Honeywell to streamline operations and create two publicly listed companies
Honeywell International Inc., a US multinational manufacturing conglomerate, is reportedly considering spinning off its non-core assets in the attempt to streamline its business operations according to Reuters.
This will see the creation of two new publicly listed companies, with Honeywell looking to do this with its turbochargers business, the branch that manufactures components that improve the efficiency and performance of vehicles.
The company did not disclose which other units it was considering for spinoff, but its other businesses include its energy efficient products and solutions, electronic materials, speciality chemicals, aerospace and security technologies sectors.
It has been revealed that the company’s shareholder Third Point LLC has called for the spinoff of its aerospace division, claiming that it could create a further $20bn in shareholder value due to the company being undervalued compared to its rivals.
However, Honeywell is unlikely to comply with this, with its aerospace division being its largest business, making engines and auxiliary aircraft for airspace giants including Bombardier and Textron.
The move would be the first major undertaking by new CEO Darius Adamczyk, having succeeded David Cote back in April.
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.