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Transitioning towards growth

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Event Report

ARC Advisory Group reiterated success with its 12th India forum | Indira Rao | ARC Advisory Group’s 12th India forum for the process and discrete industries, titled ‘Industry in Transition: The Information DrivenEnterprise in a Connected World was held from 10-11 July, 2014 at Bengaluru. Attracting over 285 delegates, out of which 50% were end users, the event was a resounding success.

Commenting on the feedback received, G Ganapathiraman, country manager, ARC Advisory Group India expressed, “The audience response was overwhelming. I would like to mention that we had 11 main sponsors, 11 media sponsors and seven industry association sponsors, which clearly indicated that the industry welcomed such a forum. And having 29 sponsors is the highest recorded for any ARC India event in the last decade.”

He further added, “The audience feedback and interactions benefited the end users and other delegates to align themselves to the market needs. The kind of positive feedback we’ve received makes it evident that such platforms to network, disseminate information and technologies are needed to succeed in a dynamic marketplace. It is no longer the power of one – the world belongs to those who collaborate effectively; the power of many converge and help the industry leapfrog to the next era, which is dominated by new, disruptive technologies.”

This theme of the forum is relevant in today’s business context because everything is inter-connected and immediate – contact, communication, information, and deliverables; and this builds pressure, as one weak link can break the information chain. When competition and markets are global, companies must become collaboratively networked enterprises, managing dispersed centres of technology, engineering, production, and resources.

Systems need to be flexible and ready for business change. In addition to a host of new and sometimes disruptive technologies entering the marketplace, companies must also face rapid changes in government regulations, energy and raw materials availability, markets, and competition. By deploying leading edge information technologies, today’s companies can thrive. The same sentiments were expressed in the presentations too.

This two day forum was structured to disseminate information and technology effectively and provide end users, solution providers and decision makers an opportunity and platform to network and understand the market requirements and dynamics. The event’s focus was on maximising productivity and increasing ROI by channelising relevant information and investing in technologies.

The session topics covered automation and enterprise trends; advancement in control strategies; energy optimisation and factory of the future; strategies to achieve asset performance management, operational excellence and cyber security; and strategies for growth.

Keynote presentations, which set the tenor for the forum were given by Ralph Rio, research director enterprise software, ARC Advisory Group; Arundhati Bhattacharya, general manager, NTPC; Sameer Prakash, head business development, automation products & systems, Siemens; and K Srinath, general manager marketing, Rockwell Automation.

Besides the supplier presentations and case studies ARC had invited speakers from the aerospace, power and chemical industries too. The end user perspective gave a whole new dimension to the forum. One such example was that of a presentation titled, ‘Operation excellence for process industry’ by Jayant Kapoor, head-IT manufacturing & CQA, Ranbaxy Laboratories and Manish Kumar Singh, head MES, Siemens.

Amongst the informative presentations, what stood out were the ones given by Nandakumar, president, AIA; Chandrashekar Bharathi, MD, AceMicromatic Manufacturing Intelligence, etc. While the former spoke about ‘Industry in transition: information driven manufacturing – India specific challenges’, the latter elucidated on the machinery manufacturing trends seen in the industry today. B Ashok, deputy project director, ADA too gave an excellent presentation on the aeronautical industry and what ails it and the opportunities that it presents.

In this day and age where industries are besieged with challenges due to fluctuating market conditions and increased competition they have to continuously look for ways to improve their processes to deal with these volatile market forces. “The major challenges confronting organisations are: how to improve their processes and infrastructure to compete on a global turf. Also, procedural problems to get environmental clearances, financial closures etc. seem to constantly plague the industry,” averred Raman.

In such a scenario, the buzzwords for success to compete remain greater agility, flexibility, responsiveness, and innovation. Market forces, such as globalisation, resource constraints and environmental concerns, changing demographics and IT trends are influencing manufacturing companies and their dynamic market ecosystems and value networks.

India’s economic growth has temporarily decelerated due to the global headwinds and domestic rumblings; but industry analysts predict that it’s just a matter of time before the growth engine is back on track. However, for a successful transition it is imperative for industries to adopt new information technologies, such as cloud computing, mobility, social technologies, Internet of Things (IoT), big data/ analytics, and 3D visualisation. Information driven digital enterprises leverage new technologies to achieve agility and sustain a competitive edge. All of these points were discussed at the ARC forum.

“ARC forums provide the right platform to network and disseminate information. It provides the opportunity to share best practices and technologies and move ahead,” asserted Raman. He further put in, “Many end users may not know about recent technology advances and the benefits they can accrue from them – so for end users it’s a great learning opportunity; and for the manufacturers it’s the right place to showcase their expertise and product superiority through case studies and presentations.

Manufacturers also get to know customer pain points and changing expectations and can respond with dexterity.” The forum provided a platform to the suppliers to disseminate and share new processes and technologies; and the end users gathered information about new technologies that they could deploy. Ultimately, it is all about collaboration at every level – and that was the fulcrum of the forum.

ARC’s forum provided an appropriate networking platform for key decision makers and thought leaders to share their experiences and insights on best practices, strategies, and technologies, along with suppliers of automation systems, enterprise solutions, and manufacturing IT solutions. Both days had interactive and lively question and answer sessions. The well attended twoday forum drove home the fact that to remain competitive and achieve operational excellence, organisations must sift through the information glut and adopt appropriate technologies. The presentations made it clear that adopting new processes and technologies is not an option – it is mandatory to achieve operational excellence and sustainability.

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