Winning Manufacturing Strategies

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January 8, 2015

The Re-dawning of Business Intelligence

That the Business Intelligence world is being disrupted with new technologies is now common knowledge. However, very few businesses & their BI groups have a holistic view and roadmap to embrace this change. All have few specific new capabilities in mind and here is an opportunity to apply the Infosys 'New and Renew' Strategy to enable BI in your organizations take the next leap.


So, firstly let's assess what are we hearing from various stakeholders and the wider BI market:


Our Customers:  We need BI to be agile, responsive, trustworthy, cost efficient, easy to adopt and make the right strategic business impact quickly


Infosys Experience from Engagements:  Need to Reduce time to insights, bring in some unique assets to accelerate programs, Align customers to industry best practices and need for clear engagement charter in terms of business value and capabilities within an agile delivery model.


Industry Analysts:  Analysts like Gartner, Forrester emphasize need for different pricing models, expand BI usage thru' the enterprise, leverage cloud/big data/mobility/advanced visualization etc. They expect avg. BI market growth to be 10% ; 70% of which will still be IT controlled;  Analytics to command 20% of those budgets and rest on Query/integration and reporting.


Given these key learning's, the new vision at Manufacturing BI is 'To transform our customers from today's data driven to Analytics driven Enterprises enabled by Rapid, Deep and Actionable Insights'.


In order to enable 'Rapid, Deep and Actionable Insights', the following offerings are being planned:


Analytics Driven Enterprises: The goal is to help enterprises transform from traditional data driven to analytics driven organizations. This is to be enabled by an Analytics adoption framework that helps make the right analytics investments that matter, 'Leverage-your-data' initiatives to take a deep look at available data & innovate to make strategic use of it and Predictive & Descriptive modeling services driven actionable insights for Manufacturing & Hi-Tech relevant areas like Supply chain optimizations, Personalized customer service, sales, marketing and finance analytics functions.

Responsive Business Intelligence:  This includes unique data exploration Services, Self-service BI capabilities, Persona based KPI solutions, Adv. Visualization tools driven data analysis, Reporting Factories, Data Virtualization and agile delivery models.


Big Data Enabled Insights: The above vision of transforming organizations into Analytics Driven Organization will be deepened by leveraging Infosys Information Platform (IIP)  for Predictive maintenance, Manufacturing Quality Analytics, Strategic sales opportunity management, IoT driven usage & health analytics, Agro research, Intelligent Asset mgmt., Customer insights etc.


For any of the above to be impactful, Our goal is to help customers have a solid backbone in terms of 'Amplified & Efficient Data Operations'. Some of the offerings towards these are:


Landscape Modernization:  Help our customers renew/modernize their existing landscapes with  BI tools consolidation and re-platforming, upgrades, big data migrations, clean & conformed Master data mgmt. strategies, Data quality improvements and implementation accelerators for productive COE's.


High Performance Computing: Leverage high performance tools based on in-memory , columnar stores, other No-SQL stores to renew existing systems needing such high performance e.g supply chain visibility, Financial consolidations, Just-in-time offers, Asset management and real-time enterprise data warehouses.


Amplified Data Warehousing: Existing data warehouses augmented with Hadoop based platforms to reduce turnaround time for multi-structured, high velocity datasets needed for insights. This can also be leveraged to reduce the fast escalating cost of data warehousing.


Manufacturing BI believes this dual strategy of transforming organizations from data driven to Analytics driven enterprises and creating an amplified & efficient data backbone will help next gen enterprises stay ahead in the marketplace & outperform today's run-of-the-mill BI Maturity curves. 

January 1, 2015

Predictive service maintenance - A step ahead

 Author: Alpesh Chauhan, CRM Lead Consultant, Manufacturing, Infosys Ltd.


Proactive service maintenance is not just limited to preventive maintenance but it is also includes predictive maintenance. Service management is usually associated with negative experience as customer contacts service provider when product has some issues. But it can be turned in to positive experience if services are handled carefully and promptly, which can result in lesser asset down time and faster service resolution. That's why, it can be an opportunity for service provider to convert bad customer experience into a good experience. Of course, it is not easy task and risk is always high as if service provider is not able to provide better service, customer is gone forever and he may provide negative feedback for your products/services.


Service management provides an addition customer touch point and hence it is a critical functional area for services company for getting valuable insights from the customers. These insights will not only help to resolve customer issues faster but also help them to improve their existing product lines or coming up with new products. So how do service providers differentiate them self and provide more proactive services?  Best in class service providers can be identified based on following metrics:

·        Customer satisfaction rate

·        Service revenue growths

·        Reduction in service costs

·        Asset availability

So what are service companies doing to score well on above parameters?

 Table1-success metric2.png


Right Information all the time of their customer asset Information, their service resources (Technicians) and Parts availability is key for any successfully service provider. 



With Predictive analytics as added catalyst, service providers have already started playing major role in providing proactive services to customers. If you are already doing few of the above mentioned activities, you are already on right track. What are you doing to differentiate your service from intense competition? Let me know your views.


Increasing safety in cars to deter carjacking


Every one of us has had that tingling feeling at the back of our necks while trying to reach to our car in an isolated area or in the basement of a shopping mall or in an expansive parking lot. The fear of someone lurking in the shadows or an anticipation of a person springing on to you from the dark makes one either hasten their pace or to reach out for the pepper spray can in their purses. We all suffer from this fear of the unknown and one can only be prepared and alert to prevent one from happening.

Wikipedia defines carjacking as an 'armed assault when the vehicle is occupied'. And this is more dangerous than a vehicle theft purely because the occupants are in danger of limb and life in carjacking cases whereas plain theft may only be a material loss. There is no knowing what may happen to a victim of a carjacking and hence one should take precautions at all times.

Hopefully, cars of the future will be more than helpful to deter such situations but technology is at hand already through connected cars. A connected car is one that is always connected to the internet and allows data transfer between the car's sensors and the cloud. While there are a number of use cases for connected car, I think we can add one more to that list by using it as a deterrent to carjacking. Simply put, a car can be triggered to take pictures of its immediate surroundings and relay it to a database in the cloud in real time.

Let me explain more on this. Say, you get into your car and as you are about to start the engine, you see someone approach your car door in a threatening way. You press the panic button on the steering wheel or on the door panel. This will trigger the cameras on the door sill to immediately start taking pictures with LED flash. Once taken, the pictures get automatically uploaded into a secure website for future reference, if required. An alarm will also get triggered about the incident (activation of panic button) which will result in a call back given to the car to check if everything is okay and if the incident was true or accidental.

Car OEMs can provide this as additional features for safety or it could be also provided as after-market options. The cloud storage would definitely be provided as a subscription based service as an additional revenue model within connected car program. Customers could also operate their account to view or delete old history and other details. It would also be a cool way to take Selfies using your car!

One would need the following (at the least) to make this happen:

·         Cameras with LED flash to be installed on the door sills. With smartphone technology development, the camera sizes have gone smaller and with High Definition features, the picture quality has become sharper. The LED 'flash-in-your-face' may also deter the weak hearted crooks from carrying out their planned assault and has its own benefits.

·         A panic button feature would be required on the steering wheel or on the door panel. This can be designed based on research for most accessible position in such situations. It could be in one or multiple locations.

·         Internet connectivity within the car. Car companies are already working on getting a lot of connected car features into modern cars today.

·         A secure database on the cloud to upload the pictures taken along with geo location and time. The upload should happen in real time so that there is no chance for anyone to prevent it from being stored. The pictures should also not be stored locally within the car as it would lead to damage of the car and harm to the victim. The event could also trigger storage of additional important data after the panic button is triggered viz.  engine condition (on/off) for next 30 min, driving pattern, driving speed post event, etc. Algorithms can be run in real time to check if car is moving in a direction other than usual routes or if the driving pattern is different from the car owner's for gaining additional insights into whether the car is driven by the owner or the carjacker.

·         A call back to the car can also be done to check on the condition of the owner. A pre-programmed code word could be defined to inform the police or security that the response is under duress. This will be helpful under certain situations as well.

I agree that this will not be able to prevent carjacking but if this facility was available, then it would only make carjacking a difficult career option for crooks. With more such anti-carjacking features, I hope one day it will be lot safer to drive a car. Obviously, autonomous or self-driving cars will definitely bring in more safety options but until then we will need interim solutions to deter carjackers of this world. Drive safe, be safe!