Monday, November 13, 2017

"It's competition that creates innovation"

Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner for Competition, stresses the importance of the free market for the development of business and society.
By Elisa Campos 10/11/2017

    She is one of the most powerful women in the world. And take your mission very seriously. Like it or not the technology giants. Margrethe Vestager is the Commissioner of the European Union for Competition, responsible for ensuring that anti-competition actions do not take root in European territory. It was, for example, that she was leading the proceedings that resulted in the fine of 2.4 billion euros received by Google for anti-competitive practices. On Tuesday (7), at the Web Summit in Lisbon, she reaffirmed her commitment to ensuring the free market for an audience of executives and entrepreneurs of technology. What's more, to justify his firm grip, he appealed to a word venerated by the industry. "It's the competition that makes innovation happen. It's what makes us capable of doing what we never imagined possible before, "says Margrethe.

     Those who have already arrived do not have the right to use their influence to close the doors to others, he argues. "It's a problem when companies that dominate the market decide to use their power to stop competition and prevent innovation," he says. Margrethe goes further. In his view, successful companies have an even more relevant role in maintaining free market rules. "Companies like Google have a special responsibility. And we had to give Google a fine, because he did not respond to that responsibility. It is not acceptable for him to use the power of a search engine to deny others the chance to compete. "
    The executive made a point of emphasizing in her speech that success is by no means a problem but rather a motivator. "He inspires others. Obviously, we have no objection to Google dominating the search market. We just do not want it to use this dominance to squeeze the competition because we believe it should not be the size of the company that decides if it is successful. That should not be the connections with governments that decide if it is a success. It should be your ability to innovate, your products and services. "
    Despite weighing heavily on the private sector, Margrethe also pointed out that government actions, such as subsidies or tax cuts for certain industries and companies, also charge their price, reducing market efficiency. "It makes competition more difficult on an equal footing."
    Despite the acid criticism, the executive kept an optimistic tone in her presentation, greeting the innovation several times. "When they ask you why you, why now, why change, answer: why not? This is the spirit that opens new horizons. " The provocation remains. Her and ours.

Mobility as a service is the new business of the automotive industry

Car makers, vendors and market entrants are betting on recurring revenue.
By Giovanna Riato / Automotive Business 11/9/2017

       As it struggles to understand its role in the face of so many transformations, the automotive industry seems to have come to a consensus with startups and technology providers: the business of the future is not to sell cars but deliver mobility as a service. The challenge is to understand which are the most promising solutions for the consumer. The advantage, on the other hand, is that this model will guarantee recurring revenue, not just the punctual billing with the sale of the vehicle. "With this approach, companies can interact with customers constantly, monetize services, increase after-sales results and, above all, retain loyal customers," says Alexandre Guimarães, director of electric and electronics at General Motors in Brazil.
       The executive participated in a panel at the SAE Brasil 2017 Congress, held on Thursday (9), in São Paulo (SP). In the event, he presented the good results of the company's successful local experience with the offer of other solutions and services."Outside we have two brands linked to mobility, Lyft, a competitor of Uber, and Maven, of shared cars," he says, as long as the company tests the latter in Brazil, but for now only with employees of the factory of São Caetano do South, at ABC Paulista. "The private car is, on average, only 5% of the time in use. We managed to raise that number to 24% with sharing, but it can still improve, "he says, commenting on the first findings of the experiment.
      According to Guimarães, only with investment in services will the automotive industry be able to survive in an environment where the car is no longer the object of desire."We need to be able to recognize that people no longer want to have a car like they used to," he says. The executive recalls that, globally, the middle class is expanding.This move should pull demand for vehicles for a few years, but in the long run, the trend is downward.
      While engaging Maven's offer locally, General Motors has more experience with the OnStar connectivity system offering, which already has 195,000 users in the country who pay a monthly subscription to rely on features such as location, emergency call, and concierge included in the package. Guimarães says that the company's greatest achievement with the convenience is proximity to the customer, who accesses the company by the application on the cell phone or by a button in the car.
      Sérgio Luis Reis, director of the industrial area of IBM, reminds that the automakers need to build the relationship that will guarantee the future of the business. "We see many companies being run over by competitors with the complete shifting of some markets. With services, companies guarantee recurring billing, "he said. The company is a partner of General Motors in the OnStar offer. The executive notes, however, that there are a number of other possibilities for IBM solutions in the automotive industry."We are developing with a carmaker in Brazil a digital manual for the car, which will work with Watson," he says, citing the company's cognitive intelligence system.
      While the automakers update their service format, there are a number of young companies that already have great experience in the challenge of improving the customer's journey. One of them is Zazcar, who also participated in the debate in the SAE Congress. "We face a series of challenges to ensure that everything runs through the application and runs digitally," says Bernardo Mazzino, CEO of the company. It seems that the company has been successful in this evolution: the customer can even unlock the car door that will use the online system developed by the startup.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Hybrid Cars Using Four Times as Much Fuel as Advertised: Aussie Report

Xinhua General News Service
October 24, 2017

“Eco-friendly” hybrid cars regularly produce four times as much carbon dioxide (CO2) as manufacturers claim, an Australian report has found on Monday.

The report, compiled by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) with the backing of industry heavyweights, found that in real-world testing some new vehicles are using 59% more fuel than advertised.

One hybrid electric vehicle tested by the AAA used four times as much fuel as claimed by the manufacturer, meaning the fuel bill for owners of that vehicle is up more than $750 than claimed in advertising.

The AAA is using the report to call on the Australian government to introduce mandatory real-world emissions testing for new cars.

“More stringent emissions laws are meant to reduce pollution and drive down fuel use, however our results suggest such benefits largely occur only in the laboratory,” Michael Bradley, CEO of the AAA, said in a statement on Monday.

“Australian motorists have a right to accurate information about fuel consumption and environmental performance when buying a new car.”

“The current system is misleading consumers and regulators. Only real-world testing can drive down costs to consumers and deliver meaningful environmental benefit.”

The AAA conducted real-world tests on 30 vehicles during the 18-month, $390,000 study but chose not to identify those that performed poorly because it would be unfair against those that were not tested.

In 2002, the difference between real-world fuel consumption and laboratory test performance was 10%. That figure grew to 35% in 2014 and is projected to be 49% by 2020 as manufacturers continue to better-optimize lab tests.

Australia has the worst quality fuel of 35 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development with regular unleaded fuel containing up to 150 parts per million (ppm) of sulfur compared to the world’s best fuel which the AAA said has less than 10 ppm.

Copyright 2017 Xinhua News Agency.
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Monday, October 23, 2017

Ernst & Young, Microsoft to Bring Enhanced Analytics to Automotive Industry

Targeted News Service
October 2, 2017

   Ernst & Young (EY), an assurance, tax, transaction and advisory service, issued the following news release:
   EY announces today that it is collaborating with Microsoft to launch EY Synapse Automotive, a broad data analytics solution that addresses critical business challenges for the automotive industry in areas such as quality and warranty, marketing and sales, and project planning.
   The solution expands decision-making capabilities by combining machine learning and advanced analytics techniques, data visualization and business process applications. For example, organizations can use EY Synapse Automotive to validate incentive rebate and warranty claims, improve demand forecasting and inventory management for parts, or create models that can help to improve their vehicle allocation processes.
   The automotive analytics solution is provided via EY Synapse, the EY global Analytics-as-a-Service (AaaS) platform that helps accelerate the provision of analytics-driven insights and can support businesses to operate and compete more effectively.
  Derek Huffman, EY Global Automotive Analytics Leader, says:
   “EY Synapse Automotive is designed to help companies rapidly deploy analytics capabilities that drive actionable insights within weeks instead of months and translates these insights into immediate cost savings and new revenue opportunities. Automakers will be able to confront the challenges of growing their core businesses and achieving efficiencies as they invest in mobility ecosystem development and forward-looking automotive solutions.”
   EY Synapse Automotive effectively combines the EY proprietary automotive knowledge base, EY-developed analytics intellectual property assets and deep automotive industry sector experience with Microsoft AI platform, including Microsoft Azure services such as Azure Machine Learning and Azure HDInsight, and is uniquely positioned to enhance value and reduce risks for automotive clients.
   Sanjay Ravi, Worldwide Managing Director, Discrete Manufacturing Vertical, Microsoft, says:
   “EY chose Microsoft Azure for its advanced analytics, machine learning and cognitive services capabilities, ease of integration and access to data for clients within a secure platform. This is part of a series of solutions that are being jointly developed by EY member firms and Microsoft that will take advantage of Microsoft Azure cloud platform services, including Microsoft’s AI and machine learning services to unlock longer-term value for automotive customers.”
   The first EY Synapse Automotive module to be deployed is Warranty Claims Compliance, which leverages behavioral analytics and machine learning models to identify claim types that drive high warranty costs and establish emerging safety and quality issues.
   Greg Cudahy, EY Global Technology, Media & Entertainment and Telecommunications Leader says:
   “The EY and Microsoft alliance was formed with a vision to jointly develop innovative digital solutions that drive long-lasting customer value. EY Synapse Automotive combines years of deep automotive industry experience with the leading-edge digital technologies of our alliance partner. The new solution further advances the alliance objectives, augments our growing analytics portfolio and serves as an example of how we jointly seek to improve safety and enhance lives.”
   To learn more about the EY Synapse Automotive and the EY and Microsoft alliance, visit the EY microsite.

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Focusing Industry 4.0 Processes and Practices on Value Creation

ICIS Chemical News
October 12, 2017

    If you sometimes feel that your company is missing the boat when it comes to digitalization and the realization of Industry 4.0 gains then you will feel positively chained to the jetty with Industry X.0.
    But consultants Accenture can see opportunities inherent in trying to focus Industry 4.0 thinking away from products towards services and value and what it calls “outcomes.”
   So, the internet of things becomes one of the processes and the sort of channels to value creation that manufacturing industries understand.
   It has launched an Industry X.0 practice that wants to help focus the minds of business on how the right combination of digital technologies can yield the most benefit.
   Research among 930 senior executives from 12 industries and 21 companies helped determine the current state of play. It was used to identify 10 technologies it believes are currently critical for business: 3-D printing, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR), autonomous robots, autonomous vehicles, big data analytics, blockchain, digital twin (the digital replication of physical assets), machine learning and mobile computing.
   Chemical companies clearly are adopting some of these technologies, from the back office, through research and development, manufacturing and logistics towards customer interaction. But the consultants believe that the right combination of new technologies could increase chemical company market capitalization on average by $4 billion.
   In terms that all companies will understand, Accenture talks of additional costs savings for a chemical company of $91,261 per employee from the right combination of AR/VR, autonomous vehicles, big data analytics and digital twin technologies.
   Companies would have to go a long way to do this. Senior executives understand the power of digitalization. Interestingly, however, there is a divide between those who think in terms of revolution and those in terms of evolution.
   The Accenture research showed that only 13% of the executives it surveyed said their businesses were getting greater efficiencies and business growth from new revenue streams for their investment in digitalization. For chemical companies the result was lower, at 11%. Accenture says it believes this is due largely to the “piecemeal deployment and implementation of investments in digital technologies.”
   Research conducted for the European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) has shown, however, that for the petrochemical industry, at least, it is still early days on the digital journey.
   Chemical companies and their logistics providers are investing in cloud computing, big data and advanced analytics, IT platforms for shared logistics, low-cost sensor technology and digital identifiers (persistent online identifiers or handles).
   But they are said to be less than half way towards realizing their digital ambitions.
   Professor Anne Vereecke of the Vlerick Business School in Belgium said last week that the petrochemical supply chain is well aware of the impact of digitalization, is off the starting blocks and running.
   Accenture’s senior managing director, Resources, Growth & Strategy, Dave Abood said: “Most of the businesses we work with understand the power of digital. They see the potential for digital technologies to bring about transformation and growth and are making big investments in a variety of leading technologies.
   Unfortunately, many aren’t getting the most out of their digital investments. The challenge is that to do so requires a careful balance of transforming core businesses while scaling new ones, which demands new talent, new skills and new competencies.”
   Companies will pivot around these changes. The Accenture research indicated that rather than destroying jobs Industry 4.0 will create new ones as companies seek to reinvent themselves.
   New responsibilities will be added to existing roles while there will be some entirely new jobs. The transformation, however, demands the sort of talent that for chemical companies is [1] proving hard to find.


1. https://www.icis.com/subscriber/news/2017/10/03/10148380/epca-17-chemical-industry-challenge-is-to-acquire-digital-talent/.

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Why Trust Is Key for Artificial Intelligence Adoption in the Consumer Goods Supply Chain

South China Morning Post.com
October 9, 2017
from: Copyright 2017 South China Morning Post Ltd.

Despite a promising future, adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in consumer goods manufacturing and supply chain management has been much slower than in the technology, retailing and financial services sectors due to a lack of data for analytic tools to work on, according to a supply chain expert.

“AI is about the collection and analysis of data and the application of insights gained. So far the most successful applications of AI are in facial and voice recognition, cartoon animation, medical diagnostics and automatic navigation,” Hau Lee, chairman of the board of Fung Academy, said in an interview.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Prove It How to demonstrate risk-based thinking for auditors

Quality Progress
by John J. Guzik

Most organizations implement risk-based thinking without realizing it. When a decision is made that affects a business, there’s a formal or informal assessment of risk versus opportunity. The emphasis on risk-based thinking in ISO 9001:2015’s requirements supports the notion that a proactive decision-making mentality is crucial for the continual improvement of a quality management system (QMS) and an entire organization.

There has been much written and said about this "new" ISO 9001 requirement on risk. Many have pointed to risk management programs, insisting the standard now formally requires them. Tools such as a failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA), a production part approval process (PPAP) and a plethora of new whiz-bang software programs have been introduced as tools that can do the task.

The difficulty with using these tools is that most of them were designed for risk management programs that address requirements of a product or service. Using these tools may help with product integrity, but they could leave you hanging in the breeze when it comes to demonstrating risk-based thinking per ISO 9001’s requirements.