Manufacturing needs to invest more in workforce knowledge and skills to bridge the gap between the needs of the business and its ability to execute in a digital world, believes John Schultz at Allied Reliability.
Q: What is your role and focus?
A: I am Chief Innovation Officer at Allied Reliability. My role has been to lead the digital transformation of our business, starting with a condition-based maintenance offering. As is the case with most businesses today, new technologies like IIoT, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented, virtual, and mixed realities, and Edge computing are disrupting our market. If we did not digitally transform ourselves, we would have become increasingly less relevant in a market that we helped define.
Q: What is the most pressing issue facing the manufacturing industry today?
A: Bridging the gap between the needs of the business and the ability of the workforce to execute in a secure and resilient environment. With a presence in 16 different industry verticals, it is clear that 40-70% of existing workforces will need to be replaced or upskilled.
Q: What is the most important corporate initiative you are involved in?
A: The continued march towards bundling people, process and the appropriate level of technology to move more of our business towards an As-a-Service model.
Q: What will be the most important leadership qualities to possess in the future?
A: Courage, passion, agility, inclusion, transparency – all bundled in a way to capture the trust, hearts and minds of the workforce.
Q: What will be the greatest opportunities for manufacturers over the next five years?
A: The willingness to start investing more into workforce knowledge, skills, abilities and soft skills through micro-credentials. I also believe that the benchmark of what best practice actually looks like in many areas of supply chain, manufacturing and cost structure, are beginning to shift. What we measure, and the frequency and the granularity of those measurements, must evolve as we change.
Q: What is your favorite activity outside of work?
A: I have become very engaged in the smart city movement and, most specifically, working with area non-profits to determine how investments can help us have new insights and even solve some of our region’s most vexing problems such as food deserts, digital deserts, homelessness, and ladders of opportunity.
Title: Chief Innovation Officer
Company: Allied Reliability
HQ: Houston, Texas
People: 400 Employees
Revenue: $100 million +
Industry: Industrial Technology