio working, it'd be awesome to hear your thoughts

Ravi Shankar 17:02

in the show? Yeah, absolutely. I think we just summed it up pretty well, in, you know, in the electricity industry, we have been in adjust controls, we've been in the journey for the past four years or so. But pandemic kind of accelerated as to where, you know, the pace at which we'll go in, and the diversity of our offering that kind of enriched because of the pandemic. So, you know, I think we have been looking at both new business models that we just touched about, it's been something that we truly are, you know, the lover of open door offerings, etc. And then when it comes to how do we serve our channel partners better? How do we increase and optimize, you know, the buying this by the buying experience with the Amazon model, we are fundamentally, you know, that which started his journey, like three, four years back, you know, it gave us a great opportunity to optimize, and we have done some major redesign if there's going to go into play in the next four or five months. And when it comes to the other ones, you know, it depends on truly, you know, what are some of the pain points you rightfully pointed out here, the remote employees in the supply chain, the automation in the factories, so it made us accelerate some of the, you know, projects that we were thinking of our investment, we're thinking of doing a little bit later, it brought into for, for players that we need to do that for now. So I think we will calculate.

Vijay Narayan 18:20

Yeah, I'm the one thing Jeff and Ravi, which I was musing about is, if you look at today's ecosystem, right, your brand is only as good as the worst channel, you actually have beechina, Channel, dealer partner online or whatever, right? I mean, you have so many channels these days, the consistency of being able to maintain that brand, the kind of interactions that you have, and not just during the buying cycle, it's more in the ownership cycle. It's a 123 shop cycle. That's enormous. I mean, if you look at everybody wants Amazon model, they want to be able to see what others are saying about it, they want to be able to buy at the click of a button, they want to have multiple ways of buying the whole thing, and they want it to be delivered tomorrow. Right? So it's a very unique, you know, while Amazon is seeing this thing, I mean, it's changed everything. I mean, it's changed how b2b customers are buying stuff. I mean, I was reading this report you know recently where 70% of the b2b customers are actually want an Amazon like experience so surveys done by a company I forget and all manufacturers think that they can achieve five revenue growth if they mastered this b2b to see aspect of things which is you know, phenomenal and the business buyers now want personalized experience. I mean, it's not about you know, they want I am Company B you know, I need to be talked of as you know me right and don't talk to me as if I'm just a buyer or a distributor or something I you need to know me and give you give me product offerings which are relevant to me So, very, how things are changing, but It's a huge challenge. But it's also a huge opportunity. I mean, if the people who actually are able to tackle this denominator Chronicle multifold. But this is a big problem, too, because it's it means a lot of things on the back end to be able to do this work.

Jeff Hennige 20:15

Yeah, I completely agree with that Vijay. That's something that I often talk about clients about the, you know, the need to have a b2b experience be like people are used to, and particularly as younger and younger people get into those decision making roles. We have a lot of millennials on my team. And we, we often put our clients through what I call the millennial test, and we do a lot of assessments of their experience, you know, from their eyes, and provide some feedback there. So I completely agree with that point.

Aaron Conant 20:42

If you look at it, the oldest millennial is like 3839. Now, right? Is it he, they have gotten older, right, and now they're actually in by roll so Vijay, like the stats, you're saying, like it's only going to grow, right, that number that expected that experience, and everything they get from Amazon, which is, you know, customer verse, it's a, you know, this, almost like a spoiled me now, type view, like, I want every option, and I want it, you know, at a price point that I want, and I want it delivered tomorrow. And it's an expectation, and the millennials have said their favorite website is Amazon. So I guess I'm not you know, it's not shocking that it's bleeding over. I guess it would be shocking. It's not bleeding over faster. But I think, incredibly interesting point, especially when you brought up the b2b, the sea, do you want to like explain that just a little bit to make sure that everybody understands what that how that operation works in, then we can kind of keep the I just have a couple people email, like, Hey, can you elaborate on that a little bit? And then we'd love to get Ravi's, and Jeff's thoughts on it as well. Yeah,

Vijay Narayan 21:49

I mean, if you look at the traditional channel, right, I mean, companies used to sell to companies, right? And, you know, in the manufacturing industry, for example, a company used to sell the company B and that was the end of it, right? I mean, there were certain information exchanged. But the biggest problem out there was the problem of visibility, right? I mean, if you really look at it, you know, that is, the manufacturer knew very little about who the end customer is, you know, who's their end customer, they have no connect with their end customers, either physically, virtually, there is no information in terms of install base data, you know, what's happening, right? I mean, they do not have visibility on the end customers evolving needs feedback, demand cycles, and stuff like that. Similarly, if you look at the visibility around the product side, there's a huge issue there too, because there is no single source for relevant product information for the end consumers there is there is no CPU or product visualization tools, which you know, in consumers have to be able to, you know, configure that product or even dealers to configure that product, there is no virtual product showcases right and did not have real time visibility on order statuses and stuff like that. And similarly, on the service side, the manufacturers have no clue on the service demand, I mean, they do not they cannot tap into the replacement demand, right? I mean, they do not know whether they can upsell cross sell, can they have a better integrated volunteer experience can regenerate leads to that, right? I mean, so if you look at it, the b2b model had all these issues, right. And what is happening now, with the growth of digital with the growth of an Amazon like experiences, manufacturers think that they can actually get better visibility, they can have better visibility to the customer, they can have better visibility of their product overall, and then they can have better visibility on the services needs. So they not only want to use the b2b channels, they also want to use the b2b to see channel to be able to sell direct or if nothing else, enable the their dealers their partners to be able to sell a lot more effectively to the end consumer. So that's what I mean by b2b to see is that just not long, no longer just about the company, a selector, it's also about the company, that company is selling to the end consumer in the whole chain, and that's driving a very new ecosystem. province.

Ravi Shankar 24:16

Yeah, no, no, I totally agree, which I, because I think it's all about an integrated eCommerce experience. Because end of the day, you know, as you rightfully said, we need to have a better understanding of the needs of the customers, and how can we service that volca will make it easier for them to understand learn, and be able to get those products at the time that they need. At the same time, how can we do them reliable availability, visibility, pricing, etc, that's connected to the base. If you look at it, you know, you everybody wants to be an Amazon but the ground realities, and you have, you know, multi brand multi product, what a year is. So you really have to take a look at this from a holistic perspective and say, what should that you know, integrated eCommerce experience to be totally gonna address that one Can we get a 360 degree perspective, that's pretty much critical. Everybody, we're going towards that path, but what kinda the pandemic and highlighted some of the nuances that, you know, that could impact the fight and agility and the speed at which you can respond to if you have that one meltdown. But that's been, you know, despite the fact that this was, you know, so such a hard time, it truly gave the organization to sit down and think through and map this on in a holistic way, that we truly can be an average, it's an aspirational thing, we want to be like an Amazon, for the manufacturing, where you're the front and the back, and all of the interconnections, you know, so So it's, it really has accelerated pace at which people are doing that one, and it's, you know, really improved upon the optimization of innovation products that we were able to do this year, you know, this year, during the, the new product that we're in, to be able to introduce the process, you will go to herbalized, which is, you know, literally, you know, that those things were the digital transformation. You know, it's like digital transformation 2.0, we're at one point or higher register step load increment as to what we need to do to be able to compete in this environment.

Aaron Conant 26:13

Yeah, I mean, it's an interesting, you know, time now that it, the information in the feedback loops are available, right, that, you know, if you go back 10 years ago, it's hard for the manufacturer a lot of times to get the direct feedback from the end consumer. And now there's a million channels to get that from, and the pipelines are wide open. So it's, it's like the state of digital maturity that now you at least have to be listening to it. To understand I mean, like, you were saying Vijay for, you know, product development and for understanding, you know, what's happening out in the field, and with the sales reps and the service organizations, but, you know, Jeff, I'd love to hear your thoughts here. But also love, you know, to hear about, like, obstacles that you see, you know, brands, you kind of mentioned that early on, and so just had a couple emails saying, Hey, you know, Jeff mentioned a few obstacles that we could get into, so I'd love to hear your thoughts on, you know, you know, kind of that b2b side, but and then, you know, and any of these things, the digital transformation obstacles that you see that are out there.

Jeff Hennige 27:17

Yeah, absolutely. You said something interesting that I was gonna hook on air, and he said, I'm surprised it hasn't gone faster. And I think I have some insight into what might be driving sort of maybe the slowness that you're seeing. And there's a few things, you know, the, the traditional way that for manufacturing companies operate is usually more load deliberate. And this doing the things that we're talking about here becoming more experienced, driven company, having a direct relationship with the consumer is a different way of operating. And it requires a lot of organizational changes. And I think that's the biggest pain point. The teams often are siloed, you have a lot of in some of these manufacturing hubs, you have a lot of different businesses with a very complicated organizations, a lot of functional teams, and they just many of them have yet not figured out how to collaborate and break down those silos in a way to deliver an end to end experience, like we were just talking about, that's a very difficult thing to execute against, in particular, for this industry, when it is so complicated as Vijay was talking about all the different channels, and you're only as good as your sort of, you know, weakest link. That's a very difficult problem to attack. And so I would say organizationally, it has to do with new ways of operating. And I can I can share with you as we get to the conversation, some specific things that we're working with our clients on to address those. But the second challenge, I would say, actually feel another one relate to the organization's just change management. So let's say that you, you do understand this new operating model that you need to implement in order to execute against your vision, getting the organization to change to that new model isn't is extremely difficult. And again, that's where you have to bring in some, some leaders to sort of, you know, to lead the way, and then some change agents, right to help you sort of move along your goal. So those are the two organizational things. But then the third one that I would bring up here is related to the infrastructure. And historically, a lot of manufacturing companies have invested in their platforms and tools in a sort of siloed, fragmented way. And so we call it you know, technical debt, where now they're sort of saying, Oh, we need to have this integrated end to end experience. But all our systems are are isolated, our data is not integrated. And it's a real challenge to then deliver on something like Amazon who doesn't have that problem, right. So I'd say those are the three of the key challenges. And, you know, and also just building those capabilities that around delivering be an experienced company, right. And so, again, I can talk about how we're helping our clients with those, but maybe I'll just stop there and see if others have any builds on that and some of the challenges that I'm seeing

Vijay Narayan 30:00

I completely agree, Jeff, I mean, you hit the nail on the head, right? I mean, particularly the legacy, the technical debt, so to speak. So, you know, sometimes I think it's better to actually start over, right? I mean, if you look at digitally Native Client companies, I mean, why the reason why they're able to do so fast is because they have no debt, they are not technical debt, they can just go and you know, the problem with a lot of legacy companies with a lot of debt is the data is not in one place. I mean, it's all over the place. Some of the applications which are out there, you know, are people don't even know where the source code is for those, right? I mean, so it's like a lot of data which is out there, which is very difficult to manage. And then there is also the issue of infrastructure. I mean, a lot of it is on prime. And all this means a lot of skills. So you need to be cloud enabled cloud native, to be able to kind of cater to the amount of data with these kind of things to me, right? I mean, Amazon gets so much of petabytes of data, and they're able to do it because the digitally native, you know, if you look at some of the manufacturers, they are not that right. And that's a huge, huge issue to circumvent. And the other thing, which actually happens is some of these, these, this is hard, right? I mean, for example, the amount of variants for a product, which Johnson Controls my manufacturers, enormous, it's not it, there's so many variants of product configuration is a huge issue in itself, right. And it's not, it's complicated. And by the time you actually do it, you know, the world has moved on, the problem is to be able to execute this change in a very real time manner. Because the pace of change is not going to slow down, it's only going to increase. So the ability to be able to do it and fast print. With the ability to change and fine tune as the world moves on is going to be imperative, you know, the old aspect of being able to do five year transformations, you know, you do a budget optimization for five years, and then execute to that by the time the project is over the world has moved on, you're again, in a legacy, right? So that's other challenges companies face is always execute at pace, but also are in sync with what is happening in the world. Because what's there today is not there six months down the line three months down the line, right? So that's the other thing, the whole agile way of working, is the other thing, and of course change management and being able to communicate this change in a very effective manner across the organization is a big deal. But it's it's hard. I mean, it's not easy. It's very difficult. But that's the only way forward. I mean, you cannot, the pace of change is only going to increase. I mean, somebody was telling that the pace of change is the fastest it's been so far, but it's the slowest it's ever going to be. Right? So that's what's going to happen. So it's gonna change every second.

Aaron Conant 32:39

Yeah, wait, keep that over to Ravi, cuz, you know, Vijay, what you're saying is spot on, I think is the communication side. So hey, we can bring their you know, we got the investment. For the change, right? We bring the right people on, but what is that? What does that internal message and communication so that you get buy in, because we're changing so fast? It needs to be everybody needs to be all in? it, that seems to be a difficult conversation to have. So Ravi, I'd love to hear your, your thoughts and how you handle that?

Ravi Shankar 33:10

Absolutely, I think it's been a progression. You know, as Jeff said, organizationally, it's all siloed, you got too many, you know, when we just said too many legacy things that you need to connect them together. And the pace at which you're gonna go, you know, the organization might be able to sustain, but that might not get you to the point where you need to go. Otherwise, you're in this, you know, cyclic mode, where you're making changes, you're already you know, let's see, you're going to maintain this. So what we did, I think the key thing, the learnings that we had, and the opposite. And where we are right now, is the clarity of the vision, you need to have a very good understanding of what you need to do. Because at no point in time, I can say, I should be able to be able to put forward an old style, you know, think that's not gonna change, you need to have an understanding of I'm going to aim for the North Star with an understanding that we are at the point in time when I go right now that the goalpost has moved, but do I have the agility to be able to scale it at the pace at which I need to scale? What does it really mean? So there has to be an organizational message, there has to be an organization, they're set up internally, in the right backing to be able to do that one effective communication. And you need to have partners, you know, you need to have your si partners, you know, the ones that you have to be able to do it, which we need to do. So it's always about how do we get the best of, you know, best in delivery, invest in solution design, can we get some innovative thought process into the, into the interplay, that you have this well oiled machine that can change the pace at which is needed for you to be able to deploy and implement some things? I'm not saying it's, it's been easy. I think our journey kicked off probably five years ago. And now we're at the point where we're saying, absolutely, we now can go global, you know, can scale we now can get all of the products and business Under the platform in a comfortable way, it all depends on who you partner with, you know, do they have the right, you know, so we're lucky, we have, you know, quite a few, you know, great partners, Infosys, Accenture, etc. And that's really helping yourself, it's very, very important. It's kind of like the community, you need to have the community because you by yourself won't be able to do what you what you want to do to be successful in this environment, the pace and the clarity. And then how do you, the point is always about convergence of, you know, because you have all of these businesses, you, you want to make sure that you still are enabling them to grow their businesses, you're building them everybody to a common platform, at a point in time, you need to drop off the legacy and convert them into what needs to be the new way to go the new processes, etc. So it's a challenge. But I think as you rightfully said, organization, alignment, alignment, clarity of mission, and truly a broader ecosystem that can help you navigate that that's fundamental.

Aaron Conant 35:58

You know, Jeff, if I kick it over to you, and then we have a question that comes in around, you know, examples of sales and marketing bottlenecks, which is really cool. I want to get to that. But, you know, Jeff, when you look at organizations as a whole, what have you seen people do really well, so we focus on hey, these are some of the obstacles here are things that people will try and try? What do you see people doing really, really well?

Jeff Hennige 36:21

Yeah, great question. So how do you address all of these challenges, and I think that the two most common conversations I'm having now, and I will tie it into, like best practice that we are observing is the first is building out the right type of Center of Excellence. So a lot of our clients don't have a center of excellence at all. And so that's something that we're working with them on to build that others habit, but it's not operating and functioning very effectively. So we're really working on some of the details of how do you set something like that, to overcome some of the challenges. So you know, the benefits of it is obviously focusing in on some core capabilities that are aligned with the vision that you get some of your capabilities closer to the customer and, and driving business impact. So it's capability building, but also the collaboration piece. We the way we think of is everything about a hub and spoke and familiar with these kinds of operating models, where you have different functions are embedded in the co op, you have stakeholders from the business embedded in sort of hybrid rolls, and you're really starting to break down those silos with a group that's going to focus on this and put some dedicated resources against it. And then of course, standardizing sharing best practices, I you know, a lot of my manufacturing clients have multiple business units, and we're talking to them about how do we get best practices shared across those business units, across geographies. So that's the first thing that we talked a lot about. And, you know, I often lean into Adobe, because we do you know, digital marketing, as well as anyone I've seen. And we often have our practitioners come to what we bring them to clients. And we talk in details to this yesterday about some of these things, we've just really developed a very advanced sort of capability. I know, we're, we're not exactly industry, manufacturing, but a lot of the principles apply, right. And so our center of excellence is very well evolved. And so we can lean into that in terms of who's doing things well. The second thing that we often talk to our clients about is something again, it comes from the dhobi playbook, which is our data driven operating model, we call it D DOM. And this is a way again, of if your goal is to have a direct relationship with customers, and to start to operate more like eCommerce type of business models. This was what Adobe did when we made that pivot years ago to a subscription business. And essentially, the key elements of it are one aligned KPIs, the whole organization is aligned on the KPIs that we're going to use to measure success for that business, from our CEO, to the VPS. To the practitioners, we have a cascading set of KPIs that everybody agrees, this is how we're going to measure success. This is how we're going to source that data. And this is how we're going to report on it and and engage on it as a team over time. That's the first thing. Second is roles and responsibilities and accountability for those metrics. So we break up the customer journey, and we assign the leaders and teams to each stage of the journey, they're going to own those KPIs. And there'll be a regular cadence of problem solving, you know, when we're not hitting those targets. So that's the sort of second element. And then the third is collaboration. This is not a siloed effort, where each team is focused on each stage of the journey. There's problem solving across there's journey managers that work across the end to end experience to ensure that we're working as a cohesive team. This is was sort of a passion project of our CEO. He insistent that we have this model, he loves to show it to clients. And so that's really helped with the change management and the buy in is to get this model up and running. But we've been now adapting that to different industries, including autos, and industrial manufacturing clients. So those are the two main things that I find myself talking about most frequently, how do you build out a center of excellence to overcome some of those challenges we are talking about and build out these new capabilities that you need? And secondly, how do you set up an operating model that's going to drive this kind of change? It's going to be more of a data driven approach to affect the business outcomes you're looking to. Love it?

Aaron Conant 40:33

So a question comes in, because I think it's on this top three risks. little portion here, sales and marketing bottlenecks. Can you can you address so it can be any of the panelists, you know, the sales and marketing bottlenecks as a whole? One of those look like? How are people solving for that? What are the biggest concerns there?

Vijay Narayan 40:56

Yeah, see, but you know, maybe I'll take a quick shot at it. I mean, the bottlenecks are huge, right? Because you have so many channels, you have so many threads to which you can actually make self sales, right? I think the biggest thing which companies need to invest in, in this in this aspect, is what we at Infosys called the live enterprise, but which basically means that you have to have sensors within the organization to be able to sense what is happening, because a company needs to react to those extra extraneous factors and be able to adapt them so right, like a living organism. And that's what is critical. And we are trying to do this with a few companies, you know, to be able to send, so you should be able to sense the market demand, right? And how do you do that by putting in sensors inside the digital architecture to be able to sense what is happening, what is happening in the market, in a very unrelated area, which could actually affect you, what is where are the leads actually getting lost, a lot of the times what happens is you have a lot of leads, but then actual sales is a very small percentage of it. So there's a lot of leads, which actually fall off, whereas the leads falling through. So once you have that sensor framework in place in your digital architecture, then you can build the next layer, which is actually action icing, what is happening, right? I mean, because the inside is what reaction, but unless you have the sense, you're, you know, what is happening inside the various fragments of the ecosystem, it's very difficult for you to be able to act on it, right. I mean, in today's environment, you know, sometimes manufacturers don't even know, details of what their channel partners are selling, how much they're selling, why they are selling, if they are leaving money on the table by not upselling cross selling. So the problem is, first of capturing that, you know, sensory in in the various things and then being able to action on it. The other thing which I seen as it makes sense, sometimes to create use cases, right, instead of trying to tackle everything in one go, I mean, try to create use cases, which will actually have a best ROI, and be able to act on those use cases in a very fast agile manner, and then be able to build on it. As I did last year transformation is very difficult in today's environment, but putting the sensory framework in place to be able to react to what is happening, and then creating use cases which can be immediately acted on. I think the other two things, but the challenges are enormous, because of the number of inputs, which are there now instead of what was earlier, one UBI channel or a UI stream, which actually people look at now there are so many, so and Nasus are also that many.

Aaron Conant 43:27

You know, Ravi? If I kick it over to you, what are some like, you know, key advice that you have, you know, whether it's around timeframe, or patience or or structure or right people to have in the room, you know, for people on the line today that are, you know, kind of embarking on this journey. So a majority started on it. And some of them got really pushed into it over the past 18 months.

Ravi Shankar 43:53

Yeah, no, I think Jeff kind of declared it is very, very, you know, very well, you know, I agree the three tenets of what he talked about, how do you build in centers of excellence, you truly need to have that all that you have, you have the center of excellence with the right people from the right functions, right resources, and augment them with outside resources are very, very important. The question is, how do you how do you bring in collaboration to come to any man, any large manufacturing company that's global, you do have lots and ones that you want to be able to address? How do you bring that sense of a true ownership, collective ownership? That's very, very important, culturally, those two, I think that that truly is a big sign. And the last one is analytics, data and analytics, you have everything which I kind of said many times, in today's digital world, you got enormous amount of data. The question is, what's relevant data? How do you analyze the data and what matters to you? How do you bring the perspective to the day data that matters that way you can react and act upon in a way it makes sense. Otherwise, you got so much data, you know, and you just don't know what to do with the data. You don't know how to prepare. So those three things, you know, it's about organization or Centers of Excellence makes absolute sense. Or you bring in this collaborative attitude across all of these siloed organizations, a single sense of purpose. And lastly, what what should the data structure be? How we're How do you align around the KPIs that we all can look at reviews? If you really look at it, it conveys the same message. How do you standardize that one. So those three things are absolutely beneficial, I think as different as to it. It was a journey, we are at a point where we are met with not necessarily try to work out. But we truly are at a place where we have to manage it. And I think, you know, it takes us probably another year and a half, to be at a point where we can really go back and you know, what we did, you know, we can have other men and learn from, but it's a journey.

Aaron Conant 45:50

Awesome. Yeah. Vijay. I can't get to you, you know, like your your key advice. I mean, you guys deal with a ton of different organizations, as a whole, you know, what's, you know, what are your key highlights? Or key thoughts? Are people on the line today?

Vijay Narayan 46:07

Yeah, I mean, I think the first step is to do something, I mean, because staying where we are is probably not an option. So you know, anything is okay. But important, do something. The second thing is, as I said, right, I mean, it's probably not great to commit yourself to a very long, large transformation, take small steps, which have a specific ROI, or a use case associated to it. And thirdly, focus on building, while you're doing these use cases, focus on building the architecture in place, don't do it in one go. But every use case is built a certain layer into the architecture, right? I mean, it could be putting the sensory framework in place, it could be in terms of putting an AI automation aspect to it, it could be as good as it could be about creating a database, right, I mean, a strong central repository of data. It could be, you know, the actionable aspects of it, it could be something around RPA. But with every use case, try to build a certain part of the digital architecture, into into the picture. So what I'm basically saying is have a vision in place, which is the reference model digital architecture, but then take smaller steps, every use case with an ROI actually builds a part of the digital framework. And that way, over a certain number of use cases, you're actually in tune with what's happening in the environment. And then, during the course of the journey, you're also building the more digital native company, right. And that's what will be important, you have to be digitally native, at the end of all of this, to be able to react to what's happening, because what's happening today, tomorrow, or next year, if they want to have the same conversation, I think it's going to be a very different set of imperatives, but a digitally native company, which has actually created that architecture will be able to react to it very fast. And that's where the differentiation will lie.

Aaron Conant 47:56

Yeah, so how are you helping people then plan? You know, I think this is a common thing that happens is people look at the world around them, and they see a digital leader. And they they kind of mimic what they're doing. They say, Hey, we want to be like that. And by the time they put the changes in place, and they're now like that organization was the organization they were looking to be like, is now three years further down the road. So how do you? How do you balance where you're looking for enough out? So when you complete the project, you're you're an industry leader, I think he will try to understand

Vijay Narayan 48:29

what that looks like. Yeah, so for example, for a large agri manufacturer headquartered in the US, right, we did such a program where they wanted to completely reinvent the whole b2b to see landscape. And the way we did it is we looked at, you know, 30 use cases, right, which we wanted to do to be able to get those now some of them were more focused on the end customer experience. Some of them were focused more around, you know, the channels, dealers, partners. And the third thing was around the direct selling experience, right. And then, while we did each of these, we had a created a reference architecture. And then while we did each of these use cases, we had a definite ROI at the end of it, they revamped the entire digital architecture for how to go to market and it's one of the very successful stories the whole process took two and a half years, but you know, the ROI was coming in chunks right I mean, every three months, there was certain ROI coming out and then we have created these very points ration as a company right. I mean, for example, you know, for a third time at Atlantic, you know, we, we created we have a product just called meridian which is able to do, you know, showcase launches, show showcase launches of products not to mature during a pandemic use that toys, to be able to do the entire virtual dealer showcase right off all their new products and stuff like that. It was done completely remote. And you know, the feedback was amazing, but they were able to circumvent this whole problem of being able to do big showcases without getting too pulled together in that manner. So we're the bindeez point solutions also, which actually help our clients. But the important thing is no, take small steps, but have the larger vision in mind. And that's what we have been successful with so far.

Jeff Hennige 50:12

Aaron, I have one other maybe build on that around your question of how do you manage this idea of you're always chasing the leader, as you think about the leaders. It's about building a cloud, I would say, in addition to everything you just said, Vijay is building a culture of experimentation. And innovation, I think, you know, historically, as I said, at the beginning, a lot of manufacturing companies are very deliberate and for good reason, right, that they've sort of built their business model for the poor, to be successful, right, in a certain way. And then there's a culture that follows that, but to do the rapid pace that we're talking about now, and to be a leader, that really requires a different way of thinking and more risk taking more, you know, smart risk, taking more experimentation, and constant testing and learning. And a lot of my manufacturing costs are not quite there, they're working towards it. Because it again, it goes back to that organizational change, the culture change, the mindset, sort of has to change in order to be able to adopt some things like that

Vijay Narayan 51:13

whole fan fast model doesn't come naturally to manufacturers, I mean, it.

Jeff Hennige 51:20

And I love hearing, Ravi, because you're sort of validating, you know, this is what I'm talking about. He's coming from a lot of client conversations. But I've always loved to get one more data point. And so I'd love to hear if that resonates with you as well, Ravi.

Ravi Shankar 51:37

Oh, absolutely. No, it helps me. Awesome. Well, I

Aaron Conant 51:44

see where we're at at time here. There's a couple questions we didn't get to. But just just in the interest of time, you know, I think we're gonna have to wrap it up. But more than happy to connect anybody on the line today, with any of the panelists or a follow up conversation, we'll make sure everybody gets a copy of the report, for sure. Just ping us and let us know. We'll make sure we get you a copy of that. But I think this is, you know, if we probably want to go just 30 seconds, key takeaways, we can kind of wrap it up here. Ravi, if you want to jump in, you know, 30 seconds or less, and then Vijay and then Jeff, and we'll let people out of here. Right on time.

Ravi Shankar 52:21

Well, absolutely. I think the key takeaway on this one is, you know, the finding, sir, you know, pretty accurate. And as Vijay appropriately said that the changes, he did mandate up, we had to change to the organization's have to keep up the pace, they had to change. They truly want to think being a way to be creative, and they need they need to fail fast. That way they can learn and keep on going to see is important. And you know, that to convergence is the key that you can do it all one single time. Thank you appreciate the opportunity. I

Vijay Narayan 52:50

think she reached out to you. And yeah, I mean, I think I think the key takeaway is, you know, the change is going to happen. And now it's a question about whether companies keep up with a change or even go ahead of the change, are they going to let the change happen to them, right, I mean, and that's something is going to happen. So it's better to get started, it may seem a lot. You know, it may seem very big, when you start but at the same time taking in small chunks and get something done. Because they as as Ravi had mentioned, the problem is not the amount of data, it's about being able to drive actionable insights out of that, that's where the issue lies, and being able to start small and to do it in steps as well is the way to go. And it's imperative because the pace of change is not going to stop and other new startups, new companies who are coming with completely different thought processes who will disrupt the industry. I mean, we didn't even get to things like additive manufacturing, and all which could change how manufacturing happens. Right. But all this was going to happen. It's a question about our company is going to keep up with a change in our

Aaron Conant 53:56

awesome, Jeff.

Jeff Hennige 53:59

Yeah, just to summarize, I think some of the points I was highlighting is, you know, to make the pivot from being a product organization to an experienced organization, is you requires the organization to change as well. So you know, we can think about the new experiences new business models, we will we have to actually adjust in our the way we operate more like a retail organization in order to be successful with those kinds of business models. So if you're if you're Adobe client, and you want to talk to your your account representative about some of the Adobe practices like dedeaux, I mentioned, and I'd be my last call out that that's something that we regularly talk to our clients about.

Aaron Conant 54:40

Awesome. We'll love it. Well, thanks, Ravi, Vijay and Jeff, for your time today. Thanks for sharing all the information. Let us throw a bunch of questions at you and put you on the hot seat for the past 55 minutes or so. And with that, I think we're gonna wrap it up. Thanks again, to everybody who doubt in thanks for the great questions. So if everybody has a fantastic Tuesday, a great rest of the week, Everybody stay safe and look forward to having you on a future event. All right. Thanks again, everybody. We'll be in touch.

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