The manufacturing sector is looking for ways to exploit digital technologies to achieve manufacturing excellence, to introduce new products, and to understand what consumers really need. That calls for overhauling old processes and digitizing certain aspects of manufacturing.
T.G. Dhandapani, CIO, TVS Motor tells Digital Creed about the transformation he is leading at TVS Motor. He talks about digitization priorities and some key technologies. Here are excerpts from the e-mail interview.
Q. What are the top business priorities for TVS Motor this year?
TGD: The top business priorities for TVS Motor are: Bring new products to meet customer requirements; achieve manufacturing excellence by meeting quality; cost and delivery targets; going closer to customers in understanding their needs, and to retain them.
Q. What digital technologies have you identified to fulfil these business priorities? How are you going to use these technologies?
TGD: We are looking at digitising the product development process in order to compress new product development time. We will use IoT and M2M to automate the process on the shop floor — to digitally control process quality parameters and provide traceability. We also want to use Digital to connect and engage with customers.
Q. How much are you spending on Digital this year?
TGD: Spend is not specifically for digitization, but it is included in all capex for digital interface.
Q. What aspects of the business or what processes will you NOT digitalize and why? (It’s not necessary to digitalise everything).
TGD: All possible processes making sense will be digitized over a period of three years. It is the question of prioritization. High return projects are taken first through systematic plan and program.
Q. In your organization, do other line of business heads have their own IT budget? The CMO for instance? How is it structured?
TGD: Yes. We don’t look at who owns the budget after all every amount is spent by the company.
Q. What aspects of your business leverage the maximum value from Digital Technologies?
TGD: Product development, manufacturing, marketing — in that order
Q. When did the Digital Transformation journey start at TVS Motor? What have you accomplished since then?
TGD: It started in 2001, gained momentum over a period of time, and it is now in top gear.
Q. What were the biggest challenges encountered on this journey? How did you work round those challenges?
TGD: The key challenges are anticipating user requirement in advance, and change management.
Q. How have you leveraged technologies like IoT, Big Data/analytics, Mobility/apps? Can you give us use cases for each?
TGD: All these technologies are adopted in full swing.
Q. Is IoT overhyped and in the nascent stage? How will it impact your business (in the Manufacturing stages) in the years ahead?
TGD: I don’t think so. Potential for IoT is very high for every organization in the areas of hygiene, cost reduction, opportunity creation and strategic through a new business model.
Q. Finally, what should a Transformation Leader be aware of? How should he communicate the business benefit of Digitalization to the Board/CEO?
TGD: With IoT and Mobility the task of Transformation leader (CIO) to justify the need is limited. Otherwise he/she will get the instruction to implement, quoting the competition that is already using it.