SEBN Business Breakfast 2016 – Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 and Bosch Australia

This is the first of a two part post covering the SEBN (South East Business Network) business breakfast just before Christmas 2016. The first speaker was Gavin Smith of Bosch Australia. His talk was title “Life After Auto” and here is my summary.


Gavin Smith - Bosch Australia

Gavin Smith – Bosch Australia

In the 1960s you could make anything in Australia because the import tariffs were high and we were a long way away from the rest of the world. But by 2008 all that had changed. Although Robert Bosch is the largest tier one automotive supplier in the world, and the largest automotive company that doesn’t assemble vehicles, the original Bosch Australia factory is no longer there and a new one built and they are about to expand again.


So there is a lot of change. He also quoted Jack Welsh of GE fame: “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near!”


High volume no longer has to be a lot of the same thing. They are now doing high mix electronics manufacture and are about expand that as they have run out of capacity. This follows the Industry 4.0 model rather than traditional manufacturing.  The design team is also expanding s they are now do bespoke product design with the intention of making them locally.


Bosch are also keeping track of the following Megatrends:


  • Demography
  • Urbanisation
  • Energy and climate
  • Connectivity


Bosch - Megatrends

Bosch – Megatrends

And all of this relies heavily on IoT (Internet of Things) devices and Big Data. To be a global supply chain player or to have a modern product you will have to have connectivity and visibility of every part of your process and your supply chain as well. And for Industry 4.0 you will especially need it for inside the factory. This is already happening.


Robert Bosch are also looking at incubation for new ideas internally and also externally. This is a great idea and something we are also doing with both clients and prospects.


They are also looking to attract more women into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). Something I am also keen to see happen.


Industry 4.0 example

Gavin finished with a video that showed just how streamlined the Design to Manufacture path could become. Something essential to the realisation of a true Industry 4.0 mass customisation.


[This video is no longer available]


While it is worth remembering that some of the above is a view of how the Industry 4.0 future could be, rather than what today looks like, Europe have been pursuing this trend for 15 years. So we have quite a bit of conceptual catching up to do as well as implementation capability. And we need to start early which is why the Casey Tech School project and Schools of the Future are so important.


Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In Australia. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2017 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.


Modern Business

SEBN Session on Modern Business


South East Business Networks

South East Business Networks

Modern business structures and minimum sustainable business essential components


Richard Caro presented this session to a SEBN audience.


Richard Caro

Richard Caro


What if the world changed and yesterday’s game plan no longer applied?


Buggy whips – the market shifted to automobiles and most buggy whip companies went out of business. Are you aware of how your market is shifting?


What if they redefined themselves as motion management,  horse handling solutions or great leather products?


Long term sustainability requires more that a tactical approach such as “how to sell more buggy whips?”


Current trends are global competition and disaggregation. How does this affect your business?


Global customers are possible and global competitors are likely. What does this mean for you?


Disaggregation means anyone can be part of a global supply chain.


Automation is replacing existing jobs and suppliers and they could now be placed anywhere in the world.


Many businesses may not be in touch with the final end customers.


Do I communicate with a real end customer at least weekly?


Business models

Factory -> getting the word out -> Customer is the normal process. What is wrong with this picture?


Need to add customer discovery feedback to the process!


Business Strength Inventory

Fit each of the three areas of factory, getting the word out and customer discovery:


  • Who is responsible?
  • What clout / authority do they have?
  • What budget do they have?
  • Is 80% of their time devoted to this area?


My question was whether it was possible to consider that level of devotion if you are still a small business?

Customer discovery

The lean start-up movement has popularised books like:


  • The start-up owners manual
  • Value proposition design
  • Business model generation
  • What customers want


The key is to “get out of the building” – Steve Blank.


Steve Blank

Steve Blank


So what should I discuss with the people I meet when I am out of the building?


  • How do they do stuff today?
  •  in detail!
  • Follow them around and become an expert
  • Then find  the best in the world and follow them around
  • What are their unmet needs?
  • Where are the passion points?
  • Or pressure points?
  • Listen a lot!
  • Frame a hypothesis in the form of “I think people like xxx have a problem doing yyy”


The next step is to find 20-50 people like xxx and interview them asking open ended questions and listen carefully to how they do yyy, including whether they have a problem and if the hypothesis has any merit. Be prepared to refine.  Eg Rinse.  Repeat. As Steve Blank says.


So who should you talk to?


  • Interview 100, not 5
  • It is industry specific – Who is the real customer?
  • Who are the deciders, influencers, users, beneficiaries
  • Who are the adjacent customers?
  • Who is in your zone of customer knowledge?
  • They could be unexpected – they emerge from the problem discover


I asked this question so I was particularly interested in this answer.


If the person with the money is different with the person with the need,  you have to develop a business model that means it works for the person with the money.  Otherwise,  there are scenarios where there isn’t a business case that is possible?




So for now, my conclusion is that there are many possible opportunities present and if you look at customer discovery, you might just discover some.


Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In Australia. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2016 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

SEBN – South East Business Networks



South East Business Networks

South East Business Networks

One of the key statistics about the Australian business landscape is that we are last in the world for collaboration. All sorts of collaboration.  If you doubt this, just think about how much political collaboration you see here compared to overseas.


The video above is a series of snippets covering why SEBN is a great idea and the value that I get from being a part of it.


Some related statistics that bring home to me the importance of networking are some OECD statistics that place Australia:


  • last at number 181 for publicly funded research commercialisation,
  • last for academia to industry engagement,
  • number 3 for problem solving,
  • number 13 for Innovation,
  • but number 106 for commercialisation.


If you are wondering where these figures come from, they are based on statistics collected by the OECD and were among the key facts presented at Smart Manufacturing 2016.


So it isn’t our innovation or problem solving that is the issue. It is commercialisation and a key part of this is collaboration which we are measurably worst at.


One of the solutions is to get business leaders to actually get to know each other and learn from each other. This builds familiarity and trust and can break down the barriers we seem to naturally have here when it comes to collaboration. This is one of the key objectives of SEBN which stands for the South East Business Networks.


I have been attending SEBN sessions for the past six years and it has helped me grow as a business leader.


What is it you do to grow your ability to do business better?


Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2016 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.