Emerson: Embracing Change

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 @ 04:10 PM gHale

By Gregory Hale
Whether it is a cybersecurity installation, a safety system upgrade or the move into digital transformation, change management is the most difficult thing any manufacturer has to attend to.

“The hardest part of digital transformation is change management,” said Peter Zornio, chief technology officer at Emerson Automation Solutions Monday during a briefing at the Emerson Global Users Exchange 2017 in Minneapolis, MN. “Company culture is the biggest roadblock.”

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Let’s face it, the industry is very slow to move and even slower to change, but the way technology is evolving, people have to start jumping on the bandwagon because it is starting to rev its engines and getting ready to take off.

Zornio said there were years where manufacturers achieved cost benefits and productivity gains through continuous improvement, but those gains are plateauing.

For manufacturers to gain big dividends moving forward they will have to engage in the digital transformation wave.

“We had a good run, we now have to take the steps to get the next set of benefits of the five essential competencies (of digital transformation),” Zornio said.

Those competencies are:
• Automated workflow, which eliminates repetitive tasks and streamlines standard operations to focus personnel on exceptions and opportunities that require human intervention.
• Decision support which takes advantage of analytics and embedded expertise to provide insights that reduce complexity and enable faster decision-making.
• Workforce upskilling consists of approaches that empower workers to acquire knowledge or experience faster and more effectively to support higher-level and collaborative decision-making.
• Mobility allows for secure, on-demand access to information and expertise, regardless of location.
• Change management, which is the most difficult, combines strategies, processes, tools and expertise in the right combination to simplify and accelerate best practices.

The beauty of automation today is it can handle routine busywork workers have to do so they can end up performing creative tasks.

Workers can go from what Zornio call the 4D’s of dull, dirty, dangerous and distant jobs to ones that are cleaner, safer and more desirable.

That talks to automation not cutting out jobs, but making them more engaging.

“This doesn’t eliminate jobs,” Zornio said. “It upgrades jobs to a more value-added and intellectual tasks.”

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