Empowering Automotive Manufacturers with Digitalization
By Martin Weidlich, EVP, North America, BENTELER Group
We want to be leading in smart manufacturing within our peer group. Our goal is to combine the real business and the digital world so that we support our customers best, improve time-to-market and flexibility. Hence, cloud computing and digitalization of our business and especially our production is a huge opportunity for BENTELER and the automotive industry in general. We have a dedicated team to explore the potentials of Industry 4.0 and steer the introduction by selected pilots.
Leveraging Data Exploration
We already have a certain level of digitalization in almost all areas. In former times the challenge was to generate the data – by now I guess we have crossed this level. The challenge for the future is to connect the different puzzles to one big database so we can utilize and slice data in many different ways. As soon as we pass this point, we start to explore the full potential of industry 4.0.At BENTELER, automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies is a priority and we work on exploring how to leverage this trend across the full value chain of our production.”
The biggest need today (and probably also in the future) is the standard for data interfaces
Technology Innovations for the Automotive Industry
The biggest need today (and probably also in the future) is the standard for data interfaces. The technology field is growing so fast that regulation can barely follow with the result that single solutions are established but their function is limited by missing connectivity. We have to promote the mindset to define clear and open interfaces first and accept at that point that we balance technology growth with the need for connectivity.
Balancing the Workflow
The business environment I am working in is getting more and more volatile, uncertain and complex. I can see this trend in almost all areas. This is a challenge not just for the executives but for the whole organization. Whatever was decided yesterday could change already tomorrow and you need leaders to take swift decisions and organizations that are nimble to adjust. Especially the younger generations are already used to fast changing environments. We will continue to find ways to take our whole team on this journey to become an agile organization. That is why we focus on developing our own people continuously. At the same time we invest into attracting high potentials supporting us to drive the changes to come in the future.
Advice for the Decision Makers
As much as we talk about digitalization and automation, the most important ingredient for our company success are our employees. Our leadership should concentrate how to utilize the diversity of the team and promote a culture of two way communication. In our always changing environment, we encourage and empower our people to take more entrepreneurial responsibility. We trust our employees. They want to do a good job. Our role as leaders is to create this environment. Our customers will benefit from this strong culture in terms of quality, speed, customer focus, innovative power. This is what we are here for: To deliver solutions to our customers that make a difference– and to make them happen. This is part of our DNA. This makes us unique.