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  • By Andrew Aitken
  • In Blog
  • Posted 08/02/2017

It was an honour to attend the recent 2016 UK Manufacturing Awards as a guest of one of Lanner’s most dynamic and progressive customers, Hayward Tyler. Sponsored by The Manufacturer and held at the Birmingham NEC, the event was appropriately packed with the most innovative and best run manufacturing firms in the UK. It was therefore a real achievement for a mid-sized firm such as Hayward Tyler to win multiple awards at such a prestigious event.

Hayward Tyler, a mid-sized manufacturer of performance-critical pumps and motors for the energy industry, was established over 200 years ago and was previously run in a very traditional style. The winning of these awards therefore gives due recognition to the business transformation that has been achieved by the new leadership team in a relatively short period of time.

A winning team

Amongst the bagful of plaques that they carted home at the end of the evening, a couple of awards in particular deserve a special mention, these are:

  • Leadership & Strategic Direction 2016
  • Smart Factory of the Year 2016

Smart Manufacturing is clearly one of the hottest topics on the Manufacturing agenda, so it was no surprise to hear their team’s cheers raise a decibel or two when they were awarded this title!

So what are the magic ingredients that lead to this management team bringing home the award for ‘Smart Factory 2016’? For me the following factors stand out:

1 - Strong, action-orientated leadership team

The company that I work for (Lanner) works with businesses of all sizes across all sectors, including some of the best known brands. Many large organisations often struggle to move with the decision making velocity that they desire. From the start our engagement with the Hayward Tyler management team has been a very different experience. For example, when asked how they thought they could deliver to the testing implementation timescales they had set for themselves and I didn’t have long to wait to see this ethos in action. They contracted and engaged almost immediately, then worked with us to deliver a complete factory simulation and Virtual Reality model to support strategic decisions in record timescales.

2 - Real commitment & involvement

In order to progress as quickly as mentioned above, the management team had to engage and commit across the board and they certainly did this in terms of delivery; data, skills, capacity and supporting decisions were all prioritised and delivered with the upmost precision. From their CEO through his supporting management team and across the shop floor operational and technical teams, everyone is involved. Once any decision is made in the business, actions to execute are put in place immediately - there is no scope for procrastination or evasion.

3 - Properly managed talent

All good teams are constantly on the look-out to acquire outstanding skills and then invest to enable these to flourish. This does set high expectations on people but is a strong sign of trust and belief, which results in pride and commitment to the cause. While many of us recognise that the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 offers enormous potential in terms of growth and operational efficiencies, many firms are currently spending too much time lost in the technical detail at a machine-sensor and automation level. Firms with the most capable technical and managerial talent focus on those actions which will deliver enhanced end to end performance objectives at all times, turning technical potential into real performance transformation. It’s a more strategic way of thinking and something Hayward Tyler have embraced.

4 - Manage the technology (not the other way round!)

Currently our data & technology-loving world is awash with headlines that scream for us all to urgently make steps towards Industry 4.0 by:

  • Producing as much data as we can
  • Using analysts and the latest BI tools to cut and slice this data to identify…something!
  • Adding as many machine sensors as possible to facilitate this
  • Implement predictive maintenance across equipment wherever it is technically feasible
  • Looking for ways to create increasing process connectivity

Companies embarking on this journey must take a top down, rather than bottom up approach. The starting point is ensuring that they really know what the right questions are before considering what data and technology solutions should be put in place to deliver them with increasingly smarter decisions.

The right enabling technologies can then be selected for the task. In Hayward Tyler’s case, this clarity of purpose resulted in them creating new ways of using their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system. When the system didn’t quite fit, they didn’t settle for a work around or compromise to fit the capability of the system. Instead, they changed the system to meet their needs. But it started with a management team with a clear sense of purpose - one that really knew what they wanted the system to do for them, so not a systems-first approach. Few other SAP implementations out there appear to have been driven this way round!

5 - Understand the operational levers across the end to end business:

These guys really do get lean, living by lean principles throughout Business-As-Usual. However, they’re not precious about the precise textbook terminology of “lean” (and there are many flavours out there!). They’ve moved on from that and instead seek to innovatively create and apply new, faster analytical technologies and techniques to turbo charge lean operational thinking. A good example of this is how the team have designed, planned and integrated the strategic use of Lanner’s Predictive Simulation, Virtual Reality and Web Applications into their business management model. This progressed from lean operations to the delivery of lean innovation.

6 - Use of predictive simulation as a digital twin for decision support

Lanner are often asked to work with large firms to create simulated digital-twin models to support them in answering large scale capital investment decisions. In many cases this is usually for dynamically complex situations where spreadsheets are simply not capable of dealing with the dynamic process complexity. This typically involves the creation of a computer simulation which mirrors the process. This digital twin can then be used to stress test future-state thinking and decision ideas with minimal risk.

In Hayward Tyler’s case the model was taken to the next level of a fully immersive Virtual Reality model that could be used to secure real engagement, understanding and commitment across all their business stakeholders prior to the transformation taking place. This included employees, investors and customers to ensure that the transformation was based on excitement and optimism, rather than the fear of change.

7 - Strategic creation & deployment of innovation

Many management teams think tactically after initial capital decisions have been made, even when such models as described above deliver high ROI outcomes with almost immediate payback. Few firms then fully integrate the deployment of such models (which already exist!) as good decision-optimisation practice within their business and it is here where Hayward Tyler’s strategic management style wins.

Whether it’s the management of ERP systems or predictive simulation technology, it’s Hayward Tyler’s strategic style of deploying innovation through the points already highlighted in this article that has enabled them to move them from traditional manufacturer to smart manufacturer, and then onto becoming the smartest manufacturer.

This strategic implementation philosophy requires the aforementioned clarity of vision and energetic commitment at the highest levels. The spin-off benefit of this approach is that it’s more efficient in terms of cost and performance, given that it establishes stronger foundations for continuous performance improvement and innovation going forward.

Conclusion

Quite apart from the winning of numerous awards, the tangible business results that Hayward Tyler have seen from these efforts are very apparent in terms of delivering new funding, efficiencies and customer contracts.

Both Lanner and Hayward Tyler are now planning the next exciting chapter of this journey, which promises to be even more innovative, interesting and rewarding so watch this space! In the meantime, if you’d like to see Martin and Oliver from Hayward Tyler speaking about their 3D model and the impact it had on their business watch this video from our user conference earlier this year.


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