Speaker interview: Andrew Leask, Business Transformation Manager, Jaguar Land Rover

With a  career built on hating waste Andrew is a man passionate about making savings, streamlining processes, and turning data into money. Here he shares his thoughts on the value of leveraging data and what he hopes to learn at the IIoT Strategies Summit. 

Before we welcome you to the stage can you give us a taste of what our attendees can expect to learn from your session, please…
I’ll share my experience on how to turn data into money – and therefore how to justify the business case for data-driven projects

We’d love to know a little more about you… how did you get into the industry and what drives you on?
I started as a graduate apprentice at British Aerospace many years ago, implementing lean techniques, and that made me understand how much I hate waste. That hate of waste – wasted opportunity, wasted time, wasted energy and resources – drives me on to this day.

Since you began your career how has the manufacturing industry changed?
Easy availability of IT and communication technologies gives us such a great opportunity to remove non-value-added admin work, and generate really interesting – actionable – insights to generate savings and new business opportunities.

Thinking about industry 4.0 and the digital transformation of the industry where do you feel the biggest ‘wins’ have been?
Moving away from drawing boards was a fairly good step! Instantaneous data interchange through the whole supply chain, from customer-facing areas through design and engineering and then on down to tier-3 suppliers is what’s exciting me at the moment.

And, what do you see is the next big game-changer for the manufacturing industry?
Really starting to use that end-to-end connectivity, in conjunction with really agile manufacturing and supply chains to deliver exactly what the customer wants with minimal waste and cash-consuming stock-holding.

As manufacturing becomes ever more digital and with many organisations IoT implementations begin to mature have there been any ‘we didn’t expect that to happen’ moments along the way?
Yes – plenty of lightbulb moments as we bring data-silos together. Plenty of people saying “Oh! Now we can do xyz immediately/live” and “We’ve never been able to see that before”

There is always a lot of discussion around digital adoption… what do you think the biggest barriers are/were and what steps can the industry take to overcome them?
Fear caused by previous failures. We’ve been working on bottom-up solutions targeted at clear, easily-understood problems, and then sneaking in the exciting stuff without users & managers noticing.

What piece of advice would you give an organisation just starting out on their digital transformation journey?
Don’t go “big-bang”. Find people in your business who get it, and who understand your business, and set them free – get out of their way, but support them with a business head where required. Expect failure. See that as testing.

What do you think the industry will look like in ten years from now?
Even fewer people involved in menial work. But way more people delivering real value.

What are you hoping to learn more about at the IIoT Strategies Summit?
Some interesting ideas outside of my own silo!

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