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Industry Challenges Today

Industry Challenges Today

An In-Depth discussion on Digital Transformation, Sustainability, and Cross-Departmental Collaboration

Dr Mehdi Al-Radhi

Dr Mehdi Al-Radhi (connect on LinkedIn)

Elyas Bozan

Elyas Bozan (connect on LinkedIn)


Elyas Bozan, Managing Director of Morgan Philips Germany, spoke with Dr Mehdi Al-Radhi, who has over 25 years of experience in operational excellence, major transformation programs and leadership in industry.


EB: What are the specific challenges facing the industry today?

MA: Digital transformation must be driven forward as the transformation to a sustainable company with a special focus on energy efficiency. This two aspects must be fully implemented. At the same time, resilient supply chains must be ensured. The conditions of the economic framework in this regard are not exactly easy at the moment.

EB: What does that mean for companies?

MA: For most companies, this means that they have to use all available resources to drive transformation forward, i.e. they have to realize growth with low resource input.
This is only possible if the whole efficiency potential in the company is really used. The so-called "low hanging fruits" have already been picked in most companies. These processes must be looked at strategically, i.e. in interaction, as well as individually and in detail. Unnecessary processes need to be eliminated, necessary processes need to be optimized and then digitized.

EB: What do companies need for this?

MA: On the one hand, companies need experts who have solid experience in holistic transformation programs and know how to achieve efficiency improvements at the highest level. These experts should master the entire range from strategic and conceptual experience, aspects of change management to process optimization in detail.
On the other hand, companies need top managers who are willing and able to steer strategically and goal-oriented and are also available and capable of working in a team, namely across departments, networking and with systemic thinking. They need to lead employees through purpose and embody a clear role model function. 

EB: What do companies have to look out for in respect to transformation?

MA: As with any successful transformation, it starts with the strategic goals and these according to the strategy. In addition to aspects such as market developments, market position or strengths and weaknesses, the aspects of sustainability, energy efficiency, process efficiency and digitalisation as well as resilient supply chains must be specifically considered. To this end, it is essential to pay attention to the interplay of the aspects.
A key success factor for transformation is a holistic transformation program. This means there should be no parallel programs or other change projects. Only this way the necessary resources can be used in a focused and optimal way. 
The tasks of the line organization, from the top management to the operational management level, as well as the tasks of the transformation experts must be clearly defined. The awareness of each role must be present and the responsibility associated with the single role must be accepted and embraced. 
Furthermore, it is extremely important that the status quo of the transformation process is reviewed at regular intervals, e.g. every six months, and accordingly adapted to a new situation if necessary. This does not mean changing the direction or strategy.
It means being flexible enough to react in a smart way to changing parameters, but continuing to pursue the aim and the overall program. 
A transformation is not  "short distance" but a "marathon"; it requires endurance, continuous commitment and a good runner.

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