Dennis Hodges, CIO, Inteva Products
Ease of Use and Interface Simplicity
The primary expectation I have from technology providers is to bring the same ease of use and interface simplicity that the consumer enjoys with free applications from mobile stores. The amount of time spent on training and re-training to accomplish an adequate level of mastery is overwhelmingly complex, compared to many mobile apps. enterprise providers are listening. Our SaaS ERP provider is doing a total re-write of their interface, to bring it more in line with modern UI expectations.
"Better management through serialized containerization and work-in-process labeling provides tremendous value"
Sequencing and Traceability–Challenges for the Automotive Industry
The key area for improvement in the automotive supplier world is manufacturing support; primarily sequencing and traceability of parts. sequencing–ensuring such things as the right color and contented dashboard arrives at the automaker’s assembly line, in the right order, to be inserted into the right automobile without stopping the process–is complex, with little time for errors or outages. Traceability is becoming more critical across all of our product lines, not just in the safety area with SRS (airbag) product management. The ability to frill back into the raw material or components for a product allows us to better identify or satisfy potential regulatory issues, and strengthens customer relationships.
Inventory Management and ERP–Overlooked Trends
In our industry, inventory management is a key success factor. With a large amount of material either in-bound, in process, or in transit to the final customer, inventory cost is a major component of our P&L and balance sheet. Better management through serialized containerization and work-in-process labeling provides tremendous value. Another often overlooked trend is the expansion of the ERP environment. By going beyond supply chain and finance, to include engineering, quality, and the supplier interface, the system can drive a level of integration that brings significant benefit to the organization. At Inteva, these benefits include stronger engineering, finance, and manufacturing cross-function operations. Additionally, builtin supplier quality and portals enhance communications with our supply base.
My Role as a CIO
Over the past couple of years, IT has been brought into most of the organization. While many IT groups focus on supply chain and finance support, many of the changes that I noted earlier have brought awareness in the operations and engineering functions about the service and value IT can offer. The focus on systems and support also has been augmented by the incorporation of business process management into the IT organization; allowing the organization to be focused on the entire solution cycle, not just systematizing it.
Advice to Fellow CIOs
I would offer two points of advice to other IT professionals. First, remember to listen twice as much as you speak. IT experts tend to not listen to people, as we are too busy trying to solve their problems. Listening reinforces relationships which are the key to success. Second, be a bookworm and webinar junkie. There is too much technology moving in the world not to be plugged into it. You have to bring that manufacturing perspective to the media blitzing us from an increasingly consumer-oriented technical community. Being ableto leverage the technology that is out there can truly revolutionize your world.