Expertise&Integration in digital manufacturing
How to increase the Supply Chain efficency
“Learn by doing”: a learning methodology applicable to the widest variety of situations. This approach is used extensively today in pre and post-digital factories. Experience and expertise remain the most important drivers of success in manufacturing. It comes at no surprise that many manufacturing process leaders are becoming key players in supply chain management software companies.Take Digitalsoft, a digital company specialized in creating digital lean enterprise management tools for the Factory of the Future.
Its CEO and former customer, Mr. Tom Op Het Veld, recently transitioned from being an active user of Digitalsoft’s software platform, to becoming its key decision maker. Needless to say, he’s naturally a great source of know-how and expertise for the company itself.Born in the Netherlands, Tom has lived in Italy for the last 25 years. He worked for 15 years for a leading Automotive company in the Abruzzo region, covering positions of increasing responsibility in Customer Service and Supply Chain Management. His areas of expertise include: operations planning, inventory and warehouse management, aftermarket distribution, order-to-cash process ownership, industrial footprint strategy and performance management.
Consequently, Tom is very familiar with manufacturing and supply chain’s key challenges and needs. According to him a factory number 1 priority, is its commitment to continuous process efficiency and waste removal. For several years the management of such projects was part of Tom’s daily routine. As Aptiv’s Supply chain director, a leading automotive multinational company, Tom worked tirelessly to develop the company’s capabilities, processes, and tools. Such expertise is the best source of inspiration when developing process management tools. According to Tom, capabilities and user experience are the two ‘must haves’ when developing these tools. “In Digitalsoft we believe that software platforms must be excellent from a functional and technological point of view.
We create them based on the experience and know-how we have. But another crucial factor is perfect design, as it’s able to guarantee intuitiveness and fast adoption” states Tom. And it is in the latter where we start to see Digitalsoft’s ‘Made in Italy’ advantage. “Going from being a customer and user to be a supplier of such solutions has been a big challenge for me, but it was worth it. Because by doing this we have helped more companies in their digital transformation journey” states Tom. Today the key word for the factories is “connection”: “we commit to enable the end-to-end connection of more and more supply chains”.
Solving supply chain fragmentation: the path to take
Ever since he was a manufacturing professional, Tom put supply chain integration as his number 1 priority. His main goal was to achieve a complete transformation of the factories, bringing them to a connected and linear supply chain. « The word ‘chain’ has an implicit meaning of a line of intertwined chain links. To make such chains stronger you need to focus on the weak links” adds Tom. Still, sometimes this is not enough.
“When you address the specific gaps but still see the whole chain not working, this is when you realise that only strengthening the weakest link is not enough. Customers today need to identify what they want, when they want it and where they want it. To do so, they need functional and integrated systems that competent people can use to manage processes in an efficient way” states Tom.
Hence the concept of a solution enabling a connected supply chain by providing its professionals with a clear visibility on where to focus their efforts, is so important. Industry 4.0 is plagued today with time-wasting by continuing to rely on a paper-based processes, as well as continued use of applications like Excel. “Throughout my career I found a lot of digital ecosystems to be highly fragmented. Manual approaches are expensive, often generating errors and a lot of effort”.
Workflow fragmentation and a piece-meal approach to digitalisation is one of the biggest challenges of manufacturing companies today. The multiple tools and software they tend to use often become a source of dispersion, causing the weakening of such processes themselves. And here comes the paradox: companies delaying decisions on centralising processes and tools fearing a waste of time and money, while on the other hand, continuing to waste effort and resources to expand the use of tools that are inherently difficult and costly to scale.
“Highly integrated factory management tools can empower and strengthen the chain” says Tom. And that is why Digitalsoft has created d-one, a natively integrated solution providing manufacturing companies with a complete set of modules and applications that are connected end-to-end. Allowing companies to manage it all in one place. Moreover, thanks to its modularity and integration capabilities, d-one is scalable and adaptable to companies’ specific needs: “no need to create a revolution. You’ll be able to address your companies’ urgent challenges while implementing the perfect design for your integrated supply chain, a chain that is strong enough to be responsive and efficient”.