Transformation via Participation
Need an upgrade? The Old Model is simple. Purchase a solution from a vendor. Technicians come into the plant, install a system, and then train the staff. This is a top-down process that is great for specialized predetermined tasks where everyone is sure about the problem and the vendor need only supply a specific solution.
But Industry 4.0 presents a grander, more powerful, more interconnected upgrade opportunity. Real-value comes from asking the right questions because Industry 4.0 presents opportunities that legacy factories have never seen before. What’s needed is insight into addressing issues that will involve the whole plant. It needs a New Model, one more customized to individual plant needs than the narrowly-focused Old Model recognizes. How are you even to determine what a meaningful, high ROI problem, is? Indeed, how can you know what Industry 4.0 methods are?
The Old Model suggests, ask a vendor. We disagree. No one knows your business as well as your staff – your entire staff. To invest your Industry 4.0 time and money most wisely, that staff needs to share what it knows. Or, to be more precise, what it needs to know to solve problems better and faster.
As McKinsey teaches, Industry 4.0 is all about “Connectivity … the flow of relevant information to the right decision makers in real time.” The ones who know best what that necessary information is are the existing staff.
More: Industry 4.0 is about “Intelligence … the application of advanced analytics … to an array of data to generate new insight and enable better decision making.” McKinsey
The TvP method is a shared experience, an ongoing dialogue between your staff and us. For Wind4, we provide our custom “office-style” software with the essential Industry 4.0 principles built-in. Staff can immediately participate with us as we work with them to uncover and address problems and opportunities based on their experiences. This problem-centered give-and-take approach is experiential, not abstract. Staff advance by handling rounds of progressively more sophisticated issues, continuously developing a deeper understanding of what Industry 4.0 is all about. For complex analytics, the tools are TrendMiner, with an additional component of our “office-style” visualization software. But the give-and-take dynamics are the same. We work together uncovering the problems and discovering how Industry 4.0 methods can solve them.
What does Transformation via Participation mean?
It means everything gets done together; client and consultant are joined.
The client participates in bringing the project to realization. Naturally, the reciprocal is true, as well. We, the consultants participate in the client data-runs, refining our understanding of the challenges faced.
Making this practical is the use of “Virtual Participation”, VP, a refinement of Zoom technology that facilitates remote access. Aside from the most obvious advantage – elimination of the time and cost of travel – VP provides numerous advantages over in-person activity.
Industry 4.0 is centered on Cloud-technology, and a VP strategy fosters recognition of the value of seeking Cloud-based solutions, the very point that G-WPO emphasizes. Lesson: everything done with TvP, properly framed, can be a learning experience.
One such solution relates to time. On-site users may be preoccupied with an emergency and unavailable at the designated time. The impact on the project is minimized since we can reschedule and use the time in other pursuits. Lesson: VP eliminates wasted time.
To minimize interference with routine factory work, it is frequently necessary for some individuals to bypass the VP session. No problem; all sessions are recorded. Lesson: VP permits a rehash of the session at no cost of resources.
Supervisors of all sorts are likely to want to see some critical parts of the project. The enhancements in VP provide quick-connect to the relevant parts of the video that are needed. Lesson: VP is better than in-person; the Supervisor need not leave the office.
The VP methodology is usable in-house, meaning that departments that normally don’t work together can now find a very time-efficient way to connect and work jointly to solve common problems. For example, manufacturing may broadcast to Sales, reviewing a concern, or Sales may broadcast to their end-users, showing how careful the product is being manufactured. Lesson: Industry 4.0 is all about connectivity and VP fosters that in many ways.