What does Technology mean today?
The word technology is defined as the knowledge or science put into practical use to solve problems or invent useful tools. It is the action of applying scientific knowledge to discover answers and solve problems. Technology can also be defined as using fewer resources to manufacture goods more efficiently. Technology is a very abstract term that also encompasses hiring workers from all over the world to manufacture goods.
So, when we discuss digitization and digital transformation it can encompass quite a lot of different aspects of how we produce, store, and ship steel to our customers. Many different steel producers are embarking on a technology roadmap to define how to not only introduce new systems or automate existing processes but to challenge technology to change the way we do business. A recent presentation we attended at the MSCI conference discussed exactly that with a thought to how to make AI work for the Steel Service Industry and there were two very apparent themes:
• Don’t start with a solution, start with a problem
• A Combination of Man + Machine is more effective than solely Man or solely Machine
Source: Jeffery Alpert, Noodie.AI
Progress in Digital Transformation in the Metals Industry
Exploring that theme provides an opportunity for technology to be transformative rather than simply speeding up or automating the status quo with technology. In 2013 CapGemimi and MIT Sloan Management Review conducted a survey of 1559 executives and determined that 78% of respondents acknowledged that achieving digital transformation is critical to their organization but 63% said the pace of technology change in their organization is too slow. Fast forward 7 years and the situation has evolved but not significantly. A 2018 article published by McKinsey explores some of the major changes in the metals industry with respect to Unlocking the Digital Opportunity in Metals. There is now a wealth of data being captured throughout many systems (both straight IT systems as well as Automation Systems) on our processes and supply chain. The technologies available in the market, such as automation, AI, Big Data, Machine Learning etc. are now adopted and maturing in other industries so the risk to adoption has decreased in terms of hardware, mobile technology, and overall computing power.
However, the steel industry as a whole is still lagging behind the world in adoption of advanced technologies. Few metal players are successful at scaling the breadth of the implementation needed and realizing its positive impact. Some of this is due to reluctance to modify or change the process for producing or processing steel because of to the incredible capital costs involved in this equipment. Also, the lengthy timelines to achieve the overall return on investment detours many. Some of this is due to the risk associated with adding more cost and Capital in a commodity drive market which is subject to so many swings and roundabouts.
So, what is the answer?
Now that data is available the first thing to do is to capitalize on that data and implement that digital power, check out this article on the digital revolution in steel and metals companies. By understanding what processes or equipment are falling behind in terms of utilization, yield or throughput only then it is possible to discover where the digital transformation should focus. Creating a unique plan which is scalable with quantifiable benefits for you. Which brings us back to the ideology to start with a problem, not a solution!
So how do you develop a technology that meets your company’s needs? It is not as straight forward as buying a new system or implementing automation to something which is currently manual, it requires innovative thought of mind to be truly transformative. This brings us back to the notion that collaboration of men and machine, working together will always win over one or the other.
If the iOT is about bringing together all aspects of your business from your operations, to your supply chain, to your market then how do we apply this to the space that is typically overlooked, our inventory, our storage and the handling of our materials. Intralogistics is a relatively new buzz word, but it embraces exactly this. Intralogistics is the art of optimizing, integrating, automating, and managing the logistical flow and material goods within your facility. Its not about automated storage and retrieval, it is about moving your product around your facility in a manner which meets your business objectives, ensuring products are in the right place at the right time in an optimized manner. It is about rethinking how your store your raw materials, work-in-process, and finished goods. By optimizing your intralogistics, you will able to accomplish such goals as, decreased time to market, increased diversity of product, and customized product placement.
CareGo is known for being on the cutting edge of technological advancements, incorporating all aspects of technology and innovation in its business model. Diversity of thought is imperative when developing innovation, as such CareGo embraces a truly diverse set of skills to bring innovative designs to our customers. Systems, software engineering, IT, automation, engineering, business analysts, solutions designers, as well as entrepreneurs all play a part in not only developing our flagship product TELIA, but most importantly creating solutions which are unique for each of our customer’s business needs through our innovative and customizable platform.
Got a problem? Give us a call, we can work with you to develop a strategic plan that can help usher your company into technological world of tomorrow.
CareGo uses its patented material handing technology to change the world of logistics and supply chain management in the metals and heavy goods sectors all around the globe, continuing to help usher companies into the technological world of tomorrow.
By utilizing CareGo’s TELIA Software, Companies can utilize a full state of the art suite of supply chain management application software that uses dynamic decision-making algorithms. By creating these solution services CareGo is changing the way our clients store, handle and ship their raw materials, work in process as well as their finished goods.