The Record - Issue 17: Summer 2020

108 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om on real-time information from the entire digital ecosystem, including third-party data sources,” he says. “As a result, they can achieve a much more demand-responsive supply chain.” Meanwhile, Sight Machine leverages AI and ML to help manufacturers address production equipment optimisation while enabling material and asset tracking capabilities which are essen- tial to any supply chain. “Leveraging platforms to build operational visi- bility, and then expanding that to broader supply chain visibility, is the starting point for building supply chain resilience,” says Meldrum. “In time, functional areas like integrated business plan- ning and demand forecasting can be augmented with AI. IoT can enable feedback loops which impact all aspects of operations, from research and development to production to the service side of the business. This also enables visibility to Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 level suppliers and allows insight into customer sentiment.” While technology is a tremendous enabler, it’s the people using it who build success. Workforce transformation is a central pillar of agile and resilient production, and an urgent priority for manufacturers grappling with remote working and social distancing meas- ures to ensure safe operation in a pandemic situation. “Whether it’s leveraging business tools to drive higher levels of communication or mixed reality for training and guided work assist, there are many resources to enable work- ers to be more productive,” says Meldrum. “In the end it’s about looking at use cases that drive the highest impact to business value.” EY’s scalable, cloud-based workforce transfor- mation platform is a case in point. Developed in alliance with Microsoft, it can help manufactur- ers to unlock workforce productivity, accelerate organisational change, empower seamless virtual team collaboration and make the most efficient use of talent. “Using EY’s platform provides dig- ital work instructions and a collaboration tool that upskills the existing workforce and improves worker health and safety,” says Meldrum. Manufacturing is no stranger to digital transfor- mation, but each organisation has its own needs and priorities. As the industry looks to the future, Microsoft’s holistic approach is designed to help each business optimise the value of its trans- formation and be ready for the challenges and opportunities ahead. “Our approach starts with digital advisory services which translate the voice of the customer into key business outcomes and aligns the technology portfolio and partner eco- system to execute at scale,” says Meldrum. “Our investment in accelerating advanced modelling and simulation allows manufacturers to proto- type assets, process and infrastructure to obtain key metrics before building the solution.” “Manufacturers can discover, interpret and act on real-time information from the entire digital ecosystem” I NDRAN I L S I R CAR , M I C ROSOF T F E ATUR E