On Thursday, August 24th, 2017 in Silicon Valley, HP + Deloitte announced a new partnership.
HP is known as one of the world's leaders in technology development, and Deloitte is also a world leader in digital transformation, the process of taking a traditional company into a modern mode of operation. HP's CEO Dion Weisler described the partnership as one that "will change the world."
The partnership is about delivering the right technology, along with the right information to the right person at the right time.
Focusing on the manufacturing industry, the two companies started working together 2 years ago and will now will formally work together to have HP’s 3D printers placed in large-scale manufacturing environments and to speed the adoption of 3D printing in global enterprise manufacturing.
There is a currently massive USD$5B 3D printing market, however HP is more interested in the USD$12T (Trillion!) manufacturing market. Weisler said that 3M new jobs will be created in the next 5 years in this market.
It is difficult for any one company to take this on: companies often struggle to figure out exactly how they will make a transition from their traditional manufacturing processes to more efficient and effective modern counterparts, often including a 3D print component.
HP needed to work with a world leader in Digital Transformation for this reason - it's not only about the hardware and software technology, but also a profound transformation of process, skills, and other aspects of manufacturing.
I attended a panel discussion about the announcement, which included:
- Moderator: Michelle Bockman, Global Head of 3D Printing, HP
- Joe Sendra, Worldwide Vice President, Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology, J&J
- Bob Jones, Executive Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing and Services, Siemens PLM Software
- Gil Perez, Senior Vice President of IoT and Digital Supply Chain, SAP
- Doug Gish, Principal, Service Line Leader, Supply Chain & Manufacturing Operations, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Gish explained how Deloitte is really in the business of Digital Transformation and how a Digital approach will help to transform Manufacturing. Deloitte recognized they needed an entire end to end view, focusing on the digital core of supply chain management in manufacturing. Gish said that they refocused their efforts in Deloitte and when they talk about "Digital Transformation", it isn't only about the technology, it is about the process, the strategy, the talent (changes the talent model for new skills and jobs). Deloitte will be focusing on this digital end to end transformation with customers taking on HP's AM solutions within their manufacturing business. One area Deloitte will focus on is the Digital Supply network.
One use case discussed from Joe Sendra, regarding how this partnership will help change human healthcare and the convergence of data. Sendra said "this is how we will change the world." Personalized patient specific solutions that result in improved outcomes. He presented an example of a spine spreader tool that today uses 7 - 9 individual machined components that are then assembled. This design is therefore quite expensive and thus most of the world has no ability to access one; it is not an option. With modern 3D printing technology, it makes the impossible now possible. The 3D printed spine spreader plastic was coated with a substance that had built in sensors that could send real-time data to a doctor to monitor performance.
Enterprise manufacturing is a highly complex industry. The technology used in a typical large-scale manufacturing company can be as complicated as the business problem manufacturers are trying to solve in the first place.
Manufacturing data may be collected at the local level using paper-based methods, making enterprise-level companies extremely labour intensive and time consuming. Any decisions informed by these manual work-flows needed to include significant lag time for the process to be effective. And likely the decisions made tended to be made at the plant level, resulting in many different decisions, processes and systems across an enterprise.
Today we still see lots of rapid prototyping, one-off deployment of 3D printers and limited scale, implications and impact. Tomorrow, the hope is to see more integrated production use of 3D printers with new products, supply chains and business models.
Software has been a critical tool in improving operations visibility and data-driven decisions, especially for very large manufacturing plants that may operate globally. Understanding what is actually happening at the plant level helps businesses to achieve their company goals. You can't fix what you can't measure!
Digital technology can provide more transparency by uncovering weak points in your supply chain and a deeper analysis that can provide data driven decisions. Large-scale manufacturers will need to figure out what KPI’s need to be monitored and measured on the production floor, where today they may have completely different metrics and processes. This is the direction Gish is heading towards.
This all makes sense in complex supply chain management and is where HP and Deloitte have set their targets.
The alliance is promising to help enterprises accelerate product design and production, create more flexible manufacturing and supply chains, and optimize efficiency across the manufacturing lifecycle. All helping to increase innovation, quicker time-to-market, reduce costs and waste, and provide a competitive advantage.
How exactly is Deloitte going to help do this? Their client reach is truly global, with 244,000 employees based in almost every country in the world, and they have significant digital manufacturing experience through their Supply Chain and Manufacturing Operations practice. HP's share of the USD$5B 3D printing market is likely small at the moment, but they believe their partnership with Deloitte will greatly assist growth.
Deloitte has formed a strong ecosystem of digital collaborators including: Apple, Amazon Web Services, Dassault Systems, Google Cloud, SAP and Siemens. The intent is coming up with the right solution that will benefit the end customer. This alliance, begins in the US and will expand.
We saw a demonstration of that such digital technology while touring at Jabil's Blue Sky Innovation Centre and their InControl technology. Watch for them to offer it as a SaS (Software as a Service) to other Enterprise Businesses.
Delivering the right technology, along with the right information to the right person at the right time - is what HP + Deloitte want to do. It is pretty clear now that 3D print technology could indeed be used by many industries, so the problem must be related to how companies are able to understand and begin the adoption process. That's hard, and HP's partnership with Deloitte will certainly provide significant assistance to large manufacturers along that transitional path. And they may just change the world.