Cisco Manufacturing Leaders

Tackling the skills gap with strategy (Part 2)

September 06, 2019 Cisco Manufacturing Leaders Season 1 Episode 2
Cisco Manufacturing Leaders
Tackling the skills gap with strategy (Part 2)
Chapters
Cisco Manufacturing Leaders
Tackling the skills gap with strategy (Part 2)
Sep 06, 2019 Season 1 Episode 2
Cisco Manufacturing Leaders

When it comes to attracting new talent and retaining tribal knowledge within your organization, the hardest part can simply be figuring out where to start. In this episode, we'll learn

  • Key questions to ask yourself when looking to build a long term strategy
  • Understand how your customer directly benefits from your business's ability to successfully engage your entire workforce
  • Understand what is a digital systems integrator and how can they help?
  • Learn how to be the catalyst for starting this conversation within your organization
Show Notes Transcript

When it comes to attracting new talent and retaining tribal knowledge within your organization, the hardest part can simply be figuring out where to start. In this episode, we'll learn

  • Key questions to ask yourself when looking to build a long term strategy
  • Understand how your customer directly benefits from your business's ability to successfully engage your entire workforce
  • Understand what is a digital systems integrator and how can they help?
  • Learn how to be the catalyst for starting this conversation within your organization
Speaker 1:

This episode of manufacturing leaders is brought to you by Cisco between technology and where it can take you. There's a bridge if you can imagine it. We will build the bridge to get you there. To find out more, visit us online at cisco.com/go/manufacturing hi, I'm Caroline Hila and this is manufacturing leaders or biweekly podcast to help you succeed with innovative technology while your customers and grow your business with confidence. On today's episode we'll be talking about how to build a solid action plan and find the right partners to help you unite your entire organization, both physically and culturally. Today's episode is part two of our two part series, tackling this skills gap with strategy. And today I want to focus on understanding where to start. Finding out where to start is crucial because the skills gap problem in manufacturing requires a solution that's unique to every organization. So here are a few fundamental questions you can ask yourself to get started. Do you have a clear vision for how you see your organization using technology to engage your workforce? If so, what does that vision look like? How about five years from now and even 10 years from now. I really like how our recent McKinsey Manufacturing report frames these questions as well. How are your senior leaders thinking about the investments and changes they will make in the coming year? Are they asking how can we apply this technology or are they asking the more important question, how can we achieve the productivity improvements our organization requires? And the reason this is so important guys is because it is likely that advanced technologies will be part of the answer to that question. But ensuring that people have the skills, mindset, and behaviors to use those technologies effectively will be equally important. And with that, I'd like to welcome back our two guests, Steve Ganson and Dan Melisko. So Steve and Dan, now that we've had the opportunity to understand what the problem really is and how technology plays a role in solving this problem, I want you to now take a step back and look at the organization as a whole. And can you tell me how does this problem affect the entire business and organization? So we can start with you Steve.

Speaker 2:

Well, you know, it's interesting Caroline . It challenges a couple of businesses. First of all, it challenges us at Cisco. You know, it challenges us as we're developing new products and solutions. It's all about customer experience. You know, kind of gone are the days where we just sell somebody a router and hope for the best. It's not about what color the boxes are , what color the wire is in [inaudible] , which challenges us to say, if we can't help a customer make five more bags of dog food per hour, then maybe we're not developing the right technology solutions to meet those needs. So it challenges us to stay better and stay leading edge with everything we develop are also challenges our customers to think differently. You know, it challenges them to get out . They've got to get out of the box. They have to, you know what it took to get them here, may not enough to keep them here. You know, there's all kinds of these quotes they would say you have to start somewhere. You have to challenge yourself, challenge your assumptions. Like Dan was saying a few minutes ago, that you have to do things differently. And I think those are the two challenges on our side and on the customer side. Yeah, that's a great point. And Dan, what would you say then, why , why, why does this issue right now challenge your business or manufacturers

Speaker 3:

overall? So I think when I break it down into the practical solutions , um , and what we see as a solutions provider. So one of the things that , uh, we have found in , and we found this through working with Cisco is that it really does take an ecosystem. Um, and that's, you know, on our side working with , um, other vars . Um , you know, we ourselves are a digital solutions integrator, so we're a different type of, of reseller. We on our side had collaborate now on the customer side, right . Uh, and a lot of collaboration between it and OT. That's a big challenge. Um, but, but also what we talked about before is bringing more of those operations, the operators, the maintenance technicians, the people who are maybe on their way out, having them to try to be part of that convergence discussion and that digitalization discussion. Because if you don't do that , um, they, they, the customer is going to lose out. And I think that we can help them , uh , understand that and help them get to , uh , at least at least. Yeah ,

Speaker 2:

yeah. Forward. Yeah . Hey, Dan, you, you mentioned that a few minutes ago about the digital , uh , solution integrator program. Uh, you know, for a lot of our listeners out there, they may not know what that is and why that's important and why Cisco made that investment. Can you just spend a couple of minutes just revealing that?

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. Yeah . So , um, the DSI program , uh , which I think , um , a lot of vision on Cisco's part because as I mentioned, we're not a traditional type of partner. Um, Cisco views us more as a, as a consultant type partner. Now , uh, our expertise is in the manufacturing vertical, but Cisco also has , um , you know , healthcare and transportation, other integrators that are , uh, very much in those specific verticals. But what we bring to the table , um, is a lot of that, that hardcore, in our case, the plant for manufacturing expertise. And we're here to help augment , um, the , the teams of the Cisco Account Teams and the Vars to start a broader conversation. A lot of times the, the account teams are focusing a lot on the it spend , uh , when there's a lot of opportunity down on the plant floor for the OT spend . And really, I think it's, it's our job as the DSI partner to help bring all of those OT perspectives to the table to have a more comprehensive discussion.

Speaker 2:

Dan, that's fantastic. And you know what , uh , what's really important, the part of that I want to emphasize is it's all part of the customer experience because it's not about selling more boxes. It's not about selling more wireless or more routers. It's about working with partners you to come down to the plant floor and make a difference in our customer's business. Help them do more with less. Bring that expertise you have right down to the plant floor along with Cisco. So that's, it's fantastic. Thank you. For now, I just want to, like I said, give the opportunity for just one closing statement from both of you guys. What do you think out of everything we've talked about today is the most important takeaway for our listeners to know leaving this conversation? So let's start with Steve and then I'll give the floor to you, Dan . Caroline, we have an amazing opportunity in front of us. You know, some people look at it with a little bit of fear and a little bit of intimidation, but quite frankly, we've got this opportunity to align some of these tech savvy early in career creative thinking. You know, all the generations I mentioned before, and , and align them with the, with the folks that have the tribal knowledge, you know, we want to learn from their experience. I mean we need to challenge the top and the bottom of these generations just to do things differently. Recognizing that that change is eminent, you know that , I mean, it could be as simple as, you know, if , if we know that the millennials and the Gen z's like their , their social media time, we'll give them five minutes, every hour of social time so they can, they can expand on that. I mean, we have to, everybody has to meet each other where they are. I mean, the , the, the quote that comes to mind and I live with lots of quotes are it's never too late to be who you might've been. And that's from George Elliott . And I think that's something that should resonate with us. That means don't stop, don't stop changing. Don't stop trying. Don't start, stop disrupting. That's kind of my thought.

Speaker 3:

And also , uh , as we all know, don't stop believing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah . And Caroline , you thought I was going to be the one to throw that in. Oh , that's great . Oh, that's funny. That's , that's good . That's a really good point. I like the way that you look at that, Steve. As it really is more of an opportunity versus just looking at it as a challenge and not really knowing where to start. So, yeah . And I also want to give the floor to you and kind of hear what, what do you think is our listeners biggest takeaway from this entire conversation?

Speaker 3:

Mostly it's trying to start the conversation and trying to be the catalyst of a conversation because I think we tend to try to maybe lead with the technology itself , um , and the various cool tech that's out there or this feature or that feature. When really at the end of the day, what we're trying to do is we're trying to get the customers to talk. We're trying to get them to maybe just by talking through it, understand where they need to start on their digital journey. So , um, that's probably the biggest thing I can recommend for a lot of the listeners is just be willing to start a conversation and be willing to listen. Um , and it , even if the, even if the subject matter Ah , isn't familiar, just an understanding that there are partners and others within who can,

Speaker 2:

we can help have those conversations. It's such a [inaudible] great point is everybody's in a different place on their journey. It's kind of like with ways, I mean if we're all driving in Chicago, Caroline, you're coming from a deer , very different place than I am than where Dan is. What our goal is to get to Chicago. Every is in a different place on their journey. It doesn't make it right or wrong. It's their journey. They have to figure out where they are and where they want to be, learn from others and use the tools that are accessible to them and available to them to get to that destination. And by the way, the destination keeps moving. I guess that's another point is that's the difference in ways. Ways says I want to go here. The manufacturing, the whole manufacturing industry, that that's just, that's just, it's not about what's next. It's about what's after next. And that will go on and on and on. So

Speaker 1:

like you said, Caroline , it's a, it's a journey. It's not about what's next. It's about what's after. Next. Thank you for listening to today's episode of manufacturing leaders. Check out this episode blog by going to cisco.com/go/manufacturing and click see available episodes. All research reports mentioned on today's show are listed in this blog with additional resources for you to learn more. And if you'd like to ask us a question, simply post it in the blog comments section at the bottom of the page.