Disruptive Matters: Flexibility Needed to Brave ChallengesBy Alejandro Enríquez | Tue, 04/13/2021 - 06:00
Q: What have been Disruptive Matters' milestones in the automotive industry?
A: Since 2019, our clients have faced many challenges. We have helped them to see those challenges as significant opportunities to accelerate a necessary transformation – not only digital but also administrative – to work closely with the value chain and even to encourage a reshoring/nearshoring process. We are proud to be a trusted partner for our customers. Disruptive Matters has earned the industry’s trust over the years by building a genuine partnership with the entire automotive value chain.
Disruptive Matters has a strong footprint in the Americas, with offices and resources in Mexico, the US, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Chile. We are also present in two key satellite locations, Japan and Spain, which allows us, through the right connections, to have a global and connected view. Our strategy is based on three core elements: "Connected Talent. Local Resources. Global-View."
Q: What are the most sought-after services within Disruptive Matters' solutions portfolio?
A: Disruptive Matters supports leading companies in different markets and automotive represents a significant part of our portfolio. Energy, technology, manufacturing, industrial goods, consumer goods, finance, education and nonprofits are also areas we focus on globally.
Our goal is to help companies to reach their full potential as soon as possible. Full potential sometimes means full capacity, but usually, it is related to very strategic projects like nearshoring or localization, establishing the best roadmap for a digital transformation, ramping up a supply chain, building clusters, or the diagnosis and turnaround of operations.
Q: What opportunities do you see in the Mexican market?
A: The main opportunities we see are mainly related to market dynamism. The need to be up to date with new trends, some of which are product-related, like electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles and connectivity, and others that are volume-related, like sales trends, requires flexibility, adaptability and an agile mindset. Many opportunities involve helping clients to embrace an agile mindset and lean concepts for their processes. Change in manufacturing is important but management is key to deploying impactful changes and strategies.
Leaders are expected to have a broad and strategical view, but in the middle of a high-pressure situation, such as a nearshoring process, digital acceleration or a change in management, they can lose sight and perspective. As I mentioned, it is not only one project; it is a whole ecosystem. Our strategy is to focus on simplicity, visibility, accountability and attention to detail. This may sound obvious but these are the pertinent points when asking the important questions and listening to the answers, which is a key part of the process of putting ourselves in our clients’ shoes.
Q: How has Disruptive Matters supported transfer operations from other countries to Mexico?
A: We live in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, so we need to support our customers to determine if their strategy is the right one. Distance, of course, is a factor but it is not the only one. It is essential to confirm that factors like technology, environmental sustainability, politics, economics, as well as social impact are part of the big picture.
Transferring operations from one location to another is among the most sensitive processes for any company. You have customers relying on that output and every step should be planned considering every detail. Transfers involve two processes: shutting down one operation and firing up another. For both, planning and execution are critical phases.
USMCA and COVID-19 highlighted the importance of having a regional supply chain to increase visibility. As a result, relocation and nearshoring activities will continue. We are proud that our customers trust us to support them in such critical matters.
Q: What added value does Disruptive Matters provide to its customers?
A: I would summarize this in three words: simplicity, agility, and experience. Our mission is to democratize premium services for companies and organizations. Disruptive Matters’ approach is agile. If it is complex, we make it simple and solve it. If it is simple, we do not need to overthink it. We back every project with resources, the right expertise, diversity and energy while introducing our corporate structure and partners into the operation.
We collaborate with our client’s stakeholders, tackle the project, implement what needs to be implemented, impart all lessons necessary to assure sustainability of what is done and exit the project in a timely and cost-efficient way. Our ultimate goal is to build the foundations, so the client has the right set of tools to deploy an effective problem-solving strategy on their own if a similar problem arises.
Q: What is your perspective on the impact EV production will have on North America?
A: The impact is huge. We already have several leading OEMs announcing their plans to go fully electric or hybrid. The trend will continue. That fast pace is putting a great deal of pressure on the value chain regarding technology developments. The challenges are how to increase agility, flexibility and adaptability. The boom of electric vehicles is coming, with changes in consumer behavior and a need for infrastructure. There are fundamental questions companies should always keep in mind:
- Do we have the information we need in real-time?
- Are we able to see and interact with it from anywhere?
- How many hands intervened in collecting the data before I was able to look at it?
- Are our KPIs only used to create storytelling or narrative for a decision that was already made or are we leveraging them to be open to change and think outside the box?
- Supply is changing, so what is happening with demand?
- How are patterns changing?
- Does the readiness and visibility of my supply chain address those changes?
- Is my cost structure lean enough?
- Am I minimizing sunken costs?
By transparently answering these questions and fostering a change in management, we will find the key to a successful strategy.
Q: What are your recommendations to make operations more cost-efficient?
A: The digital transformation is a key driver for cost savings. Now, the “cloud” has a totally different meaning. It involves information accessibility, the capacity to access and interact with it from anywhere and, consequently, to make timely and informed decisions.
“Unlearning to learn” is becoming extremely important for reskilling and upskilling. Personal and interpersonal skills are certainly key elements for driving change, but having transparent and online access to information can save extra costs regarding decision-making.
From an operational perspective, an agile view reduces waste from overproduction, scrap and downtime. Problem-solving and an “agile switch” bring a world of potential to the table and trigger tangible opportunities.
Q: What are your thoughts on the industry's recovery?
A: I have a positive view. USMCA is laying the foundations for the region to work closely together. Regional collaboration and regional perspective will continue accelerating and will foster recovery. Reshoring and nearshoring will be additional elements that will further develop positive enablers for the value chain. I would summarize our 2021 strategy as having our boots on the ground to ensure we are up to speed, capitalizing on lessons learned. We will continue supporting our customers to embrace simplicity, agility and efficiency.
Disruptive Matters is a consulting firm focused on democratizing accessible premium services for companies and organizations. It is present in over 10 countries.