On Wednesday, October 3, Steve Fisher delivered the keynote address at the fifth annual Financial Times (FT) Future of Manufacturing Summit in London.
His remarks focused on how companies can effectively navigate the new era of digitalization and automation – commonly referred to as Industry 4.0 – through an active focus on purpose, people and partnership.
Speaking to a group of over 150 manufacturing executives and decision-makers, representing a broad range of businesses from automakers to the pharmaceutical industry, Steve encouraged leaders to, “remove the noise, refrain from reacting to short-term market swings and rely on your enduring purpose to guide your important decisions.”
Having just rolled out Novelis’ purpose – Shaping a Sustainable World Together – Steve shared that “while we recently spent a great deal of time reflecting on our company purpose, it has been with us all along – it’s in the decisions we’ve made and the values we hold dear.”
He cited the need to continue to promote manufacturing as a robust and healthy sector and a driver of technology and innovation. Steve called upon his peers “to ensure our workforce is not only skilled, but reskilled and upskilled, so we can leverage their experiences and talents to take advantage of new technologies and processes.”
He went on to say, “We need to engage our young people, our technical colleges and our governments to create partnerships and programs to develop the next generation of workers in order to sustain our talent pipeline. We must also focus on our culture and broaden our diversity and inclusion efforts to ensure we are attracting and developing people from a variety of backgrounds and experiences.”
Having established the critical role that purpose and people play in helping companies navigate disruption, Steve added the third key to succeeding in Industry 4.0 – partnership. While more conventional partnerships may produce results in the short term, more unconventional partnerships may be required to achieve long-term growth.
Steve also emphasized the importance of the aluminum industry working together to consistently offer the latest products, technologies and supply chain diversity to make the adoption of aluminum easier.
“The aluminum industry is moving in the right direction, and we are now more effectively aligning around our value proposition – regardless of whose aluminum it is – so that we are ALL able to compete against steel and other materials.”