I was fortunate to attend and present at the N.American Manufacturing Excellence Summit (NAMES) last week.  It was an excellent chance to listen and learn from industry leading manufacturing executives around their best practices for lean/six-sigma, attracting and training the next generation workforce, and improving operational excellence.

I was very impressed with BMW’s vision, specifically their Spartanburg plant’s focus on data analytics and IoT platforms. They had a brilliant use of 3D printing for custom thumb push asset gloves – a practical, cost-effective use of technology directly related to worker safety and productivity!

GE also stood out with their impressive factory that reduces downtime and their PREDIX platform strategy. GE is truly transforming their business and is betting their future on the Industrial Internet and connected product strategies.  As Paul Boris concisely stated, “Get connected, get insights, and optimize your business.

A common theme from many of the discussions was around improving visibility across their value chains, gaining insights, and leveraging these new insights to optimize their business performance. Brilliantly simple, but how do you start this journey?

Cisco is working with many leading manufacturing clients to provide a secure IoT platform to drive improved visibility and related outcomes.  Results like 20%+ reduced energy consumption, increased OEE (70’s to high 80’s), and significant reduction of inventory costs.

Also at NAMES I led the session “Digitization of Manufacturing – What Does This Mean for You?


During it I answered the following questions:

  • What does digitization mean to manufacturing companies?
  • What specific business benefits and market opportunities does it provide?
  • Where do you start?
  • Who’s doing it? Using customer examples

My presentation from this session is available here.

We also shared our latest customer success story of how Daimler Trucks has started their Digital Transformation journey with us in partnership with Rockwell Automation. See our recent blog for more details.

If you’re interested in learning more, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.




Mike Killian

Practice Manager

Manufacturing Business Transformation