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Mr. Sid Verma with Hitachi Vantara talks Manufacturing and Need for Innovation for Future Success
9th October 2020 • The Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie • The Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie
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In this week's Industrial Talk Podcast we're talking to Sid Verma, General Manager - Global Digital Manufacturing Practice at Hitachi Vantara about "Powerful Digital Manufacturing Strategies to Build a Business of Resilience for Future Success". Get the answers to your "Digital Manufacturing Solution" questions along with Sid's unique insight on the “How” on this Industrial Talk interview!

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Scott MacKenzie, Sid Verma


Welcome to the industrial talk podcast with Scott MacKenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting-edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's get there. Welcome

Scott MacKenzie 00:22

to the industrial talk podcast. This platform, the industrial talk platform is dedicated to you the women and men of manufacturing, the women and men of industry. The women or men who get things done, you are bold, you are brave, daring greatly. you innovate. And you're changing lives around the world. That is why we celebrate you here on this particular podcast. Another good interview Hitachi Ventura is the company. His name is Sid Verma. But once again, you want to go find him out on his stat card out on LinkedIn, you're going to have to type his first name in and that is, as Id d h. AR. th. Verma is ver ma, reach out to him. We're talking manufacturing, we're talking about, you know, the ability to have that history of success, especially in this world of Industry 4.0. Yep, sit brings definitely the truth, Bombs. So let's get a rolling. Yeah. What an honor. I mean, when we start talking about industry, we talked talking about manufacturing, we start talking about all of the wonderful things that are taking place specially, and the conversations that people are having companies people are having as a result of whatever this new normal is, it's it's really exciting. It's an exciting time to be in the manufacturing space. It's an exciting time to be in an industry, it's an exciting time to be able to an opportunity to have great conversations with industry leaders, like Sid, and many of the individuals at Hitachi Ventura, and talk about real solutions to real problems, to create businesses, manufacturing industry business that are resilient because the wreck, you know, we just got to recognize just don't throw it out there. This might happen again, we don't want to don't I'm not wishing that on anybody. But it could happen again. Unfortunately, why not today, right now, possibly yesterday, talk about strategies, deploy strategies that really ensure your business resiliency, why not? Now's the time. Technology is there. You hear me talk about collaboration, I'm telling you right now. You want to collaborate with these people that are on the industrial talk podcast, they're out there, they want to talk to you, they are at the cutting edge of innovation, right? They are. And they definitely are committed to education. There. It always dazzles me to see individuals like said and others that that they take to a certain extent, there's a level of humility there, they take this stuff for granted. And for me, who's constantly sucking it up and saying, Man, that's cool stuff. That's cool stuff. I am just always dazzled by how professionals, leaders within industry, leaders in manufacturing, just constantly push the envelope. And they're all it's all focused on solving problems, providing solutions, and doing it with a sense of speed and purpose. And so you gotta love that. And so this conversation was Sid is just right on the money and and they're doing some incredible things. And we're talking, just so that we're on the same page. One of the things that I did point out with to him, and I share it with you, before we get into the interview, is that there's a lot of companies out there, a lot of companies talking about, you know, IoT, talking about edge, talking about cloud, talking about everything that's all under the sun of Industry 4.0, it's out there, and I and I know that it's out there. And one of the questions that that was always intriguing with me, how do I how do I know who to who to trust? Who to pull into my inner circle, my collaborative inner circle to be able to have real meaningful conversations that makes sense because you're looking at executives that have to make these decisions. And who are you going to pull in you're gonna have to at least find companies find delivers of services that you can trust. Sit is right there. Hitachi Vantara is right there. All right, let's get on with the interview. Again, when you reach out to him because you need to write you need to sit he goes by said Verma. But remember, write this down si d d H AR t H. Verma you'll find it find him and reach out to him and I'll have all the contact information on industrial on his you know landing page that highlights him. So anyway, enjoy this conversation because and and take notes because it's really important about what what is CIT is talking about and why it's important for you as an industrial and manufacturing professional. Enjoy. Hey said Welcome to the industrial talk podcast absolute honor that you found time found time in your busy schedule to be on this particular podcast and share your insights and wisdom into manufacturing. How're you doing?

Sid Verma 05:42

I'm doing great, Scott. How are you?

Scott MacKenzie 05:45

I'm doing well because I get to talk to you. And we get to talk about manufacturing. We get to really be bold, brave and daring greatly in our conversation and we're gonna change the world. Before we get into your interview. Let's talk a little bit about who CIT is a little background on who it is. I know that you come from Canada. And are you a Argonauts fan?

Sid Verma 06:06

I am not. I am a tennis fan in Ottawa. No way.

Scott MacKenzie 06:11

Yeah, there you go. Okay, nevermind. I've been getting into hockey. But yeah, Senators, maybe

Sid Verma 06:19

I didn't my masters. I didn't have much money that time. So the only thing that came on the TV was Canada.

Scott MacKenzie 06:27

That's Canada for you. Because it doesn't come on down here. You know, well, you're you're in San Francisco, the Bay Area. You're not getting much hockey down there.

Sid Verma 06:36

Oh, no, not at all.

Scott MacKenzie 06:38

All right, give us a little background on who you are there said.

Sid Verma 06:41

Sure. So, I am right now the general manager of manufacturing for Hitachi Ventura. And I represent the global manufacturing business for Hitachi limited. Earlier to joining Hitachi, I worked for Siemens as the Global Head of manufacturing, in the newly minted IoT and consulting unit. I spent around two years at Siemens earlier than that I was in Deloitte for eight years, that I have created their industrial IoT practice have run it. And it was an absolute honor at that time to make a business from scratch.

Scott MacKenzie 07:14

I'm telling you, and you're talking about being a trailblazer. I mean, all of a sudden, now everybody does their stands. And they're saying that IoT, everybody understands digital transformation, or think they do, because pre virus, everybody has sort of this plan A to five, whatever your plan to begin their digital journey. But then COVID hits and all of a sudden, I need to speed my digital journey up relatively fast. Have you seen that on your side?

Sid Verma 07:44

Exactly. I don't think that that journey anymore. It became a burning platform. It's like, if I don't do anything, my my workers cannot go inside my factory stopped running. And just this whole idea of remote monitoring, being able to work safely using technology mean that manufacturing never occurred to them. Like I mean, the whole idea was people going and working. And machines were there to support it's kind of become the other way around.

Scott MacKenzie 08:11

Yeah, and it's interesting, and I think it's a beautiful, you know, we talk about how, you know, pre pandemic, but when we start talking about COVID, there's the there's the one side that there's a lot of pain, yes, absolutely understand challenging time. The other side is that it really took manufacturers and gave them the ability to truly hone in on what is important. And that's why that whole conversation of digital transformation really became I have to hone in on it. I've got to figure out how to keep the wheels turning into my my business. So it's important. So let's, let's talk a little bit about that. Okay. You're seeing and correct me if I'm wrong, you're seeing a shift manufacturer, let's say macro level manufacturer is starting to look more and more at the their, their digital journey, their digital transformation. Is that a correct statement?

Sid Verma 09:07

I'll say yes. So from my point of view, like everything has to run on continuous innovation journey. Otherwise you do not survive or do not stay in the business for a long time with digital is basically the next normal now. And means COVID has expedited the normal of five years to six months now. But from the time we have electrification to that is you needed to just do it to survive to now we have to do digital to survive. That is the core of the business. We no longer individual machines or individual people work and optimize their performance. We have to do it collectively, and be able to use some of the tools that humans cannot do while they're working to come from outside and then come help them. So that is kind of for me a natural phenomena. This is what you have to do. This is the evolution of manufacturing. The next step

Scott MacKenzie 10:02

right now is digital. And I like that and I like that. It's it's not a sense of you know, I mean it's it's just a fact that you manufacturing have to begin that digital journey today. In fact yesterday right and and begin that and interact and collaborate with individuals like yourself companies like Hitachi Ventura to begin that thought process. Don't Don't be in a position where I have not, you know, I didn't do it. So I'm behind. No, now Now is the time. And and I think you're spot on. And I like the statement continuous innovation journey. Remember that listeners continuous? And that's not just what the digital journey it is. It's just your life. Continue. make that happen. Now, with that being said, Said. People are people, cultures are cultures, internal, external doesn't really matter. What are your roadblocks for getting people to say, Yeah, I got it. I'm going to walk hand in hand with sit in tachi vantara. What are those roadblocks? What are those things?

Sid Verma 11:14

So one of the things about digital that is key is we try to take like data out of steps and not do incremental improvement. So if you see the last 40 years of the Kaizen and six sigma, or the incremental improvement, small, small steps, yeah, what digital allows you to do is look at the process and do major improvement. And a major improvement is sometimes hard to fathom. And imagine, if you have always done the same thing. Because if you can do a inspection, using a camera using AI, you don't need five people. And you can do it at every step, then rather than doing it at last step. And then you can kind of skip the whole scrap and everything else. But this is not like a simple improvement of fixing things. This is like a monumental change in which you will do things. it's sometimes hard to take that leap of faith, and also trust that it will work. I'm telling you,

Scott MacKenzie 12:10

kind of. Yeah, you're you're you're you're a heretic with you're talking about in manufacturing, a make a major, major improvement, holy cow, but it can be done. Right.

Sid Verma 12:23

Yeah. And this is what digital is doing, like digital is not exactly letting you jump a couple of steps in the cycle of continuous improvement that we were used to. But it done

Scott MacKenzie 12:37

the journey. So once again, the resistance the roadblock is culturally I'm not comfortable with making major steps I'm comfortable with let's say my eyes on and and being able to make those incremental improvements and constantly work for the you know, just continuously improve, right. And now we're coming in with this new industry for Dotto, whatever it might be, and it's everything under the sun, and it's going to solve all our problems. Major and and that is really from a cultural perspective, uncomfortable for me

Sid Verma 13:07


Scott MacKenzie 13:08

How do you break into that and and create comfort for a manufacturer to say exactly

Sid Verma 13:17

what, especially in the manufacturing sector, people like to know that you have done it before. Because this is not like mean imaginary stuff. Correct. It's not marketing that you can say. And if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. You can fix it, manufacturing, you have to fix and do it. So the main, so my clients and my company itself would like us to prove it beyond doubt that this is actually working. And we need to look at not only an MVP, which was a three or four years ago problem that let's do an MVP, and we'll solve everything. I got to stop you right there. You're saying in V is in Victor p What? What do you say

Scott MacKenzie 13:53

that they call it the minimum viable product? Got it. Thank you minimum viable product, MVP. Got it. Go continue. Sorry about that.

Sid Verma 14:01

So when we started this journey on digital transformation, people say let's try something we will create a proof of concept, we will make something that will show to the world that it works. And then last two, three years, it never went too far beyond an idea. People saw really good videos on LinkedIn. But you go back to a production line still the same like what we have seen is we need to prove it beyond doubt that this thing works on in all the integrate things that the manufacturer does in the job. And that is the comfort level we have to provide. We have to spend some time and energy in building those proof of concept which actually solved the whole thing. And repeatable you sell the whole thing. So the manufacturer will tell us you do it, I allow you but you have to make sure it runs for one year. And my people are kept on doing it. Not just like you have a good idea. You gave me a software and you walked away. Nobody use it. Yeah. And and one other layer that I wanted to bring forward is all that digital stuff happened at the enterprise software layer before? Correct? You have the earpiece? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Up