In the Transformation Journey series, Notes 5, discover “People Drive Transformation Success—6 Critical Success Factors.”
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00:13 Therese Snow
Welcome to our DELMIA podcast, global operations on the go. Today we continue our series on the transformation journey. Our guest, Eric Green, vice president of DELMIA, will be interviewed by Adrian Wood, Director of Strategic Business Development at DELMIA. They will be discussing the second wave of their research notes series: note five.
00:34 Adrian Wood
Thanks, Therese. This is Adrian. So this wave of notes five, six, and seven focuses on people, process and technology. And my first question is all about those three things. We're going to focus on just people today, but Eric, my question around this is, you know, we often break down companies into people, processes and technology. How do you think companies today should balance their investments between these three disciplines? And do you think most companies have the balance correct or not?
01:01 Eric Green
Definitely no. Most companies have a deficiency in one or more areas across those three different topics, whether it's related to people, process or technology. And working with all of our customers, very few don't have a deficiency and one or more of those areas. What we find is—and this is highlighted in the research Note series—is that depending upon the industry, and the maturity of the company, has a direct correlation to the deficiency or the lack of investment across people, process or technology. Typically, in newer companies, smaller companies that are growing rapidly and are well-funded don't have deficiencies in people or technology because their architectures are very current, and the people are very creative. What they do lack though, typically is good process management, and we'll cover that in research note six. Other companies that are more established, or maybe market leaders, will probably have much stronger processes and technology, and relatively strong people organization and change management capabilities, as always seen with market leaders.
But nonetheless, they still have deficiencies in different areas. The key is, in those companies, the deficiency isn't in one of the three categories; it's usually scattered across all three. And then there are other companies that represent an average company or somebody who is a market laggard—and they're going to have deficiencies typically in technology and/or people, because they haven't made the investments in those particular areas. And having said that, with research note five being focused on the topic of people, you know, when you're talking about transformation—and from our previous research and findings and research notes one through four—the topic of people dealing with change management and putting the organization successfully in place is key for success and transformation initiatives and programs to help change the business.
03:20 Adrian Wood
Okay. And people have always been, you know, an essential part of the strategy and have had challenges, you know, that have been addressed continuously. Obviously, recently, we've seen significant impact to the workforce from the current global disruption. How do you think that disruption has specifically impacted the workforce strategies? But more importantly, do you think there are any positive outcomes that we've seen over the last year and a half in terms of workforce strategy or focus?
03:47 Eric Green
There's no question now; the last 18 months with the pandemic and the impact on business has affected our workforce strategies. Where, you know, many people in the manufacturing supply chain space were used to going into a factory or to an office where they would do their work. In many cases, these plants closed, or, you know, these offices closed and people therefore had to work remote in some areas, we’ll say, like manufacturing, engineering and industrial engineering. The good news is these people were able to carry on their work from a home office environment, and other situations like factory workers, obviously, they weren't able to do their jobs because they weren't able to build product.
But what that's driven is an approach and a change to how to help the workforce be more productive, and in doing so, the productivity of the workforce in these factories—we’re talking about the frontline production workers and the support staff—be not only more efficient but be more empowered to make decisions that can drive change faster. So I think that's some of the positive outcomes of this. And so the other positive outcomes that we've seen in working with our customers is that this has created some opportunities for companies to be more creative—or creativity has evolved out of this dynamic, because now that people are working remote or they're working in different ways, has created some opportunities to do things differently—to be able to drive and share knowledge in new ways, and then expose people to that knowledge in a manner that allows them to do their job in a remote environment or in a new working model based upon space and distancing requirements driven by the pandemic.
05:45 Adrian Wood
I think I agree; good to hear some of the positive outcomes. In these research notes, Eric, that we detail six people critical success factors—I don't think we have time to go through all of them, but perhaps you could briefly list them and elaborate on one or two that are particularly important or key to this conversation.
06:04 Eric Green
Sure. There are six that we've identified, and that starts with committed leadership. The next one is acquiring and having the right talent on hand. The third and fourth are closely aligned but they’re different—one is the involvement of operations personnel; the fourth one is alignment between operations personnel and other organizations. The fifth is fostering an environment that allows for innovation. And last, but not least, of the critical success factors is, moving from a program orientation to one of a digitally aligned culture. If I could highlight a couple, we first talked about committed leadership. While it's obvious, it's a key element for driving transformation.
Having the committed leadership from the top and aligning the goals and objectives of the transformation in the business focus areas that you're addressing from the C-suite is incredibly important. And having that communicated, as well as driving that communication and orientation through the rest of the organization so that everyone is working off of the same objectives. And those objectives are reinforced from top to bottom down to the factory personnel, the people that are doing the factory work, as well as the people that are in IT, and the people that are helping support all the change management in the supply chain. So that's one brief synopsis of the success factor associated with committed leadership.
Another one that is also extremely important is—and I just referenced it with the factory personnel and the IT organization is—ensuring that there is alignment between the operational teams and the IT teams so that you do have what everybody calls OT and IT Convergence. That's extremely important as well. And we elaborate further on what some of the dynamics are there in the research note, as well as some of the ways that that can be achieved by taking advantage of some of the existing infrastructure in teams that do exist in an organization. And those are two of the four that I've just elaborated on. The six critical success factors.
08:36 Adrian Wood
They all sound as if they have a key role to play. We don't have time to go into all of them; thanks for the elaboration on just a couple. How does Dassault Systèmes solutions play a role in helping enable some of these success factors?
09:03 Eric Green
I think first is the solutions that we bring to the market with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and the solutions that we have with the industry—solution experiences, industry processes—bring to market a holistic approach so it allows for inclusion. And that's extremely important in any transformation or initiative because you want to make sure that you have all the stakeholders involved. And because of the inclusion as a result of being a holistic approach to solving a specific industry challenge, that ensures that nobody is left behind or that gaps are created through emission.
The second is that because it's a holistic approach and fosters that inclusion, it allows for the ability to capture all the data that's required for the business as well as to model the business properly. So having that model business approach for data-driven decision making is extremely important, and because it's holistic, it allows for when decisions are made to ensure that everyone in the organization that's working on the initiative understands the implications of decisions and has a feel and appreciation for the metrics it's going to drive. So for example, if you're in the process of bringing a new product to market, and you're changing how you're doing sourcing for that product, because we've seen today with many of the supply chain issues resulting from the pandemic and the shortages of supply from different suppliers across many industries—that has a direct bearing on some new product introduction or scaling products and get different markets.
So if you're in the process of changing supply, or changing how you design a product to bring it to market from a manufacturing standpoint, you know, having this model-based approach so that everybody sees what decisions are being made and the implications of the decisions, you essentially save time, reduce expense, and it allows you to accelerate your transformation, because everybody is moving forward at the same pace. And then the last thing I would just highlight is, in addition to those elements, because the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and our solutions are on the cloud, we enable everybody to work anywhere in the world. So it doesn't matter if the factory’s in France or if the factory’s in Mexico and supporting business functions for design and supply chain are scattered around the world. Because our solutions are on the cloud and accessible anywhere, companies can manage and work in a whole host of different work model environments with remote employees or employees who may be working in a facility where they have the ability to go in and work in-person with their peers.
12:16 Adrian Wood
And my last question is all about the future. You've already described some of the new working scenarios that we're all looking at today; everyone's trying to think about what will the future look like? What do you think the future workforce will look like? How will that impact corporate strategy and how does Dassault align with that potential future?
12:38 Eric Green
I think that's the big question. The future workforce is a very large topic. And what we're seeing with the workforce of the future is threefold. It's actually more of—and I'm going to summarize it for the purpose of today's podcasts for three years—one is innovation and creativity. The workers of today, they have ideas, they want to create, and they want a mechanism with which they can actually do so. Secondly, is they want to be empowered; they want to be able to make decisions. And so there's, you know, in some areas, some concern about automation replacing workers in the factories.
It actually is not going to do that; it's actually going to give people that are working in the factories and the people who want to be more empowered the ability to make broader and more in-depth decisions, because they're going to be doing a job in a role that previously didn't exist—because essentially, what's being automated is mundane non-value-add activities. And then third, the workforce, which I think we're already seeing, is the fact that your remote work is commonplace. There's no question that people today can be as productive or in some cases more productive working remote and working virtually, to help support their business and be a part of a team. And our solutions help reinforce and support that as we've seen with some of our capabilities like 3DLean, as an example. And so, you know, as part of our vision as a company to help drive sustainable operations, working remote reduces the amount of travel required, but less travel has fewer co2 emissions.
And so that by nature helps drive sustainability in one simple, straightforward context. And while providing the people in a remote workplace environment the same capabilities to innovate and do their job and provide the support they need to the rest of their peers in a comprehensive, holistic way allows for companies to rethink how they put forth their investments in the capital structures. This is extremely important if you think about companies who may historically have focused on large CapEx investments for infrastructure—whereas now they're focusing those investments on OpEx for technology to support their personnel that may be working remote, and also changing the way they do their manufacturing network, because now, they have more flexibility to move product around using our solutions like the Virtual Twin Experience and shifting product from factory to factory. And so I think these are all having a positive effect on how the workforce is going to be applying their knowledge and know-how in the future.
15:43 Adrian Wood
Well, I realize it's a difficult question to answer, to predict the future. But at least the vision and alignment sound promising and optimistic. Thanks for your prediction, and we hope it comes true. And that's my last question for the day. Thanks for your other answers to the questions and appreciate the time today.
16:04 Eric Green
Thank you, Adrian, and what I would encourage all of us is—this is research note five—if you have interest in following along, we'll be following up in a short period of time on research notes six and seven, which cover the topics of process and technology, and are a continuation of the first four research notes we just talked about, and lay the foundation for transformation in the work that we're doing with our customers and partners.
16:32 Adrian Wood
Thank you everyone. Look forward to that.
16:35 Therese Snow
Well, thank you, Eric and Adrian for continuing the conversation on the transformation journey. Our listeners can learn more by accessing the link in the podcast description. I’m Therese Snow, and thank you for listening to global operations on the go.