How Digital Makes Banks Flexible, Responsive And Intimate

While making digital the main channel of customer engagement, banks are also looking to move beyond business as usual, says Amit Anand, a Vice President in Cognizant Consulting’s Banking and Financial Services.

COVID-19 made online channels indispensable for bank customers, including those who preferred in-person banking. This accelerated their digital strategies and created an opportunity to go beyond the basics and become partners in their customers’ pursuit of financial wellness.

As banks bet big on digital, they are looking at technologies such as AI, advanced analytics, and automation to provide personalization, prediction and speed in creating powerful customer experiences. Banks are also increasingly relying on machines to automate repetitive tasks and make complex decisions, creating demand for human skillsets that complement intelligent machines.

Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work (CFoW), working with Oxford Economics, recently surveyed 4,000 C-level executives globally, including 287 senior banking and financial services executives to understand how banks are adapting to fast and dramatic changes.

The earliest forms of digital banking trace back to the advent of ATMs and cards launched in the 1960s. As the internet emerged in the 1980s with early broadband, digital networks began to connect retailers with suppliers and consumers to develop needs for early online catalogues and inventory software systems.

By the 1990s the Internet became widely available and online banking started becoming the norm. The improvement of broadband and ecommerce systems in the early 2000s led to what resembled the modern digital banking world today. The proliferation of smartphones through the next decade opened the door for transactions on the go beyond ATM machines. Over 60% of consumers now use their smartphones as the preferred method for digital banking.

The challenge for banks is now to facilitate demands that connect vendors with money through channels determined by the consumer. This dynamic shapes the basis of customer satisfaction, which can be nurtured with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. Therefore, CRM must be integrated into a digital banking system, since it provides means for banks to directly communicate with their customers.

There is a demand for end-to-end consistency and for services, optimized on convenience and user experience. The market provides cross platform front ends, enabling purchase decisions based on available technology such as mobile devices, with a desktop or Smart TV at home. In order for banks to meet consumer demands, they need to keep focusing on improving digital technology that provides agility, scalability and efficiency.

Seven Ways to Capitalize on Digital

  1. Institute front-to-back digitization. Banks can effectively compete with fintech competitors by becoming digital institutions.
  2. Explore new customer segments and business paradigms. Digital makes it easier than ever for banks to explore small business segments, even as they pursue existing markets.
  3. Emphasize platform centricity and smart aggregation. Open banking standards can help banks to provide personalized products to customers in collaboration with third-party providers and fintechs.
  4. Invest in personalizing the customer relationship. Banks should use personalized experiences to make customers’ lives as frictionless as possible.
  5. Focus on re-building trust and resiliency. Banks need to eliminate any biases in decisions made by machines.
  6. Enshrine inclusivity into your digital strategy. Banks should use digital to reach customers who are left out by being physically and cognitively challenged.
  7. Balance machine-driven and human-centric work. Create sturdy human-machine collaboration by reevaluating jobs for a shared environment.

For more, read our paper “The Work Ahead in Banking: The Digital Road to Financial Wellness”.

Amit Anand is Vice President and North American Practice Leader for Cognizant Consulting’s Banking and Financial Services. Amit has 20 years of experience with firms such as Accenture, Infosys and Cognizant. He has successfully led and managed large business transformation, digital and IT transformation, and associated organizational change management for several financial services clients. Amit is a recognized thought leader with more than 15 publications on topics such as Open Banking, Digital 2.0 and new-age operating models. He can be reached at Amit.Anand@cognizant.com

Manish Bahl leads the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. A respected speaker and thinker, Manish has guided many Fortune 500 companies into the future of their business with his thought-provoking research and advisory skills. Within Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work, he helps ensure that the unit’s original research and analysis jibes with emerging business-technology trends and dynamics in APAC, and collaborates with a wide range of leading thinkers to understand and predict how the future of work will take shape. He most recently served as Vice President, Country Manager with Forrester Research in India. He can be reached at Manish.Bahl@cognizant.com

Source: How Digital Makes Banks Flexible, Responsive And Intimate

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Navigating The Digital Job Application Process at Every Stage

By: Ari Howard

Searching for a new job can be stressful. From searching for jobs you are interested in and qualified for, and writing countless cover letters, to preparing for an interview with an intimidating manager, the entire process of acquiring a job can be exhausting and time-consuming. 

To many, job-searching can feel like a part-time job that you have to manage on top of your current job, course work or family obligations. The worst part? You could spend all this time perfecting an application and then never hear anything back. 

Although no one is immune to rejection or ghosting, there are things you can do to make your chances of scoring an interview and receiving a job offer much higher.

Here is everything you need to know for each stage of the job searching process. 

Navigating the digital application process

01

Include keywords from job posting and active verbs in your resume

02

Personalize your cover letter – talk about your accomplishments and highlight your understanding of the company

03

Filters on sites like Indeed and LinkedIn can help add efficiency to your job search – and help you reallocate time to other areas

04

Ensure a professional background and strong internet connection during interview

05

Come to the interview with questions

How do I stand out on my resume?

Writing a resume that shows off your skills and qualifications in a concise manner is its own art form that often takes multiple drafts to nail. Here are some of the most important resume tips you should follow:

  • Include keywords – When you are searching for jobs online, note the keywords the job listing includes in their requirements section. Use those words throughout your resume so that you stand out quickly as being a qualified candidate. 
  • Update your resume for different jobs – A resume is not one-size-fits-all. When you are applying for a job, make sure your resume best represents your qualifications for that particular job. You might want to change the order of your sections, use different wording to highlight a different skill or even swap out information for more relevant past experiences. If you are applying for a few different job industries, you may want to create a separate resume for each industry. Then, build off whatever resume is most relevant for the current job you are applying for. 
  • Use active verbs – Start each sentence of your resume with a verb that demonstrates your action best. For instance, instead of saying “worked as a mentor,” say “mentored” at the beginning of your sentence. Verbs like “create, lead, initiate, produce, organize, orchestrate and teach” are good examples of active verbs. 
  • Follow standard formatting guidelines – Your resume should be no more than a page and easy to read. Additionally, each section should be in chronological order with your most recent experience at the top of the section. Put your most important sections at the top. Common sections include:
  • Education
  • Skills/achievements
  • Work experience

If you are in college or high school you may include relevant coursework, internships and academic achievements.

What should I say in my cover letter?

Although not always, most jobs also require you to write a cover letter. Keep these tips in mind when you are writing your letters:

  • Don’t be afraid to brag about yourself – Your cover letter is the time to dive deeper into the main ways your skills and experience would benefit the company. Give anecdotal examples of your unique abilities and always tie these examples back to how they would specifically serve the company you are applying to. 
  • Show your understanding of the company – Although your main focus of a cover letter is to showcase your qualifications, also make sure you explain why you want to work specifically for that company. In the first paragraph, provide a sentence or two explaining what you think the company does better than anyone else. Do your research here! A deep level of understanding about the company can really help you distinguish yourself. 
  • Don’t submit a generic cover letter – Your first and last paragraphs should be almost entirely personalized to a specific company. In the middle paragraphs, you can recycle examples of your qualifications and experiences. Just make sure your examples are relevant to the position you are applying for. A helpful tip is every time you write a new section about your qualifications, add the generic parts of the paragraph (everything except what is tailored to a specific company) into a separate document so that you have all of your examples in one place, making it easy to pull from for future cover letters. 
  • Address the letter to a specific person, if you can – To make your cover letter more personal and show you did your research, try to find out who reads the applications and address it to that person. Often the company will tell you how to address the letter in the job posting, so make sure you don’t miss that. If you can’t find a person to address the letter to, say “To whom it may concern.” 
  • Follow standard formatting guidelines – Just like your resume, you will want to keep your cover letter under one page. Cover letters are typically three to five paragraphs, depending on the length of each paragraph. Your cover letter should take a business-like tone and should be written in complete sentences with no slang, emoticons or acronyms. 

How do I find jobs?

  • Look for jobs on career websites – The best way to find jobs is to search for jobs on career websites. The best websites include:
  • Indeed: For finding the most number of jobs listed
  • LinkedIn: For finding jobs where you have connections and for providing helpful job filters
  • Scouted: For recent college graduates
  • AngelList: For finding startup listings
  • LinkUp: Good for finding up-to-date listings
  • Use the filter feature: You can’t possibly sort through all jobs listed. In order to make your search as efficient as possible, include as many filters as you can. Some of the best ones to use, if available, include location, experience level and job type (internship, part-time, full-time). If you don’t have a keyword for a job title, you may also want to use the industry, job type and job function filters. 
  • Network – A major aspect of the job searching process, and arguably the most important aspect, is networking. It is essential that you reach out to people with experiences you are hoping to gain and to people who are working at the companies you want to apply for. The best place to start is to apply to companies that contain employees you know or who went to your college. Before applying for the job, reach out to those contacts and ask to chat briefly on the phone about their experience working for the company and any advice they might have. Reaching out to people in your social circle and alumni is useful because they are more likely to respond than total strangers. Not only could these contacts help give you a sense of what to say in your cover letter or how to stand out on your resume, but they may even put you in touch with the recruiters or push your resume to the top of the list. That can make all the difference. The best way to find contacts is through LinkedIn. However, your friends, family and college career center may also have a list of contacts to reach out to as well. One of the greatest values of college is the network you inherit. Use it!

How should I prepare for my interview?

Zoom interviews have become an increasingly common part of the job searching process. With the coronavirus pandemic, Zoom interviews are practically guaranteed now. Although the interview itself is no different online as it is in-person, there are some additional elements you should keep in mind. 

Here’s how to have a successful Zoom interview:

  • Choose a professional background – Be cognizant of what is in the background during your Zoom call. You will want to avoid any distracting images or movement in the background. This means keeping your background as generic as possible. Additionally, make sure that any part of the room that appears on your screen is tidy and organized. You don’t want your interviewer to be distracted by your unmade bed or by clothes on the ground! 
  • Limit background noises – Although construction and outside noises are out of your control, try to prevent as many background noises as you can. It is often helpful to warn the people around you that you will be in an interview and to silence your cellphone and turn off all notifications on your computer. 
  • Charge your computer  – The last thing you want is to be in the middle of an interview and your computer dies on you. Have your charger plugged into your computer during the interview, if possible. 
  • Find a good internet connection – In order to avoid any glitching or freezing during your Zoom call, make sure you have a strong internet connection. You will want anywhere between 225 to 670 Kbps for a Zoom call. If your internet plan has data caps, be aware that an hour-long Zoom call will use 810 to 2.4 GB of data. 

General interview tips 

Regardless of whether you are meeting in-person or over a Zoom call, you will want to keep in mind the following tips: 

  • Be professional – This includes wearing professional attire, using appropriate body language, smiling and arriving on time to the interview. 
  • Prepare your answers ahead of time – Not only should you prepare your answers to common interview questions, but you should also do some research and find out what kind of questions you might expect from this specific company. Glassdoor is a good place to look for information on other people’s interview experience at that company and to learn what questions they were asked. Go through those questions and make sure you have an answer. Another helpful tip is to come up with a couple of anecdotes that best highlight your strengths and qualifications and could be applied to a number of questions. 
  • Come with questions – At the end of the interview, you will be asked if you have any questions. This is the time to learn more about the company and what your role might look like. The interview process is not only a time for the company to evaluate you but also for you to evaluate the company and decide if it’s a good fit. 
  • Send a follow-up email – Send a thank you email no more than 48 hours after your interview. Write in complete sentences and speak in a business-like manner. However, try to keep the email brief as someone may not read the email at all if it’s too long. To help you write a meaningful follow-up email, take notes directly after your interview so you remember what you talked about. Refer to those notes when writing your thank you email so it is personalized. Make sure to send a separate and unique email to each person who interviewed you. 

With these tips, you should be able to score a job much more efficiently. It’s a lot of work but these extra steps really can make all the difference. Good luck!

Source: Allconnect.com

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Indeed

Get more details on what happens to your resume after you click apply: https://go.indeed.com/what-happens-af… Learn more about what you should expect at every stage of the hiring process: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/… When you’re applying for jobs online, waiting to hear back can be tough. It’s easy to think that nothing is happening to your application or that there’s nothing you can do. However, after you click “Apply,” your application is analyzed thoroughly by software and multiple people.

It’s helpful to understand what happens behind the curtain and steps you can take to advance your job search during this time. In this video, we explain the online hiring process. You’ll learn how keyword technology impacts hiring, what recruiters look for, what it takes to get to the interview, and tips for what to do while you wait. Here are some important takeaways about what happens to your online application after you hit ‘submit’, plus a few tips to ease your stress during this process.

1. Employers use software to scan your application for qualifications and keywords to sort through the initial candidate pool. Make sure your resume properly highlights your professional experience: https://go.indeed.com/listing-experie… 2. The recruiter will review the software’s selections, looking for more in-depth information like quality of education and the relevance of your skills. The recruiter will sort applications by those that would be the best fit and share those selections with the hiring manager. 3. The hiring manager will review the selected applications and make a short list of candidates for the recruiter to schedule initial interviews with. Keep in mind that this step can take a while. 4. While not hearing back right away can be frustrating, be sure to use this waiting time wisely! This is a great opportunity to apply for more jobs, check in with your references, create or update your portfolio, and practice for your interview. 5. Send a follow up email to the hiring manager or the HR department 2 weeks after you submit your application. Check out this guide for tips and examples on how to follow up: https://go.indeed.com/application-fol… Search for your next job: https://go.indeed.com/indeed_from_onl… Indeed is the world’s #1 job site, with over 250 million unique visitors* every month from over 60 different countries. We provide free access to search and apply for jobs, post your resume, research companies, and compare salaries. Every day, we connect millions of people to new opportunities. On our YouTube channel, you’ll find tips and personal stories to help you take the next step in your job search. Find free** job search services online and in-person: https://www.indeed.com/job-market *Google Analytics, Unique Visitors, September 2018 **Terms, conditions and quality standards apply. #onlinejobapplication#jobapplication#applicationprocess

What Is Liquidity and How To Find a Liquid Exchange

Liquidity is a topic that always pops up now and then in both the crypto community and beyond. We are sure that there is no crypto enthusiast who hasn’t heard about Bitcoin liquidity. The question is how to calculate liquidity and how to find the most liquid exchange? Let’s dig out the truth, but first things first.

Some Terminology

Liquidity is a key parameter of a certain market, which reflects the “saleability” of a certain asset. Making it simple – liquidity reflects the price change, which will be caused by filling the Market order of a certain size. In a perfectly liquid market, one would be able to sell any amount of an asset at the same price without moving it.

Thus, liquidity is an opportunity to sell assets on the market without influencing their price. Liquidity could be measured not only for certain assets but also for the whole market in general. Let’s dig deeper and determine how liquidity affects crypto trading with and what you should know about it.

The liquidity of a cryptocurrency is determined by a number of factors – from its popularity to real-world use cases of the traded asset. To better understand the concept of liquidity, it’s crucial to introduce the Order Book of a certain market. The name says it all – order book is a list of other people’s confirmed desire to purchase a traded asset at a certain limit price. When someone needs to buy or sell the crypto-asset immediately, they will have to place Market orders, which will execute against the available orders in the order book.


How To Detect Liquid Exchange?

For example, someone plans to Buy or Sell 1 BTC having an appropriate amount of USDT and BTC on balance. Let’s review some of the options to do this (it’s worth mentioning that at the time of writing, BTC is worth something around $9,200).

First, let’s look at BTC/USDT pair on the Binance exchange.

In the right section of the trading interface, you can see the above-mentioned order book and the last price at which BTC was bought or sold. From the order book, we can see that the lowest price at which someone is ready to Sell BTC is 9,189.04 and there is 4.026387 BTC available at this price.

If the user will submit a Market Buy order at the moment of the screenshot, her order will be matched against that offer and the last price of BTC/USDT would become $9,189.84, the amount of BTC available at this price will decrease and become 3.206387 BTC. In this case, liquidity on a Binance BTC/USDT pair on the Buy-side was good enough for a 1 BTC order size allowing the trader to Buy the BTC at the best available price.

At the same time, we can see from the other side of the order book that the highest price at which someone is willing to Buy BTC is 9,189.83, but they are willing to buy only 0.693640 BTC at this price. Consequently, if the user submits a Market Sell order for 1 BTC, he will ‘eat’ through 3 levels of the order book. Such an order will consume entire Buy offers at 9,189.83 and 9,189.71 levels and most of the 9,189.47 price level, moving BTC/USDT price to $9,189.47. At the same time, the All Buy orders sitting in the Order Book with the prices of $9,189.83 and $9,189.71 would be 100% filled, while the Buy orders with the price of $9,189.47 would be partially filled for the size of 0.30136 BTC. The average execution price of the 1 BTC Market Sell would be:

0.69364*9,189.83 + 0.005*9,189.71 + 0.30136*9,189.47 = $9,189.72. The difference of $0.11 between the observed best Buy offer in the Order Book at 9,189.83 and effectively achieved the average execution price of 9,189.72is called price slippage. Price slippage represents a loss for the trader due to insufficient liquidity on the Buy side of the Binance order book. Were the trader to send a Market Sell order for the amount greater than 1 BTC, the price slippage incurred would increase substantially.

Besides the direct price slippage implications of exchange order book liquidity, one could also try to derive various trading signals from it.  In the example above, since the liquidity of BTC/USDT pair on Binance appears to be better on the Sell-side of the order book, a simple conclusion could be drawn that the Selling pressure is high and that high Level 1 Sell liquidity represents market makers’ opinion that the short-term market price movement will be downwards. However, since this prediction is quite obvious, it might not come to fruition.

Binance, though, isn’t the only exchange on the market. Let’s check what would happen if the same user would try to complete the same orders on let-it-be BitRabbit exchange. Frankly speaking, we’ve never heard of this exchange and strongly don’t recommend using it for trading. One of the reasons, apart from the funny name and doubtful security of the exchange, would be presented below.

On a screenshot, you can see the same market (BTC/USDT) on the BitRabbit exchange. The first notable difference is that the price of BitRabbit is around $30 lower than on Binance. Though, it’s not the biggest problem with this screenshot.

If the user will (for any reason) deposit the necessary funds to purchase and sell 1 BTC worth of assets – the situation will be different compared to Binance.

If she will try to submit a Market Buy of 1 BTC for USDT the order will be executed at the price that is nowhere near the Last Price of  $9,163.98. The thing is that all the Sell orders sitting in the whole visible part of the order book aren’t enough to fill the order of 1 BTC. Even more, they won’t even fill a third of it, which means that the average price of 1 BTC purchased on this exchange at Market would be over $9,182, representing a price slippage of almost $20. Remember, that on Binance the price slippage incurred by the same 1 BTC order was just $0.11.

In the case of Market Sell Order of 1 BTC on BitRabbit, the slippage would not be so bad, though the order will ‘eat’ through the first three levels of the order books and fill at fourth – the price will slip less than a dollar.

This simple comparison gives you a basic idea of why liquidity is such an important characteristic of an exchange. If an order of 1 BTC can create a slippage of 20+ dollars, imagine what would happen next time BTC rallies some $500+ in 15 minutes and you are trying to exit or enter a large position on an exchange like BitRabbit.

What Influences Liquidity?

Exchange listings.

The asset’s presence on several trading platforms increases its liquidity in most cases. The more exchanges have listed an asset, the more opportunities for traders to trade it. So, the trade volume is increasing. 

Though, often, listings don’t provide liquidity. It is a typical situation when one of the assets in TOP 50-150 of CoinMarketCap is listed on 10 exchanges, while it has more than $100,000 daily volume only on 1-2 of them.

Though, in general, new cryptocurrencies are characterized by low liquidity due to their absence from major exchanges.

Use cases outside the crypto industry.

A holy grail of every crypto project is wide user adoption though, real adoption was achieved only by a few of the coins on the market. Apart from the obvious BTC use case as a “digital gold” and store of value, Ethereum managed to get some real usage back in 2017, when a boom of Smart Contracts and ICOs occurred. It now seems to gain traction with DeFi.The most recent example of wide enough adoption is Binance Coin, which became a lottery ticket to the IEO hype of 2019. Though, both of these cases still weren’t a “wide adoption outside of the crypto industry” – more like wide adoption inside of it.

Popularization. 

The stronger the crypto community scales, the more liquid in general the crypto assets are. This fact is undeniable and the proof is the performance of Bitcoin in 2017, when this coin rapidly gained at price, volume, social media mentions, and Google trends.

However, if the cryptocurrency is new and a sufficient number of crypto enthusiasts haven’t heard about it, then, most certainly, it lacks trust from the crypto community. The asset would be considered of low liquidity or, in the worst case, manipulated by bot trading and fake market making. At the same time, the asset has every chance to change its position, drawing attention to it with marketing activities, constant development, and a solid project team behind the project.

Cryptocurrency Liquidity as an Indicator of Confidence

The liquidity of cryptocurrencies is undoubtedly an important parameter that you should pay attention to when devising your trading strategy.

Think about buying a $10,000 worth of some TOP-500 altcoin, while it’s daily trading volume is $20,000. In the best case, if you don’t want to push the price up to and incur huge slippage, you’d have to accumulate your position over a week or even a few weeks. Illiquid assets often become subjects of speculations, and pump and dump schemes. It is easier for pumpers to influence the price of an illiquid asset by buying or selling a large chunk of the daily volume of this asset. In case, if the asset has low liquidity, this “large chunk” of daily volume would cost the pumpers less money. 

Sadly, Pump and Dump schemes are still a thing in the crypto market. As a result, the vast majority of the new crypto traders fall victims to at least one of those schemes. Mainly, if a new crypto enthusiast goes through an experience like this, basically a new crypto market hater would go to social media and spread the word that the whole industry is a fraud.

Current Market Liquidity

One notable thing about crypto markets and industry, in general, is that despite the speculative spikes, one could see a slow but steady adoption. It is reflected not only in the real-world use cases, a growing number of wallets, and on-chain transactions but also in the growing liquidity of the crypto market in general. It can be seen when looking at the crypto trading volume on major exchanges 2020 volumes are much higher than in 2017 or 2018 when BTC was all over the news with an all-time high price of $18,000-$20,000.

Though undeniably growing in general, crypto liquidity is shifting. Some of these shifts represent secular trends such as growing liquidity of derivative and margin exchanges vs the spot exchanges, and some are cyclical, such as periodic shifts from BTC to altcoins (altseason) and back, or the evergreen ‘flippening’ of BTC and ETH. 

Source: https://goodcrypto.app

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Liquidity definition including break down of areas in the definition. Analyzing the definition of key term often provides more insight about concepts. Liquidity can be defined as: Availability of resources to meet short-term cash requirements. Liquidity has to do with our ability to pay for short term obligations, whether they be short term debt or operational needs.

Liquidity ratios include the current ration and the quick ration or assed test ration, ratios that measure liquidity by comparing liquid assets to current liabilities. Why Learn Accounting – Financial Accounting / Managerial Accounting https://youtu.be/uaWDB1YdA1k?list=PL6… 101 Double Entry Accounting System Explained – Accounting Equation https://youtu.be/66e9QbrkE4g?list=PL6… 101 Cash vs Accrual – Cash Method / Accrual method differenc https://youtu.be/i2O0cexCrqc?list=PL6… 101 Revenue Recognition Principle https://youtu.be/M_pauBGz5Jc?list=PL6… Double Entry Accounting System Explained – Balance Sheet https://youtu.be/kOItl8E3fNA?list=PL6… 101 Income Statement Introduction https://youtu.be/1k11H8icQxc?list=PL6… 101 Accounting Objectives – Relevance Reliability Comparability https://youtu.be/mO8tPzFmN8o?list=PL6… 101 Transaction Rules – Accounting Equation https://youtu.be/0vy6W_WTO2I?list=PL6… 101 Transaction Throught Process / Steps – Accounting Equation https://youtu.be/SlTo3EXDuqU?list=PL6… 101 Owner Deposits Cash Transaction Accounting Equation https://youtu.be/lPZoImc88eU?list=PL6… 101 Work Completed for Cash Transaction Accounting Equation https://youtu.be/ll5xIHVdrVs?list=PL6… 100.110 Pay Employee with Cash Transaction Accounting Equati https://youtu.be/bSa3NuVpkwc?list=PL6… 200 Debits & Credits Normal Balance – Double Entry Accounting Sy https://youtu.be/alSWKuWPlxU?list=PL6… 200 Debits & Credits – One Rule to Rule Them All https://youtu.be/RL3BFjL1eyE?list=PL6…

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Building Business Stability In An Unstable World

Introducing Digital Factory 4.0, the future of effortless, connected, and proactive operations. 

I’ve seen some things. 

Back in 2000, I watched as the soaring dot com economy plummeted back to Earth. Then there was the gut-wrenching housing crisis of 2008. Still, I hardly envisioned a global pandemic that would drive 3,600 American businesses into bankruptcy in the first six months of 2020 alone.   

The scope of these bankruptcies are unprecedented, yet they underscore an old business maxim: the time to prepare for a crisis is before it happens. In an unpredictable world, futureproofing your business isn’t optional. COVID-19 is one example of instability, but it’s easy to think of others geopolitics, climate change, and societal tension to name a few. And while every industry confronts these challenges, not every industry is similarly at risk.  

Introducing Digital Factory 4.0  

Manufacturers are particularly exposed to the economic impacts of COVID-19 because of their global supply chains, interactive working environments, and high sensitivity to downstream demand. These factors place them at risk from future crises as well. As a result, their post-pandemic planning must include process alterations for COVID-19 and a comprehensive strategy for whatever comes next.  

Fortunately, in this digital day and age we have the tools to create resilience for this pandemic and beyond.  

The first step is the complete digitization and connection of factory operations through automation and digital workflows. This will create what I like to call Digital Factory 4.0.  

This factory represents a fourth revolution within manufacturing. In the first, steam power mechanized production; in the second, electricity created mass production; in the third, information technology automated and globalized that production.  

Now, in the fourth, emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence and the internet of things (IoT), are combining to digitize, automate, and transform the factory entirely. 

Digital nervous system 

Digital Factory 4.0 is based on a digital nervous system that ties the full manufacturing value chain together and makes all operations effortless, connected, and proactive. This nervous system consists of workflows that eliminate silos and create a connected enterprise of universal visibility.   

On the factory floor, insignificant problems quickly ripple into larger delays down the line when machine operators lack the knowledge to remediate the issue. Something as small as a misprinted label can throw the entire production process into disarray.  

In Digital Factory 4.0, notes detailing past machine fixes, a comprehensive knowledge base, and a workflow-powered connection to an outside technician are all accessible through a mobile device linked to the factory’s digital nervous system. Employees have the information they need at their fingertips, operations flow effortlessly, and overall equipment efficiency (OEE) is improved throughout the factory.  

In the event of a larger breakdown, information about downstream effect is quickly cascaded to the relevant parties via automated workflows. Information captured in these workflows, along with that from IoT sensors, helps manufacturers better understand the trade-offs that limit or increase capacity.   

Oh geez...just screens with code looking very technological. Bleep bloop!
A digital nervous system connects the Digital Factory 4.0. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Intelligent quality control 

World-class operations extend beyond maintenance and information dissemination to quality control and product development—two areas of significant expense.  

For example, when a manufacturer I worked with altered its pet food recipe, it unknowingly shipped bags with heavier individual pellets and thus more food than necessary. That compounded into a noticeable cost.  

Digital Factory 4.0 addresses this problem in two ways. First, IoT sensors identify discrepancies immediately and trigger a disruption workflow that drives actions to resolve the complication before production is impacted. This is intelligent quality control. Again, it’s both effortless and connected.  

Second, by digitizing product development—running simulations on a digital twin of the physical product—we can decrease parts per million (PPM) defective rates and proactively address quality issues that arise when we, for instance, change a recipe.  

Along with improved OEE, decreased PPM translates to higher margins and greater profit, ensuring a sustainable and resilient factory.  

Connecting teams and people 

Most important, Digital Factory 4.0 connects teams, keeping the workforce healthy and engaged while managing for regulatory compliance. This is especially important as leaders consider how to safely navigate the workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

ServiceNow’s Contact Tracing app, for example, uses system data (badge scans, workstation location, etc.) to identify and isolate employees who come in contact with an individual infected by COVID-19. It’s one way to ensure a safe return to work, and it’s also indicative of a core tenet of connected teams: the use of employee data—on everything from common challenges to health and wellness—to build a sustainable workforce.  

For example, many manufacturing injuries can be linked to addressable root cause issues. By aggregating and analyzing information on these injuries, we can pinpoint causes and shift processes. The data also informs other areas in the organization, such as risk, compliance, and workforce planning.  

Digital Factory 4.0 is about getting access to this data on the assumption that all the information we need to perfectly optimize operations is readily available—if only we could see it.  

With COVID-19 placing pressure on manufacturers like never before, it’s the organizations who digitize operations and unlock their data that will survive, reinvest, and continuously improve.

Tasker Generes

Tasker Generes

Tasker Generes is global head of connected enterprise at ServiceNow, crafting strategy for the connected enterprise leveraging IoT, BlockChain, and AI while also providing executive level advisory to help companies modernize, transform and innovate. He is the author of 87 patent claims around ConnectedOperations, ConnectedHuman, ConnectedSecurity and ConnectedService. Prior to joining ServiceNow, Tasker was chief technology officer at Amtrak and ran his own consulting firm Silos to Service Solutions Inc., bringing business and IT together to leapfrog their competition through focused service. Through his work at IBM as chief technologist for service management solutions, Tasker developed a deep depth of knowledge and experience in leading global service management delivery across process, technology, organization and information. At IBM, he also served as co-chair of LEAP (Leadership Education for Asia-Pacifics). Tasker earned his Master of Project Management degree from George Washington University School of Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California, San Diego

Source: Forbes

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