Embarking on a digital transformation
Stanley Black & Decker has continually performed at a high level but found that some processes required intense manual efforts to deliver on expected results. Leaders knew that a digital transformation program could help modify processes to be more data-driven and automated across the entire supply chain, and ultimately improve performance.
“One of the biggest challenges, especially for a traditional industrial manufacturing company, is the issue with what I call lazy, rusty asset syndrome,” said Sudhi Bangalore, vice president, Industry 4.0, Stanley Black & Decker. “We have plants that are really old – tremendously profitable but have a lot of legacy both in terms of practices as well as assets and processes.”
The first step to enabling digital transformation was to create a smart Connected Enterprise to act as a backbone for uncovering and unleashing data. This involved building a holistic set of enterprise applications and control towers to connect 122 factories and 15 distribution centers.
Empowering employees through data and skills
A second incentive for a digital transformation program is Stanley Black & Decker’s focus on creating value and opportunity for employees. Through comprehensive up-skilling and re-skilling of 61,000 employees, the company is creating new and more rewarding career paths for employees and increasing retention.
For example, an approach to “elevating work” could mean taking an employee trained in assembly and reskilling them to also play a role in quality oversight using data-driven systems and digital tools. Enabling employees with high-value digital skills also empowers them to make more strategic business-driven decisions, leading to new ideas and a better approach to work.
Building an infrastructure to support remote enablement is also part of the digitalization program. Spurred partly by the pandemic, remote access, monitoring and control will encourage employees to collaborate across factories, regions and countries to make strategic data-driven decisions even while off site.