GE Digital CEO Pat Byrne joins Craig Resnick from the ARC Advisory Group on his podcast to discuss how GE industrial companies are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s clear we are living in uncertain times, but as Pat and Craig discuss, this does not mean business and operations come to a halt. Providing mission-critical services like electricity, water, and basic essentials cannot stop. As they adapt, industrial companies need to reimagine their business processes. Companies like GE Digital are working closely with industrial companies to make this happen.
Listen to the full podcast episode here and check out highlights from Pat and Craig’s conversation.
Adjusting to the New Normal
Industrial companies are now at a point where they are stabilizing their organizations. GE Digital are prioritizing how to get the right people in the right places, identifying the new barriers that exist and strategizing on how to overcome them.
A big portion of this goes into adjusting to a new type of demand – with great variability pressures and volume pressures. For example, there's a global run on toilet paper.GE Digital is partnering with a pulp and paper customers in this industry working through how to deliver on that demand. But demand in other parts of the customers’ business have fallen. Helping customers shift their production rapidly is going to be important not only for their businesses, but for the communities they serve.
Electric Utilities Are Experts at Resilience
Electric utilities are used to dealing with crises – like forest fires and floods. But the pandemic creates new challenges as they need to manage teams and machines remotely. While they draw on past models to manage the predictability of demand and the consequences of disruption, they also need to enable social distancing rules for their people. They already use a model with built-in resilience and built-in pre-planning that more industrial companies are now adopting
The Crisis Will Accelerate Digital Transformation of Industry
As we all get used to working remotely, right now there is a large appetite for team collaboration tools, like video conferencing. However, most of these are IT tools, not operations technology tools that industrial companies need to use to operate machines, not just collaborate with colleagues.
GE Digital’s operations technology tools allow for remote operations of everything from entire electrical grids to individual machines – like a pump on an oil & gas platform. This is important - longer the pandemic goes on, policies like social distancing will become the new normal. Keeping teams safe and equipment well maintained will become more challenging. As a result there will be an intersection of collaboration and operations tools enterprises can continue to run and manage their business. Machines have to be operated and monitored remotely if people are, and since the internet of things is all about machines, it will accelerate digital transformation in industries.