Diving Into Operations 4.0 with Ty Findley

Future of Supply Chain Podcast, Episode 17

On Episode 17 of The Future of Supply Chain, we sit down with Ty Findley of Pritzker Group Venture Capital. Based out of Chicago, Pritzker Group is a Series A VC focused on manufacturing and logistics. Ty has been serving as Vice President at Pritzker for about two years now, but actually started his career as an engineer at Boeing. After working in the aerospace industry, Ty would then move on to GE to help with their investment ventures. Ty also comes from a lineage of manufacturing, as his father and grandfather both own manufacturing companies.

Source: ( https://www.manufacturing.net/article/2019/02/making-room-industry-40 )

Industry 4.0

Ty begins our conversation with some insight into the current state of the supply chain. He believes that 2019 is all about Industry 4.0, and supply chain merging into a blended operations 4.0. Which he says is just a fancy way of saying “lean methodology”. Startups and manufacturing companies alike, are both looking for better ways to make the supply chain hyper local, hyper now, hyper custom. Ty believes this will become the status quo for supply chain operations from here on out. “The future is for the customers who innovate and evolve.”, argues Ty.

Find your wedge

As the industry becomes inundated with competition, founders are struggling to discover exactly how, when, and where to innovate and experiment. Ty argues that founders should not be afraid of this process, they just simply need to find their wedge within the value chain. “Find that one thing that fits your background and experiences. However, you must have a claim to credibility, something you know no one else knows.”, says Ty. Some of the ways Ty goes about finding wedges for founders, is by breaking it down into six categories. Those categories are: Digital Design phase, Advanced Fabrication, Industrial IoT Stack, Smart Robotics, Distribution, and Post Production.

Human Element of 4.0

One of the biggest downsides to automation in manufacturing, is the fear of humans being completed replaced by machines. Ty argues that many startups are not trying to replace jobs with automation, they are focused on helping workers. Mainly, the idea of transferring knowledge throughout the company’s value chain. He says that if we can “bring to light the digital exhaust”, or learn exactly how workers do their jobs, we can implement this knowledge into software platforms. It may prove essential to find out how to digitize what humans have be doing, so we can find a way to better train people and drive efficiency. Ty still believes in a future of humans and robots working cooperatively, rather than one or the other.