Recently, iBase-t’s Business Systems Analyst group changed its name to Business Solutions Consultants. It’s more than a name change, however. In this blog, Thomas Jones explains why solutions are about people, not just technology.
It’s becoming easier than ever for manufacturers to begin their digital journey. With major applications like the iBase-t Manufacturing Execution System available by subscription over the Cloud, and the ability to target applications and deployments, even mid-sized companies can afford to think seriously about going paperless.
But technology alone is not a solution, and it does not ensure success. In fact, many manufacturers fail despite choosing good products. Why? Because digital transformation is not really about the hardware and software. It’s about understanding how your business operates and how people do their jobs—and how to use the right technology solution to help them do better.
This is easier said than done. How do you know what you need if you’re modernizing your factory for the first time? How do know which applications will get you the fastest profit? Where should you start?
These are the critical questions that manufacturers need help with, and they’re as much about people as technology. Does your vendor provide the answers you need?
What it means to focus on people
This all sounds good, of course. But what does it really mean to take a people-centric approach to digital transformation?
For one, it means actually taking the time to learn your business. You don’t need techno-nerds coming into your company and reengineering your operations. But, based on our experience, moving from a paper to a digital system tends to follow a proven process. We will learn what you do and how you do it, and then coach you through a customary implementation process.
Your vendor should also help you think big. MES and other digital technologies enable new ways of operating, so you shouldn’t just automate what you’ve always done. This is especially important for manufacturers going from paper to digital for the first time. It can be an eye-opening experience, because there are so many things people can do with a system like Solumina that they couldn’t do with paper—and never thought of doing.
Here at iBase-t, exactly what we do varies with each customer, of course. We might show one customer how they can save time and money by using out-of-the-box software instead of customizing code. With another, we might spend a few days identifying and selecting processes to digitalize and improve. For a large implementation, we can be with the customer for as long as it takes, providing value at each step of the journey.
The common thread is that we provide solutions for businesses and people, not just technology. We listen to your concerns, analyze where processes can be improved, and identify where the best and fastest value can be realized. Then we use our knowledge of the technology and our experience with many other complex implementations to help you get there quickly and profitably.
Building the team
It’s one thing for a vendor to talk about supporting you, but it’s quite another to actually build a team with the talent and experience to deliver solutions. That’s the true test of a vendor’s commitment.
For iBase-t, it starts with the hiring process by getting the right people in the door. We have experts who have 20+ years of industry acumen, along with some of the brightest rising stars recently in the workforce. Together, they bring fresh ideas to proven processes.
Above all, we look for people who are effective communicators. This means they must be good at listening, not just at speaking. We can teach our people the technical details they need to know, but if they’re going to help you, the customer, they need to have a natural ability to listen and learn.
Deploying technology like MES successfully is not rocket science, but it does take commitment and effort from your vendor to get your project off the ground successfully. The iBase-t team is steadfast in its approach to providing targeted value. Our methods are proven, and our solutions continue to make the complex simple for manufacturing professionals.
In short, to achieve a people-centric solution – designed to support a more collaborative and productive team, make sure you work with a people-centric company.