Karl Mcdermott
Global Head of Business Development
View from the Top

Grow Production Then Build Digital Future

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 17:07

Q: How much has everis’ position in Mexico’s industrial segment grown and how important is the automotive industry in your strategy for this market?

A: We have advanced considerably, focusing on what we call AUTOMAN, meaning automotive and discrete manufacturing. We have brought in a new vice president for this division and his focus is mostly on the automotive industry.
Most of the latest automotive projects and incoming plants are duplicates of operations in other parts of the world. BMW’s plant in San Luis Potosi, for example, is a copy of the OEM’s operation in Spartanburg, which means that all the best practices implemented there are now in Mexico. But this is just the first step. Next, these companies launch their operations with the goal of ramping up production. After that, they advance to the next stage in their strategy to become a digital operation with Industry 4.0 implementations. 
As a controlled and isolated environment, Mexico offers a great opportunity for investors to test new concepts and develop new technologies that would be otherwise too complicated to install in already established plants in Germany or the US. Companies understand this and they are willing to take this step. However, their first priority is to develop production properly so they can then apply new ideas, such as Big Data, analytics, predictive manufacturing and augmented reality for the production floor. Eventually, Mexico will have an excellent opportunity to be at the forefront of the digital revolution and we are already working on some projects with companies in this sector. 
Q: What role does everis want to play in the evolution of the technology implementation process in Mexico?
A: everis has business and digital consulting experience but we also have developed as systems integrators and developers. Thanks to this duality, we can help clients to really understand what Industry 4.0 is and how it comprises a number of different concepts and technologies that need to come together for a holistic operation. Robotics and automation are definitely a part of the Industry 4.0 idea but it is also an integrated vision that includes manufacturing operations, the company’s back office, its supply chain and its clients. 
At the same time, we can identify an area of opportunity within a company and start piloting a new development. We can use Big Data and analytics to understand patterns that allow us to predict when equipment will need maintenance. The information we analyze comes from the equipment itself or the product once it goes through quality control and that helps the system become a self-learning mechanism that reduces unscheduled downtime. We can also help workers increase their productivity using smart glasses and other wearables to introduce augmented reality and reduce errors related to customization in different vehicle units. We have even developed a software specifically oriented to maintenance called everis drizzle. This platform is based on a SAP Leonardo solution and uses IoT and Big Data capabilities to improve maintenance. 
Q: How are you collaborating with OEMs, distributors and aftersales service providers to help them understand and embrace digitalization?

A: In the sales part of the automotive business, we are collaborating on the development of a digital user experience and aftersales service. There is a great deal to be done in Mexico in this segment, especially considering that globally dealership visits are decreasing from an average of 2.8 five years ago to 0.7 when clients look to buy a new car. In Mexico, there is still time before dealerships really transform the industry but we are moving closer to that. Processes are becoming much more digital and new tools such as virtual and augmented reality are creating a whole new experience for clients.