GCC manufacturing conference reveals line-up of speakers
The GCC Manufacturing Excellence and Technology Summit takes place on 14 and 15 November in Dubai, with speakers from Pirelli, Boeing and Colgate Palmolive.
The conference will highlight how businesses can achieve operational efficiency and excellence in the manufacturing industry. With Dubai Economic Council as a Strategic Partner, this event is one of its kind in the region that will provide a platform for exchange of dialogue between manufacturing professionals and policy makers, free zone authorities, consultants, technology and solution providers about their needs.
With over 20 sector specialists, global and regional heads delivering presentations on topics that are pertinent to the manufacturing industry in the region, the summit will help identify insights to help achieve excellence in manufacturing. H.E. Hani Rashid Al Hamli, Secretary General, Dubai Economic Council (DEC); Dr. Robin Scott, Head of Virtual Reality and Modelling Group, Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing; Thorsten Junghanns, Vice President Manufacturing System & Strategy; Airbus Defence and Space GmbH; Ashraf Zaki, Manufacturing Director, Colgate Palmolive and Stefano Pietroni, Global Network Design, Planning & Sourcing Vice President, Barilla will serve as speakers at the summit.
Presentations by Kunal Sharma, National Head - Operational Excellence & Centre of Excellence, Coca-Cola, Jagdish Ramaswamy, President - Corporate Business Excellence, Aditya Birla and Mario Naldini, Director of Manufacturing, Pirelli on the Deployment of the Operational Excellence Frame Work at Coca Cola, the role Corporate Business Excellence has played in shaping Aditya Birla Group's manufacturing and service businesses for building excellence across its various processes and Turn-around of the factory through lean & people engagement: PMS, The Lean Manufacturing in Pirelli: Tools and methods from the operators to the top managers respectively will focus on the importance of looking inwards and offer a new perspective on applying techniques.
Dr. Souraj Salah, Business Process Improvement Manager, Juma Al Majid Group will deliver a session on process and quality improvement in a manufacturing environment, while Sathish Narayanan, Productivity Lead- Lean Six Sigma - Middle East & Africa, Pepsico will speak on learning to leverage six sigma & lean.
The inaugural edition of the GCC Manufacturing Excellence and Technology Summit is expected to witness over 300 senior professionals including VPs, Directors, and Department Heads representing engineering, lean manufacturing, operational excellence, quality assurance and control, Six Sigma, R&D, health and safety divisions amongst many others from across the GCC.
Announcing the speaker roster, Brad Hariharan, Regional Director, Expotrade Middle East, said: “We are honoured to have an eclectic mix of esteemed speakers and panelists from across the globe participating at our summit, providing insight on some of the most pressing topics in this sector. With UAE’s focus on boosting the region’s manufacturing sector, we are confident the summit will prove to be an invaluable opportunity to learn of new processes, developments in technology and network with the who’s who of this industry.”
Follow the Summit on social media with the hashtag #GMETS2016.
Read the August 2016 issue of Business Review Middle East magazine
Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work
Two-thirds of global office workers feel they are constantly doing the same tasks over and over again. That’s according to a new study (2021 Office Worker Survey) from automation software company UiPath.
Whether emailing, inputting data, or scheduling calls and meetings, the majority of those surveyed said they waste on average four and a half hours a week on time-consuming tasks that they think could be automated.
Not only is the undertaking of such repetitious and mundane tasks a waste of time for employees, and therefore for businesses, but it can also have a negative impact on employees’ motivation and productivity. And the research backs this up with more than half (58%) of those surveyed saying that undertaking such repetitive tasks doesn’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be.
“When repetitive, unrewarding tasks are handled by people, it takes time and this can cause delays and reduce both employee and customer satisfaction,” Gavin Mee, Managing Director of UiPath Northern Europe tells Business Chief. “Repetitive tasks can also be tedious, which often leads to stress and an increased likelihood to leave a job.”
And these tasks exist at all levels within an organisation, right up to executive level, where there are “small daily tasks that can be automated, such as scheduling, logging onto systems and creating reports”, adds Mee.
Automation can free employees to focus on higher value work
By automating some or all of these repetitive tasks, employees at whatever level of the organisation are freed up to focus on meaningful work that is creative, collaborative and strategic, something that will not only help them feel more engaged, but also benefit the organisation.
“Automation can free people to do more engaging, rewarding and higher value work,” says Mee, highlighting that 68% of global workers believe automation will make them more productive and 60% of executives agree that automation will enable people to focus on more strategic work. “Importantly, 57% of executives also say that automation increases employee engagement, all important factors to achieving business objectives.”
These aren’t the only benefits, however. One of the problems with employees doing some of these repetitive tasks manually is that “people are fallible and make mistakes”, says Mee, whereas automation boosts accuracy and reduces manual errors by 57%, according to Forrester Research. Compliance is also improved, according to 92% of global organisations.
Repetitive tasks that can be automated
Any repetitive process can be automated, Mee explains, from paying invoices to dealing with enquiries, or authorising documents and managing insurance claims. “The process will vary from business to business, but office workers have identified and created software robots to assist with thousands of common tasks they want automated.”
These include inputting data or creating data sets, a time-consuming task that 59% of those surveyed globally said was the task they would most like to automate, with scheduling of calls and meetings (57%) and sending template or reminder emails (60%) also top of the automation list. Far fewer believed, however, that tasks such as liaising with their team or customers could be automated, illustrating the higher value of such tasks.
“By employing software robots to undertake such tasks, they can be handled much more quickly,” adds Mee pointing to OTP Bank Romania, which during the pandemic used an automation to process requests to postpone bank loan instalments. “This reduced the processing time of a single request from 10 minutes to 20 seconds, allowing the bank to cope with a 125% increase in the number of calls received by call centre agents.”
Mee says: “Automation accelerates digital transformation, according to 63% of global executives. It also drives major cost savings and improves business metrics, and because software robots can ramp-up quickly to meet spikes in demand, it improves resilience.
Five business areas that can be automated
Mee outlines five business areas where automation can really make a difference.
- Contact centres Whether a customer seeks help online, in-store or with an agent, the entire customer service journey can be automated – from initial interaction to reaching a satisfying outcome
- Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
- Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
- IT IT teams are often swamped in daily activity like on-boarding or off-boarding employees. Deploying virtual machines, provisioning, configuring, and maintaining infrastructure. These tasks are ideal for automation
- Legal There are many important administrative tasks undertaken by legal teams that can be automated. Often, legal professionals are creating their own robots to help them manage this work. In legal and compliance processes, that means attorneys and paralegals can respond more quickly to increasing demands from clients and internal stakeholders. Robots don’t store data, and the data they use is encrypted in transit and at rest, which improves risk profiling and compliance.
“To embark on an automation journey, organisations need to create a Centre of Excellence in which technical expertise is fostered,” explains Mee. “This group of experts can begin automating processes quickly to show return on investment and gain buy-in. This effort leads to greater interest from within the organisation, which often kick-starts a strategic focus on embedding automation.”