The Manufacturing Executive
The Manufacturing Executive

Episode 104 · 3 months ago

Back to the Future: The Manufacturing Edition


Marty Groover, Partner and CTO at C5MI, spent over two decades as a Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy. He didn’t know it at the time, but this time in the Navy helped him see into the future – of manufacturing. 

Marty offers insight into the unmatched benefits of using live data to enhance your processes, product and bottom line, and how pairing people processes with technology will position you to lead the fourth industrial revolution. 

Join us as we discuss:

  • What the manufacturing sector can learn from the retail industry
  • How to build operating systems that are flexible and future-proof
  • Why leading with technology has its limitations

I think that's the way it's going to go a manufacturing we're going to modulize it enough where you're going to be an operator technician. If something bright scystems going to say, Hey, change this out, do this, do that and keep it moving. Welcome to the manufacturing executive podcast, where we explore the strategies and experiences that are driving mid size manufacturers forward. Here you'll discover new insights from passionate manufacturing leaders who have compelling stories to share about their successes and struggles, and you'll learn from B tob sales and marketing experts about how to apply actionable business development strategies inside your business. Let's get into the show. Welcome to another episode of the Manufacturing Executive podcast. I'm Joe Sullivan, your host and a CO founder of the Industrial Marketing Agency guerrilla. Seventy six back in one thousand nine hundred and eighty five, when back to the future hit the box office, Marty mcfly was riding hoverboards and flying cars. Just a year later, here in the real world, my guest today, whose name also happens to be Marty, began a two decade long run with the US Navy, where he also had the opportunity to see into the future, but for this Marty, it was the technology in our navy's weapons systems that showed him a glimpse of the future of manufacturing. Let me introduce him. Marty GRUVER is a partner in the in thetry four point no practice of C five. M I, a firm that that optimizes operational execution to the creation of live supply chains. MRTI leads functional and technical teams to solve manufacturing challenges by merging people, process and technology. With more than two decades as a surface warfare officer in the US Navy, Marty is a recognized thought leader in the sap partner base and is known for his extensive insight in production planning, lean manufacturing and EARP systems. Marty is the author of the recently published book speed of advance. How the US Navy's convergence of people, process and technology can help your business win in the fourth industrial revolution. Marty, welcome to the show. Hey, Joe, thanks for having me. It's great to be here. Yeah, my pleasure. I've been looking forward to this conversation since we talked last month for the first time, and I don't always have my guests tell their whole back story, but yours is really relevant to this conversation and, frankly, super interesting. So how? But if we start there? Sure? So join the navy as an Elissa person. So I was twenty one years in the navy, but I started working on a weapon system that was fully self contained, one of the newer systems of point defense system, and work my way up, you know, as a technician, learning how to make the system work, all the time understanding, you know, how a condition based monitor system works. And then I went off Sir after seven years and my first tours officer, I was the systems test officer on ages cruiser and it was a whole new world for me. I was response. I went from being responsible from one weapon system to everyone on the whole ship. I was basically the chief engineer for that weapon system. Is Very complex and it's really sets a foundation for this book because the Speed Air Warfare got so fast, you know, and the Vietnam War and later that we needed new platforms, new air defense platforms that can manage, you know, the multiple stream raids and things like that that was coming at us from our Cold War adversaries. So they this was the first weapon system. There's actually a building up in New Jersey that you can see from the coast and it looks like a shit but it's ability. And they built the weapon systems first. They don't even have a haul, and then they built the ship around the weapon system. The key thing was in the past humans had to integrate all the data from different sources and they called it fusion plots and in these old movies, you've ever seen them, you know somebody sitting behind a whiteboard right and backwards and they're actually putting where the contexts are and then humans...

...are fusing that plot together. Well, the ages weapon system took all the data digitally from all the systems, the air warfare, the subsurface warfare, the surface warfare, helicopters, wherever the censors were to pull that data in and created a fusion plot digitally called command display system, and it created the first two way system that could do analytics on top of the data that was feeding it and actually drive actions and drive alerts by exception reporting and things like that. So in at the time I didn't realize how advanced that really was and it created a common operational picture, one version of the truth that everybody that was on a ship and the warfighting mode, they call it combat information center, use all the same data and it was all trusted and we all fed it. But what that system did is it took the man out of the loop. So, for instance, running the ages radar or so complex that the human didn't make the decisions. It's all base on analytics and it would automatically re allocate ratear resources to contacts that had higher threat profiles, based off algorithms, not the human. It is amazing system and the human was a lot more productive because the human only manage the alerts that the system could not figure out. So the human was only used by exception where they were needed. And if we really got into a full blown air warfare, and you know it was at the point where it's getting so dangerous, we could put that system in full auto without any humans and I used to test that people put their hands up as they put your hands up, don't touch anything and it would automatically fire and weapons. So fast forward. I I call myself Marty mcfly. I kind of saw the future and the last job I did in the Navy I used sap and I started learning the power of a transactional system that was live, not batched, and the date I had to pull out of it for repair. Shit. I had to do all the repairs on ships and technical services for twenty two ships and they had a lot of budget lines and I started learning how to use that live dating as a p system for analytics, for reporting and to drive situational awareness. I retired in two thousand. When I get a job a caterpillar, I'm like, yes, I'm going to a fortune one hundred. You Know Company. I Love Caterpillar. What a history. You know, benet been one of the original on the doll forever. Hundred year old company. Couldn't be more excited. I got to one of their flagship legacy manufacturing facilities and I go back in time. I'm back working with as four hundred green screen systems doing manufacturing. But the good news is I went back, I learned all the things that you need to do with manufacturing and I saw the opportunity to modernize things and use live data and manufacturing. Fast forward. I get put in charge of a factory and a factory manager go and live with Sep. So I'm back into SEP again. We took the live data, but I knew how to use it. Now I knew what I was talking about. I knew how to use the system went in the manufacturing world. Had A facility that needed, you know, a lot of opportunity with that SAP system. We automated maintenance, we did a bunch of things with quality, basically turn a whole factor around using live data. All of a sudden I start thinking like hey, this is really the way things need to go. This is what I had in the navy. I need this live data all into one common operational picture. So along and behold. If you complain about stuff and manufacturing enough, that put you in charge of it and they you know, I was really I was an advocate that sap is the way caterpillars going to win, and so they wanted to get some mops people up in the IT world to help manage that those deployments and they put me in charge of all sap deployments globally for Caterpillar, so that I really started out my teeth on having facilities leverage at live data that you get from sap improve business outcomes, and we started these. We started a Lighthouse Facility for Industry for Dot Oh, we did real time location tracking, predictive maintenance, we were tracking the forklifts. We did stuff was supply take chain, digital manufacturing insights. We actually developed a new tool called digital manufacturing cloud with sap coinnovated to build this cop that we wanted so that we could look across all of our factories worldwide,...

...even had a global map, and see how am I doing today, because just and I know this your audience is manufacturing. The hardest thing some days is I was supposed to make this many. How many did I actually make today? Live, so I can understand and if I can see it in the moment, I could solve that problem. If I find out a day later, at the end of the shift, a month later, I can't do anything about it now. I'm just going to try to make adjustments and hope that it works. So we did that and we were very successful with these projects. Really started seeing, you know, step improvements in quality and velocity, even in employee engagement. Two Thousand and eighteen decided, hey, I want to do this for a living, I really enjoy it, this is where I want to go, and so we started see five am I then and we started this industry for dot o practice digital supply chain and asset management, and you know, you own your own business, you know how hard it is when you start a business to keep it going and you know after four years we're continuing to grow or scaling. We have customers that love our products and we truly believe in it. So that's really the genesis of this book. I just had to write it because of what I saw and what I learned. You know, trying to converge people process of technology because, as you and I both know, you can't just put technology and it's not the silver bullet. There has to be a strategy behind it. So I know it's a little long winded, but hopefully it set the stage for what we're going to talk about. Yeah, I think it's really cool. I just love the way that you took your background in the navy and and we're able to apply it in the manufacturing sector. It's also interesting how you kind of had to go back in time in order to kind of bring things back to the present. So really cool to see. It's sort of like being doc when he comes back. You're gonna love it. Yes, that's the way. I was a cat I put in all sorts of new digital land on systems, just really cool stuff that got people excited. It's great. Marty, you mentioned to me in a previous conversation that the manufacturing sector needs to pay close attention to what's happened in retail over the past decade or so. You said that nobody's been able to keep up with Amazon, which is obvious right, and even Walmart struggled. How's this relate to what's happening right now in manufacturing? So, if you took the analogy that I provided about the speed of air warfare, we needed a step change. And Really, when you look at the investments that the administration made in the S, we won the Cold War because we got so far ahead of our our adversaries. They couldn't spend enough to catch up with us and they just quit. They just stopped putting money. They let all their Cold War, you know, war fighting platforms go to rotten started over. You know, you see the Russians now kind of they've developed new things. They are the Russians, you know, USS are the whole that whole block, and in my mind that's what I'm seeing with a speed of retail. When you look at how many retail companies have gone bankrupt in the last three years. Why? They could make the invent they didn't make the investments. They didn't continue to invest. Amazon just said, I don't care, I'm not going to make a profit, I'm just putting this money back in, back in, back in. They just kept investing in technology and driving and the AWS. I mean that's where aws came from and now that's one of the, you know, the big profit centers for Amazon and they sell it to everybody because they had they had to have that. And so when I look at that, those those parallels, it's very important to understand that. And going forward in the fourth industrial revolution, the companies that think about the speed of retail and they think about their manufacturing, that do invest, they're going to get ahead so far ahead of these other companies that there will bill there will be no catching up. You can spent you couldn't spend enough money to catch up one somebody gets far enough ahead. Hmm, any examples you can give a where you see that happening? I know you mentioned Ribbyan specifically, the electric car manufacturer, right when we were talking. Yeah, I think that rivvy and is very forward leaning. In fact, it's funny, just this week my CEO, he ordered his truck. I think we first heard about it he put a thousand dollars down. Let's say it was February or January of two thousand...

...and nineteen. I wrote in it this week what an amazing vehicle and I do believe. You know, there's a lot of people that that are starting to get into the EV market, but I think ribby and has something and they're linked up with Amazon to do all the Amazon delivery vehicles and that skateboard technology that they have that plug and play, and think about how modular that is now. It doesn't matter what you put in top of the car because all you're doing is basically plug it in and bolted it down. The base is the same, you know, across a lot of different models. It's really interesting technology that they've developed going forward and I'll tell you that vehicle drives really well. But they're also forward leaning in their manufacturing and you know, they put in the advance sap systems and they are, they will be, the premier manufacturer for automotive. I know it just because of the the way they think about things. Innovation and the way they want the culture they're building to be ahead. And, Oh, by the way, if Mr Bezos is your head benefactor, you better get ahead of it right. You're not. He's not a he's not one of those. He's a day one company. If you ever seen it. He's a day one company, guys. So it's pretty interesting the parallels. Marty, what would you what would you say to someone in manufacturing that's worried about industry, for point no technology and how it's going to take jobs or how robots are going to take jobs from hard working Americans? Tell us your perspective on that? Yeah, I mean, I hear that a lot and and people like to despair to get with that, but I don't believe that's a case right now. In fact, just a few weeks ago, as a first time, that we had more open jobs and unemployed people in this country. And then if you look at the demographics around the world, Germany, China, they're all fallen off. China has this two thousand and twenty five policy. They're all trying to get to this because they know what's going to happen. If we don't automate. There won't be enough people and Manufacturing to service it. So I think what it's going to happen is people are going to get upskilled. The technology is going to enable one person to do a lot more, but it's going to change the way we do things in manufacturing. You're not going to just in just like war fighting. The the technicians at work for me, they had to know how to operate the equipment but also maintain it and they couldn't have a group just maintain in it and group operating it was too complex. They And manufacturing we're going to modulize it enough where you're going to be an operator technician. If something break, system is going to say hey, change this out, do this, do that and keep it moving. So I really see the integration of people in the process and that's why I starting to book with people. First understand how to keep the people that you have, how to train them, how to plan for disruption in your workforce, how to codify your processes so that the people can't disrupt your workforce and make them as productive as possible. And I firmly believe if you look at the current situation that we are in with inflation right now. The only way we're going to overcome the inflation is leverage these tools bring manufacturing back to continent of consumption is going to drive manufacturing, and then distributed manufacturing based on the retail model. You're not going to be these monolithic factories anymore. Some areas you can't help it. There's thump some things of scales, like big foundries and things like that, but I think added in manufacturing and things like that are going to shift that curve a lot too, and I don't think the people are going to be well a job, it's just going to be different jobs. Something I heard you say, Malrety, that I think is so important is that we need to stop getting hung up on technology, because we don't need to know what the tech will be two years from now. Can you elaborate? Yeah, there's a lot of people that lead with technology. They want to I want this technology, I want that technology. When we talk to our customers, the first thing I say is there's no silver bullets. And when you look at the technology of today, and we know Moore's law. You know you saw how fast during a silicon age, Moore's law was how many new transistors that they could populate on a chip and they kept saying all will...

...never be able to get to a billion, you know, transistors on a chip. But then it just keeps happening. Well, technologies that way, with the the G and the censors and all of that, we don't even know. In two years there's so much, so many new things out there's hard to keep up with it. Even I'm in the business, it's hard to keep up with that. Just was at a Special Operation Forces Information Conference this week, you know, just supporting Special Operations forces and me, I'm on technologlogy. The stuff I saw at the conference, you know, not being at one for a couple of years, was amazing. So I think if you lead with technology, you're gonna limit yourself. Create stovepipes. You have to think about what capability do I need? I need to be able to do this, this and this, and this is what the dode starting to figure out. I'm not going to tell you and the and this what I loved about it. We set in a lot of means. I'm not going to tell you how to do it. I'm not going to give you the specks anymore like the middle specks that you starting to say, here's a problems that I have, here's the capability, need tech. They're going to let tech come in, give them solutions. And then, you know, is it solve the problem that I need and give you the capability. Then you figure out, you know, how do you future proof it? And then how do you make it modular enough so you build a platform that can have technology come in and out of it and never ruin that cop or that common operational platform that you've got? It's wide open, you know, it's open architecture, it's Cots, it's, you know, that type of system, and now you're flexible for the future and then and then, as technology comes in, you weave it back in. But again, don't use the technology. Don't pay for the technology, just for the technology. What capability you're solving? Use a smaller hammer and then you won't have these big technical deficits or, you know, going forward, because when you look at some of the technology to hangover that you can have and the depreciation in all this, you should use the least amount of technology you need to solve the immediate them. So, Marty, you mentioned your alter ego earlier in this conversation of Marty mcfly from back to the future. You've seen into the future in the past. What as you look ahead into the future now, what's common in the next five to ten years in the manufacturing sector? Well, you know, it's funny. We were having some deep conversations last night. I think the inception of blockchain, different materials, additive additive manufacturing, delayed differentiation and the distribution of supply chaine, because we can't afford to have these long supply chains that can get and we're seeing what lumpy supply chains due to us. And sometimes you don't feel it right away. Something's happening, you don't even feel it. Now we're starting to feel it. Just look at you know they close down that Abbot Baby formula and I've got a granddaughter on the way and I've got one. So baby formula was close to me right now, and they started reading up on that and they close that factory down over a year ago and now it's just starting to hit us. We're starting to feel it. So I think we're going to have to have smaller, more nimble factories that are distributed around our supply chain so that we have short leads because we all know, the shorter our lade time is, I'll you can be a lot more lean and you can be a lot more flexible and you have a lot less material sitting there. The cost that material sitting there is less. All things good if you could shorten supply chains, and I think that's what we're going to see. This technology is going to allow us. You might have ten factories that now you're looking at the way Amazon does. I mean Amazon does available to promise through Algorithms. You might have ten factories and then you know they're current loading and when you do your production planning, the systems going to automatically send it over here based on how far it is away from where it's got to get shipped. Because ESG, let's face it, environmental security and governance, ESG, is going to in the SAP Sapphire this year. That was a big thing. They're actually building metrics to measure your ESG. So this is coming along lot along too. So I think the weaving of environmental stuff with the manufacturing is going to drive a totally different...

...way of like I said, continent of consumption, wherever the consumption is, manufacturing is going to be very close and distributive, especially based off Covid to our experience with covid. If I can run a factory with three or four people, I got a lot less problem than I got a thousand people every day, you know, going in there and interacting. Yeah, it seems like almost a perfect storm recently of just things that have happened in the world, between all the supply chain issues and what we've learned from going through this pandemic, much of which is is closely tied, I suppose. Pair that with everything that's already has been happening technology wise, and you can see a different future on the horizon here in manufacturing. Absolutely, Marty's there anything you'd like to add to the conversation that I did not ask you about today? You know, I think you know. Just look at the book and why the books important. I want to make sure that everybody understands first of all, speed of advance is a measurement and when I was honest as surface warfare officer, the ships don't just sit out in the ocean to look good or they're going someplace around a mission and the key is you got a plan when you're supposed to be there, a pinpoint time and then you're always measuring yourself to that plan and you've got to stay lean. When you're out in the middle of the ocean. There's not, you know, gas stations ago get fuel. So everything we do on a ship is about actual versus plan, being lean, and a lot of people wouldn't know this or believe it, but that speed of advanced measurement is so critical. When I got in a manufactured I started thinking like actual versus plan. I'm supposed to make this many parts today. If I don't make them, I just leaked, I just lost money. And when you look there's bags of gold everywhere in our supply chains and manufacturing. That's when I when I discuss about how are we going to get this inflation out? The Labor arbitrage is almost over for long supply chains in China manufacturer stuff and we're going to have to figure out how to bring it back and overcome the inflation that we're seeing by having things very close so their supply chains are nimble and they doesn't cost as much to transport and it's lean that way. But to get there you have to have a strategy and this is where, when I go to customers they know they need to do something to call to actions are I mean I don't think there's any denial. But how do we do it? What's our strategy? And if our strategy is to go out have the CIO best and breed, bring the best. If we throw the best and breed in on everything, whether it's, you know, HR supply chain, crm, all these best and breeds will will be the best of breed? No, you won't, because you're not thinking systematically. So it's more important, and this is what I talk to customers about. Let's think about your people, let's think about your processes, because we know if we have bad processes and we digitize them, they're still bad processes, they're just digitized and a lot of times suboptimize. That's why, like right now, another part of my book, Multi Factor Productivity, sense about two thousand and eleven. They're saying that's we're stuck kind of at the end of the silicon age, of the pcage industrial revolution, and we're getting less productive. Why? Because we got data everywhere. It's not information, it's not driving productivity. productivities actually going down. And this year, I mean if you look at I put a posted on linkedin about how bad it is productivity wise, because now people aren't coming to work and there's just a lot of a lot of noise in the system. But if you understand how to converge people and codify your process of digitally to give you the capability you need, then the technologies together, when it's all harmonized and working together, you're winning. And and you got to have that strategy before you try to jump in and just hey, let's put sensors on everything. That'll make you know that's industry for that. Oh, it's not it and those buzz words will cost you money and and it'll be heartache down the road trying to unwind the furballs. And we saw this with data scientists a few years ago. Everybody know, we got to get a Datahok, we got to get data scientists make throw a bunch of money at it and they're like, well, we're as a results because they did have a plan. They just thought that was the best bud buzz word. So I hope you know when people...

...are looking at this book, I'm not teaching how to do and just refort Oh, although I could write that book. At least my thoughts of it but what I do want people to really think about is how to converge people process the technology. First, build a strategy it makes sense, and then in like I talked about the book, start with pilots and then grow it, but always thinking about that angle, to have that common operational picture, single version of the truth. Everybody Trust right and it drives productivity because speed of advance, like measurements, start out with did I make what I was supposed to make today? If not, why, how do I drill down and then use sensors to tell me those things and automate things where I don't need a man in the loop. So I know that was probably a little long explanation, but I think it's critical to understand that. You'll be a lot more successful if you use that sort of methodology. Yeah, I think it's a great way to put her put a wrap on it. I think that you see technology resistance coming from various places and and it's because people have the misperception that you're trying to replace. You know, you trying to replace Peoople, you're trying to replace whatever, but a lot of it is, you know, how do you empower people to be more efficient and effective how do you, you know, eliminate less effective ways of doing things? It's not a it's not a complete throwing out of all the the principles that you've built your business on. It's figuring out how to use technology to take a step forward and do things you're doing better. Right. Yeah, Steve Jobs when he stood in front of us and said, you know, in two thousand and seven I couldn't live my life with all this. But Imagine, why can't we have what we have in our personal life? This is a platform. It drives productivity for me all day because I can set on the airplane wherever, do emails, do stuff I could never do before. That's a way to think about it too, is how to have this in my manufacturing life. Yep, of that malady. Great Conversation Today. Really appreciate you doing this. Yeah, I appreciate it. And at our company, if you know, if anybody, if any your listeners are interested, we can help build the road map, we can help build digital supply chains. We have. Basically, our maturity curve goes from building your digital core. If you need to fix that. Are you using the digital core right? And then how do you leverage these new tools to integrate and drive productivity. We do all that at see five of my and then I'll just ask you, if you read my book and you like it, give me a shout and Amazon. Just like everybody else, we're all controlled by the algorithms. If you can give me a review, I'd appreciate it. Yeah, that's great. So speed of advance. You can find it on Amazon, I I imagine, as well as anywhere else you buy a book. But I want to give you a chance to direct people to the right place to find your book, as well as your company and how to get in touch with you, wwwcfive in mycom pretty easy. Awesome. Well, Marty, once again, thanks for doing this great conversation. Yeah, I enjoyed it. Thanks a lot, Joe. Appreciate it, you bet. And as for the rest of you, I hope to catch you on the next episode of the Manufacturing Executive. You've been listening to the manufacturing executive podcast. Asked to ensure that you never missed an episode. Subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you'd like to learn more about industrial marketing and sales strategy, you'll find an ever expanding collection of articles, videos, guides and tools specifically for B Tob Manufacturers at Gorilla, seventy sixcom learn thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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