Realizing Advantech's Sustainable Vision with Global Digital Operations
Global companies have initiated a new round of digital transformation to cope with the myriad impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Indeed, Advantech has helped its business partners develop intelligent solutions and promote digital transformation since the beginning of the outbreak. This was achieved by utilizing IoT technology to facilitate an operational transformation, creating a new digital operating model.
Jeff Cheng, Manager at Advantech’s CSO Office, pointed out, “This digital transformation is not merely an effort to replace old systems with new ones. It is a transformative project that includes deep operational management changes.” One of Advantech’s five primary visions looking forward to 2025 is global digital operations. This entails driving sustainable operations by establishing agile and innovative processes through digital transformation while optimizing employee and customer experiences.
Dedicated execution guiding top-to-bottom Transformation
Comprehensive digital transformation presents numerous challenges. To smooth this process, Advantech established the Chief Strategic Officer(CSO) Office — driven by the chairman — to establish guidelines for bringing the digital world into the company’s primary operations and realizing a fully connected and intelligent version of Advantech.
The CSO Office proposed five primary aspects to this implementation: production, sales, human resources, R&D, and finance. Each relevant department takes stock of its needs and plans executable projects aimed at digital operation. This endeavor resulted in the proposal of 16 projects via an iterative method and incremental build model. These projects included the iFactory two-way query platform for supply chain orders and materials; the IoT-Mart cross-border e-commerce platform, and the A-Connect audiovisual platform. All of these projects served as the pilot stage of Advantech’s digital transformation.
According to Dr. Cheng, during the first year of implementation, the CSO Office reviewed results monthly, providing suggestions and making constant adjustments to optimize the path to transformation. To date, many projects have shown concrete results. For example, material management was not sufficiently digitalized in the past. Each division had to send emails or place phone calls to expedite materials. Now, the system can clearly and instantly display parts inventory statuses on a dashboard. Indeed, management can now view material inventory data at a glance and perform back-end actions to connect with upstream suppliers or R&D personnel directly. Customer experiences have also been optimized via a new IoT Mart e-commerce platform that optimized the online shopping process.
Refocusing on HR, EC, and SCM to condense transformation energies
A year of cooperation with Professor Chun Yao Huang from National Taiwan University and the promotion of digital transformation has produced pilot study project results. These results have helped form Advantech’s complete digital transformation development blueprint. From 2022 onward, emphasis will be placed on strategic planning to achieve long-term goals, and the projects discussed above. These will converge into three critical directions: global EC, SCM, and HR digital transformation.
Amongst these, HR will utilize a new human capital management (HCM) system as the basis for comprehensively driving overall HR management transformation. Dr. Cheng posits that the HCM system is merely a tool. Adding, “We will start with users’ needs to realize HR’s digital transformation goals. This will include designing in-depth personal experiences for general employees, HR personnel, and management; establishing an agile management culture; and strengthening data-driven decision-making to enhance Advantech’s talent cultivation and retention.” Indeed, this new HCM system will help new employees quickly integrate into the corporate culture and foresee future career development trajectories more clearly.
Advantech understands that digital transformation is an ongoing process. This new round of digital transformation is set to create new growth for Advantech in the coming decade.