In this week's Industrial Talk Podcast, we're talking to Efe Erdem, Technology Center Director at MESS and MEXT about "Addressing the major skill gap that exists in today's Digital World". Get the answers to your "Digital Education" questions along with Efe's unique insight on the “How” on this Industrial Talk interview!
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Company Website: https://www.mess.org.tr/en/
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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 go. Alright, thank you very much. Again, thank you very much for joining the industrial talk podcast. Because this is where we celebrate industry heroes. I am so jacked for this particular interview coming up, and I just want to make sure you got to stick around. Because you are bold, you are brave. You dare greatly. you innovate and you're changing lives and you're changing. just changing the world. Why can't we celebrate you each and every day? That's what we do. We celebrate you each and every day. All right, in the hot seat, you know me, Scott, MacKenzie, you know me, and I'm all about collaboration, innovation, and education.
Here's a gentleman fa. That's e f e epi. Alright. Erdem, er d m, he's with an organization called matched. And they've got they're just coming out of Istanbul, Turkey, and they've got a lab, they've got an ecosystem that is really looking into industry for Dotto training the individuals around Europe, about the technology, it is a fabulous conversation, they are passionate about what they do. So let's get cracking. Stop listening to me right here. Now you got to keep on listening to me. You definitely do. All right. I've been doing some series, and we're gonna get into the interview. But I just I just need to reiterate. 2021 is right around the corner, it's right over there. And if you're looking out at the video, I'm looking at 2021 right down there. And it's right around the corner. Now what does that mean? Well, let's put it this way. It's going to be great to look at 2020 behind you, right. But the other thing is that what is your plan? What are you doing? How are you going to generate revenue? How are you going to close deals? How are you going to do all the things that you need to do because you can't live through 2020? Again, in 2021, now I understand the challenges that exist out there, I understand the the fluidness of this pandemic, and I have no idea. All I know is that 21 because it is December 2021. Let's create some strategies. Let's be bold here, let's be brave, let's, let's, let's consider going rogue a little bit and pushing that envelope in how you market and how you sell. Because right now, right now is the time to be able to differentiate yourself to be thinking about how things are just what can I do to be different? How What can I do to get my message out? You know, those are some of the things how do I reinvent myself, you know, that means Do you know what that means in reinventing yourself and going rogue and being, you know, unique and sad and being bold, requires you to be a little uncomfortable. But that's okay. You just been through 2020. And it's okay to be uncomfortable. Because you need to be we need you out there. So I did a, I did a live and then I flipped it into a podcast just because I can. And so I did that. And what was great about it is it's my beef with webinars, that's one that's a live that I did, we can do better, we have to do better, you have to do better, I have to do better, you know, just being okay is just not going to do it. We've got to be quite innovative when it comes to this stuff. And that goes for your marketing and your sales strategy coming up in 2021. You can tell I'm amped up on goofballs on that stuff. Because I just
I want you to be a success. That's it. So one of the things that we're doing, and I'm going to continue down this road, I want to collaborate because we're about collaboration, you know, innovation and education. But I want to collaborate with industrial sales and marketing people. I want to hear what they have to say, I want to be able to get that information out. Because if you're not generating revenue, if you're not breaking into opportunities,
it's not gonna be a good year. And I want it to be a good year for you. And so that means we've got to figure out how to do this whole marketing and sales things better. So I've got a lot of I got a lot of baggage that I want to be able to get off my back because I think we have to, we have to be so creative, so innovative, and we can't, we can't give up on our education. And that's brings me to this particular dog gone interview with Epic, fabulous organization. The, the the, the hub, they call it a hub and I'm looking at my notes because
The Hub the MCs me XT, and they're just all in passionate about educating
about industry for Dotto, it's here, your digital transformation journey has already begun, you need to figure it out, you need and that means education, because it is going fast, and it is speeding through your life. And you need to be able to educate yourself on that. And and when we start talking about all this, you've got you got to do it, man.
I'm all wigged up. Because I just, I'm so passionate about it. I'm so passionate about everybody collaborating, because we need solutions. And that means we've got to talk and collaborate. We need to innovate not just from a technology perspective, but how we interact with people be innovative. Rethink yourself. And then the third one, of course, is education. You can't stop. You can't stop not just from technology. But how are you going to get your message out? What are you going to do? That's it. All right. I'm done. I'm spent. Yeah, I am. I'm spent. All right on the hot seat again. Fa. Erdem, he's with Max, enjoy the doggone interview. All right, fa, thank you very much for joining the industrial talk podcast. How are you doing? Well, in Turkey, it's afternoon, here in the United States in Louisiana. It's the morning how are you doing today?
I'm doing fantastic. Thank you for the right kinds of mutation. I hope you're also doing well. Oh, I mean, I'm talking to you, How can I not be doing well, this is fun stuff. And it's really an incredible topic. And I and I love it. And I love what you guys are doing there in Istanbul and with an organization called mess and maxton, all of that good stuff. And I think that this is a timely conversation. But before we get into that conversation listeners,
epi brings a lot of doggone street cred. If you go out to his staff card on LinkedIn, you will not be disappointed. Give us a little background on who you are.
I'm the Managing Director in Charge of the MCs initiative. And they initiative is actually a product project of the largest industrial association of Turkey called mes. It's an association that is looking after 250 big large industrial companies who are active in the metal industry. And when I say metal I refer to automotive, steel, white goods and machine builders. So we are a large industrial Association and three years ago, the chairman of the association decided to undertake a massive project to build a technology center in essence, it's actually digital capability sensors that would help the member companies so I'm it's called mixed the initiative and the project is called I want to make sure this is clarified it m EXT not NEZM e XT continue that that's absolutely right. And we decided to brand it as me XD s next, that would basically refer to the next level, next era of the metal industry or next level of the manufacturing, the upcoming digital manufacturing revolution, so to say. So here, here's my,
here's my beef. Here's my insights here. My here's my challenge. And especially with this, I've I've had hundreds and hundreds of conversations that are all around industry for Dotto, digital transformation. Edge cloud II, people throw it in 5g, what the heck, why? Let's just throw that in there. Right? Let's just say it doesn't really matter. It seems like it's the the miscellaneous file for everything that's taking place within technology today. And one of the things that you could probably attest to and I have a challenge with is the speed at which technology is evolving, and the human capability of being able to
embrace it, right. It's like it's going really fast. It's like you're trying to hold on that Tiger's tail, and yet I can't consume it fast enough. Is that what Max is all about? What what give us a little background into mext. That's accepted I take Sure there so that that is a needs that are identified among our member companies as well. So we have observed that some companies are investing into upskilling and rescaling their workforce to cope up with the upcoming digital manufacturing era. But we have also observed that that was not done at scale. So it was usually the upskilling and rescaling efforts, were usually targeting maybe a small set of engineers, maybe some managers, mid level managers, but that's the
So it was we felt that it was not enough to undertake a massive transformation effort at a company scale. So as an association, we decided to step in and provide the necessary training, actually a free of charge to our member companies in order to better equip them for the upcoming new digital manufacturing era. So as you rightly pointed out, this is our primary goal, we want to upskill and rescale the workforce, so five member companies, so your member companies right now it's about 250 plus heavy industry within the boundaries of Turkey, are they just naturally a part of the maxed initiative? Like I'm a member, I'm over here now too, as well, I can get the access to this, this great training, is that how it works? That's right, we are giving them access to the training programs plus the consultancy services, which we can also touch on in a while. But, of course, like any new initiative, it's taking some time to also convey the message to our member companies. So it is not very ordinary, that an association undertakes something like this, it is such huge scale. So it is also taking some time to explain it to our member companies. Why are we doing this? And how are we going to help them? Of course, once they understand the message and our ultimate goal, they really appreciate it, and then they immediately start making use of our services. Yeah, because I'm telling you, if you think this digital transformation journey is going away anytime soon, your saw us, Sara Lee, you're going to be disappointed because it is not going away. And it is going to be around and either you're in the game and you're trying to figure it out, and how it will benefit your organization benefit your business benefit your career,
you're going to be left behind. And that is unfortunately, the truth. So guess get with the game and it now. So when you were sitting there about a few years ago, and you're with the
the head guy at Mass, and you started talking about this, a What's this gap? What's going on? What was the thought process behind that? Yes. And we observed it's a some of our members even did not realize, as you just said that it is a necessity to transform. So with some of the member companies, he felt that we need to create the urgency, a sense of urgency, and then the awareness about the digital transformation.
We also observed another set of member companies, which already started to take initial steps towards transforming their factories supply chains. But again, a I think some some the some consultancy companies prefer to refer to it as a pilot purgatory. So they were stuck in their pilot purgatory, and they were not scaling
So again, in that we identified the need to provide training to the whole workforce rather than a privilege subset, in order to in order for the company to embrace such a culture as a whole. And that was the thought process that the Soviet Navy identified first of all the need to create urgency, a sense of urgency, and provide the necessary understanding for what it takes to do that. I like it. Okay. Sorry. I like that. Go ahead. Perfect. Secondly, I think that the other observation was that the top level decision makers, and they were puzzled with the buzzwords you threw in those buzzwords just a couple of minutes ago, and
put, if you put them yourselves into the shoes of those top decision makers, they usually get to see colorful slides from a consultancy companies and everybody knows what to do best. But at the end of the conversation, the key decision makers is really puzzled about what to do what what is the initial step, what should I do for my factory, a me so it was this lack of clarity, lack of clarity that was existed in the minds of the top decision makers. And that was the second, I would say, toward that, that provoked this whole project and idea this the fact that we need to provide this clarity to the key decision makers of our member companies so that they can embrace that and cascade it as a vision to this whole workforce. So this is how I see that rolling out that is a great explanation, especially with this new
digital transformation, industry for Dotto, whatever that high level, we speak in this sort of language that we all understand, but nobody else does, right? We assume that they understand we assume that they get it right. But what what I hear FAA talking about is that there is a sense of urgency, whether we like it or not, whether you want to ignore it, there is a sense of urgency, you got to keep moving, you got to understand that means you've got to educate, that means you've got to figure out and say, yes, it's here. Yes, I got to understand. And then I've got to, I got to truly understand how this technology, this, whatever this is, is is clearly understood in into my business itself, how does it apply? All the technology is a technology, that's great. And as we talked about going forward, technology will be technology, and people will continue to push it. It's how you understand how you see it, and how you can gain value from it. I like it. I like it a lot. epi. That's a good, good way of starting out this conversation. Now. It's not.
It's not all pink elephants in cotton candy out there. What's the resistance here? Does it make sense? What's the resistance? Yes, I think that resistances is especially in with the smaller scale companies. So among our 250 companies, it's a very interesting portfolio, very diversified portfolio. So among our member companies, we have the largest industrial company of Turkey, the whole country. But also we've got SMEs, small medium sized enterprises, who employ not more than 150 people. So when you re approach, it's not an insignificant subset is roughly 77, zero out of the 250 can be classified as SMEs, when you talk to the bosses. And usually they are family owned enterprises. When you approach their bosses, it first insists they're not comments at all about evaded the digital technologies are really needed for them would bring value to them. And they have this prejudice of being confronted with not affordable technology so that they feel so this is a genuine prejudice that exists in the minds of people, they find that the technology is hugely expensive, it wouldn't add value to them. So I think to, to...