2. Continue to accelerate the digital transformation
The pandemic has clearly accelerated digital transformations — both customer-facing and internal — at most companies. Daryl Roberts, COO of DuPont, presented a case study on how his company has taken advantage of new digital applications to drive efficiency and effectiveness.
“We have a field force, but we’ve solved many problems remotely now,” he said. “It’s fascinating how effective that has been versus sending people around the world.” He and others spoke about the power of remote insurance audits and how instead of sending six people to a customer site, just one can be deployed with video streaming technology — or potentially zero, if that capability is delivered to the customer directly.
On shop floors, operational excellence is taken to another level when combined with digital to extract more value — for instance, with predictive machine learning. Putting a tablet in a maintenance worker’s hands as a resource is just the beginning: later, the device can be connected to the back-office system to access parts, and needed parts can be ordered automatically when the stock dwindles.
CEOs recommend first getting a grip on the fundamentals, like a strong business case, the talent and skill sets your business needs, and enabling technology (like 5G connectivity). You can start small before scaling more broadly after the use case is developed and tested.