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KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 -- The manufacturing sector needs to be more visible, transparent and focused on value creation, say industry experts.
MTEK Industry AB chief executive officer (CEO) and founder Mathias Anderson said manufacturing production in countries with lower labour costs and transporting goods cannot continue to support a resilient industry.
"Taking the example of giant container ship Ever Given that blocked the Suez Canal for several days causing major disruptions to local and global supply chains, it tells us that the supply chain needs to be aware of how we are transporting goods and, therefore, logistics systems have to be connected.
"While we are in the COVID-19 pandemic era, there is greater need to connect with our clients by using digital tools and focus on what human contributions can do to manufacturing," he said as a panelist during a power talk webinar session organised by the World Islamic Economic Forum and Securities Industry Development Corp today.
The webinar was entitled ‘Post Pandemic Economic Landscape - Building Resilient Industries’.
Anderson said despite the hype about robotics and artificial intelligence, it was also important to digitise human labour in order to capture all the values that human creates.
"Start small but grow big," Anderson said, adding that by using the right digital tools and methodologies, industries can better visualise weaknesses in the supply chains.
MTEK is a Swedish company specialising in factory intelligence software and flexible automation solutions that are the digital building blocks of a smart factory.
Meanwhile, another panelist, head of Cabinet of Commissioner for Agriculture, European Commission, Maciej Golubiewski said to stay resilient and strengthen the supply chain in the food industry, a more coordinated relationship across borders in times of crisis would help turn challenges into successes.
He also said as the European Union (EU) aims to reduce environmental and climate footprint, the commission has developed a policy framework around digitalisation called the Common Agricultural Policy.
The policy is expected to boost the competitiveness of the agricultural and food chain sector, including educating and helping farmers adopt digital technologies while building a sustainable farming sector, he said.
"Besides, we also have the generational renewal, one of the main priorities in the policy where the youth have a key role to play in the transition to sustainable and innovative agriculture.
"There is a need to attract the younger generation as statistics showed that farm managers below 35 years old constitute only about five per cent of all farms in the EU," he said. The policy also aims to promote rural areas as an attractive place to live.
Another panelist, UZMA Bhd group CEO Datuk Kamarul Redzuan said as an oil and gas (O&G) industry player, its core business would remain but there is a need to increase resiliency and operate differently according to the assessment by performance and not by time.
However, the non-O&G segment will be its growth strategy and the company is targeting for the segment to contribute 40 per cent of its top line by 2025.
Currently, the ratio between O&G and non-O&G is 90:10.
"The climate is changing and people are moving towards renewable and clean or new energy. We must delete inefficiency, diversify further and digitalise.
"Besides digitalisation, we also want to be in the aerospace industry as, through digital images, we believe it can help industries make better key decisions," said Kamarul.