Royal Mint Director Receives Top Industry Honour
Turning around the fortunes of the Royal Mint’s Commemorative Coin and Bullion business has scooped its Director Shane Bissett a top industry award.
As a division head at the UK’s oldest manufacturing organisation, Bissett was honoured to receive the distinguished Director’s Award accolade at the IoD Wales Director of the Year Awards in Cardiff.
Bissett received the award, which is given at the discretion of the Director of IoD Wales, after he successfully transformed The Royal Mint’s commemorative coin division from a loss-making venture into a profitable business within three years.
In addition to leading a highly successful commemorative coin programme and medals manufacturing division, he has also driven The Royal Mint’s key business objective to break into the precious metal bullion coins market as a premium player.
He said: “When I started working at The Royal Mint I made a conscious decision to modernise the way in that we communicated with customers and shift the focus of the business online, whilst also increasing customer engagement and buy in.
To strengthen the business I launched The Royal Mint into the Bullion market, commercialising some of the existing business assets and utilising limited investment to secure cumulative sales now in excess of £400 million.
“This included negotiating a joint venture with MMTC-PAMP to licence the striking of the Sovereign in India.”
For the past two years, Bissett has been working closely with the Welsh Government on a proposed visitor centre and recently secured its support with a £2.3million grant which will go some way towards the total investment of £7.7million cost.
In April 2014, The Royal Mint unveiled plans to develop a purpose-built visitor centre at its headquarters in Llantrisant, South Wales and construction is expected to be completed during 2015.
He said: “The new centre will enable us to take people behind the scenes of more than 1,000 years of coin making history.”
IoD Wales director Robert Lloyd Griffiths said: “Shane has led two very significant business development initiatives: the most successful Olympic Coin Programme ever with sales worldwide of £102m and re-launching The Royal Mint back into the Bullion business with cumulative three year sales of £412m.
“It is great to have the opportunity to honour top business people from across Wales, where so many innovative and thriving businesses are based and I am delighted that we were once again able to promote excellence in business leadership in Wales.”
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.