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article imageCummins is embracing disruption to stay innovative attract talent

By DX JOURNAL     Sep 9, 2018 in Business
This article is sponsored content from Cognizant.
New skills and ideas are needed to keep up with the digital transformation of manufacturing.
“It’s really hard to say we’re a leading-edge product engineering company if our business tools are dated and do not appeal to the talent we want to attract and retain at Cummins,” said Sherry Aaholm, CIO at 100-year old engine and generator manufacturer Cummins.
Transformative tech and attracting talent are two of the main issues manufacturers need to address in order to stay competitive and grow.
Consider this:
-71 percent of manufacturing executives say they need to innovate faster to stay relevant, according to a Fujitsu report
-In the U.S., the manufacturing industry needs 3.4 million workers over the next decade just to replace retirees, according to The Manufacturing Institute.
The Talent Gap
Replacing retirees is only part of the talent shortage challenge for manufacturers. The other is finding workers with the right skills.
Related: Designing Manufacturing’s Digital Future
“We will need people who are able to manage these new operations, manage the robotics, to program them and maintain them,” said François Barbier, the president of global operations and components at Flex. “People who used to produce things with their hands, they’ll start to produce things with their brains.”
Gone are the days where a high school degree is enough to have a lucrative career in manufacturing, said Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger, speaking on a panel about manufacturing and logistics, adding: “It hasn’t been that way for a long time.”
[Download]: Designing Manufacturing’s Digital Future
Manufacturing jobs are still here, they just look different, says Linebarger. As new tech emerges, workers need to have the skills necessary to perform maintenance and programming, he says. Rather than hiring for traditional roles in manufacturing, companies are hiring for tech-oriented roles where workers are tasked with not just building, but improving.
Staying Innovative
To keep their innovation sharp, Cummins has also created a Digital Accelerator where ideas around manufacturing, the customer or supply-chain are tested and, if successful, then commercialized.
“The focus is on three key themes,” says CIO Aaholm. “How can we improve product quality and up-ime availability? How can we help with new services for our customers? And how can we find value within the company?”
[Download]: Designing Manufacturing’s Digital Future
One example from the accelerator is the Cummins X15™ engine. Cummins says it has reduced the overall cost of ownership by as much as 40 percent, compared with a Cummins 2010 ISX15 engine, and it provides between a 2 percent and 12 percent gain in fuel economy.
The focus on innovation helps attract and retain customers too. John Savage, the executive vice president of transportation services company, Savage Services, says: “Cummins has always been a technology leader, helping us to meet new emission standards whether we’re operating in California or across the nation. When it comes to reliability, Cummins is progressive. They don’t sit back on their laurels.”
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