Honda accelerates its manufacturing capabilities in Bangladesh
Japanese autogiant Honda has recently revealed its new plant in Bangladesh, as part of the country’s aim to establish up to 100 new economic zones across the region, as a core segment of its 2030 vision to “lead the advancement of mobility and enable people everywhere in the world to improve their daily lives.”
The factory, situated in the Abdul Monem Economic Zone at Gazaria, under the Munshiganj district is set to manufacture new motorcycles, in order to tackle the ongoing demand for versatile transport within its dense population. Spanning 25 acres, the factory will enable the bikes to be developed locally, providing greater accessibility and opportunities for local workers.
Set to provide a capacity of up to 100,000 units of motorcycles per annum, the company will undergo this joint venture alongside state-owned Bangladesh Steel Engineering Corporation (BSEC). By 2021, the plant has a long-term aim to ramp up its production capabilities to deliver 200,000 units per year, The Daily Star has reported.
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The new plant will provide ample opportunities for local citizens, tapping into a growing demand in the market in the region as a result of the government’s aim to attract further investment and diversify the country’s manufacturing capabilities.
Strong government support will further strengthen Honda’s aim to localise its services, skill up its workers and associates and deliver an exceptional customer services to the market in which it inhabits.
Yoshi Yamane, Senior Managing Director and Chief Officer for Production Operations of Honda Motor Co, said, “The inauguration of the new factory demonstrates one of the most important initiatives to realise Honda's 2030 Vision. Bangladesh Honda will aim to develop further by providing reliable, quality products from this new factory.”
Yuichiro Ishii, MD and CEO of BHL, said “As the leading motorcycle manufacturer, and with the guidance and expertise of Honda Motor in Japan, we believe that the motorcycle industry will expand and contribute to the national economy by generating more employment, developing a skilled workforce, transferring technology, encouraging the growth of a parts supplier industry, and attracting more direct foreign investment.”
Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers
With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.
While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.
“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.
“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”
Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.
“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.
Technology and People
While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.
“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.
Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.