The Manufacturer Podcast: A leader and a speaker

Posted on 4 Nov 2022 by Tom St John

In the final episode of our series on Leadership, we hear some of the leaders of industry that will be appearing as keynote speakers at this year's Manufacturing Leaders' Summit and SME Growth Summit at Digital Manufacturing Week in Liverpool.

Get a sneak preview of the discussion at these events, with insights from MLS speakers Natalie Watson, Group Head of Sustainability at Vita Group, Richard Lloyd, General Manager at Accolade Wines The Park and Professor Rab Scott, Director of Industrial Digitalisation at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC)

Also hear from Katrina Richie at Gripple – Director of People and Culture. She’ll be kicking off SME Growth Summit on Wednesday 16th November.

In addition to this, our editorial team test their memories of this series and our editor Joe pines after a brand of sweets that were phased out in 1998.

That’s all been packed into today’s episode

Speaker highlights

MLS speaker Natalie Watson on the importance of partnerships 

Natalie Watson, Vita Group - MLS speaker

Roughly 95% of our emissions lie in Scope 3 so we knew we had to make a start and it’s become easier now thanks to our partnership with Schneider Electric. We’ve taken the necessary steps to map out our supply chain to pull out where we’ve aligned on various targets and collaborated with data collection. Having a digitised supply chain has helped us when carrying out these exercises, we’re also sending out ‘Know Your Supplier’ surveys which help pick out certain data.

We openly accept that we don’t have all the answers and expertise to achieve everything we want, so our partnership with Schneider Electric has enabled us to lean on them as a consultant to work together and harness its knowledge and experience. For us, when everyone is ‘all in’, that is success. If we all work together, then we can achieve what we want a lot quicker. However, there is turbulence ahead for the industry so it’s important to stand strong on our narrative. I hope that my keynote at Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit will highlight how open and transparent The Vita Group is on its sustainability journey.

MLS speaker Richard Lloyd on the technology that can reduce waste 

Richard Lloyd, , General Manager of European Supply Chains for Accolade Wines - MLS Speaker

Something that we (Accolade Wines at The Park) are really making progress with is 3D printing our spare parts. We were doing that a year ago, and I was really proud of this. There’s a lot of sustainable benefits; we’re not bringing the parts in from around Europe, but the really impressive bit is that it’s enabled us to use closed loop – we’re using a waste stream within our facility.

Our facility is zero waste to landfill, so when we have some plastic that comes into the factory, we can now use that plastic waste stream to make the filament that we then 3D print our machine parts with.

On the digital side, we want to make sure that everyone on site has the best information to take the right focused action. We’ve partnered within the supply chain with a couple of businesses that have really helped us understand our energy usage on site. This has also helped us with our machine performance by bringing the data out of these machines that, data we’ve had for years, but it’s now being presenting in a much more usable way.

MLS speaker Rab Scott on the relationship between automation and humans

Rab Scott Professor of Industrial Digitalisation and Head of Digital at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) - MLS Speaker

When Industry 4.0 was first proposed there was a dystopian view that humans would be replaced by robotics, with the factory of the future having far fewer employees than we do today. That hasn’t come to pass. In fact, there was a 2015 report by Deloitte which identified that while 800,000 jobs had been lost to automation, more than three million had been created. And those roles were worth around £10,000 more than the ones they displaced.

So, we’re seeing a drive for upskilling into higher value jobs. An emerging trend is that data is now the new oil, but like oil, it needs refining to become valuable. If you don’t do anything with data, then it has no value and becomes a cost. This is a trap which manufacturers continue to fall into; they know data needs to be collected, but not what to do with it. And they don’t necessarily know what value they’ve got in the data they’ve collected and where to go for help.

Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit would like to thank:

  • Co-organisers Ericsson, IBM, Kearney and SAP;
  • Knowledge partner Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge;
  • Sponsors 8×8, Capgemini, Cognite, Cognizant, Deloitte, IFS, INAWISDOM, Infor, Innovate UK KTN, Oracle, PA, PEAK, Safety Culture, Salesforce, Softserve, Tableau and Wolters Kluwer.

SGS speaker Katrina Richie on the leadership strategy at Gripple

Katrina Ritchie, Gripple - SGS speaker

We banned it simply because we want our leaders to be responsible for our people, not another department. I think the key thing is because we’re employee owned, that forms the bedrock of our success. My role is to make sure we’ve got the right leaders in the business – they’re being developed so that they’re leading people properly.

That’s another reason we don’t need a HR department – if we hire the right people, we develop them. We’ve got a strong leadership, so there’s minimal need for HR in the traditional form. We’ve got very low rates in terms of performance management, disciplinaries and all that formal stuff usually dealt with by HR, because we’re bringing in the best people. We’re managing them properly, our leaders are managing them properly.

SME Growth Summit would like to thank:

  • Co-organiser Autodesk;
  • Knowledge partner Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge;
  • Sponsors Michael PageMade SmarterDXC TechnologyEDGE Digital ManufacturingEpicorERA FoundationInnovate UK KTNInstitute for Export & International Trade, and Verve4Growth.

Listen back to the previous episode of our Leadership Series