Safeguard Global’s CTO Duri Chitayat on AI in Manufacturing

Duri Chitayat, CTO of Safeguard Global, on AI in manufacturing and transforming the sector with technology
Duri Chitayat, CTO of Safeguard Global, discusses AI in manufacturing, driving innovation and transforming the sector with technology

Duri Chitayat is a problem solver and people amplifier. As CTO at Safeguard Global, he helps agile teams develop products that make life better for people. With Safeguard Global, organisations can recruit, hire, pay, analyse and manage workers and their workforce operations anywhere in the world, no matter where they are in their growth journey.

“My journey into technology began with my father, who was the founder and president of Anorad Corporation which is now part of Rockwell,” says Duri. “He invented the Linear Motor, among other things, and as a result, I spent my early career working with robotics and manufacturing companies. One of my first software programmes was a home-grown enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for tracking the thousands of components that are needed in PCB manufacturing.”

This early experience led him to co-found a startup and then move into consulting, where he focused on the people, processes and technology that enable organisations to compete in industries characterised by speed and change.

Here, he tells us more. 

Tell us about your role at Safeguard Global

“As CTO for Safeguard Global, I align technology with business goals through various strategies. I focus on ensuring outcome alignment, stability in our systems and organisational design to make it easier for our experts and clients to solve difficult problems. We provide end-to-end solutions for organisations to manage people and scale operations, especially in the manufacturing sector.

“I'm passionate about what I do because I get to work with some incredibly talented people. I find it very rewarding to empower and guide our team members because I know a team of great people working well together can accomplish almost anything.”

Tell us about your thoughts on AI in manufacturing

“When we consider the impact of AI in manufacturing, there are two major trends to look at: accelerating efficiency gains and new value creation. While many focus on the efficiency aspect, such as automation, I believe the real potential lies in the latter.

“AI has already been playing a significant role in the improvement of speed and accuracy for many manufacturing processes . A few recent examples include:

  • Predictive Maintenance: The application of AI is used to stream diagnostics, enabling manufacturers to be more productive by preventing costly outages and unnecessary maintenance. Streaming data to pattern recognition gives organisations the confidence they are running safely and can alert operators before serious issues or hazards arise.
  • Supply Chain Optimisation: We saw the impact of supply chain disruptions in 2021, so it should be no surprise many organisations are now seeking to improve resiliency. AI is now being used in running multi-scenario analysis, monitoring complexities in real-time and making risk-weighted recommendations.
  • Quality Control: Through features like image recognition and the identification of defects before they leave the factory floor, manufacturers can increase quality more accurately and efficiently than ever before. Moreover, AI’s application has become more accessible, levelling the playing field and encouraging competition and innovation.

“With these advancements in AI enabling the aggregation, processing and analysis of data for scalable customisation of products and services, manufacturers can pursue new avenues for value creation. However, they still require the talent skilled in managing and optimising these tools. Additionally, the trend of nearshoring among major manufacturing firms is amplifying the demand for HR teams to combat the US labour-shortage by looking for talent internationally.”

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Can you share some statistics about your work?

“We’ve incorporated AI into a variety of strategic business functions, like recruiting to help identify top candidates, people analytics to help provide global workforce salary benchmarks, and software development to give our software engineers AI programming assistance.

“The pandemic has allowed many to pursue an aggressive talent strategy, focusing on hiring the best talent anywhere, period. Combining top talent and emerging technology has helped us to transform our product development organisation. In less than 2 years we went from releasing software once a month to more than 60 times a month. At the same time, we saw a reduction in defects, an improvement in uptime to over 99.9%, and qualified for the top 10th percentile in cybersecurity ratings.”

What do the next 12 months hold for you and the company?

“We’ve seen first-hand how manufacturing companies encounter several challenges when recruiting and hiring internationally. Many struggle with establishing a legal entity for direct hiring due to time and resource constraints. They may also lack local HR resources to source the skilled candidates they need, not only for today but to ensure their organisations’ viability for years to come. Sourcing the right people for the right market means navigating unfamiliar employment laws and compliance risks.

“We remain committed to forever transforming the way people work around the world and doing so by providing solutions to fully support workers in all regions of the world. We’re invested in the practical application of AI to support the increasing urgency from manufacturers in tapping into international manufacturing hubs and being able to leverage global talent quickly and seamlessly as a key competitive advantage.”

Join IFS to explore why AI is crucial in the drive towards service-centricity

Join Manufacturing Digital at a free webinar, Webinar: The Role of Service Centricity in Manufacturing, on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 · 3:00 p.m. London (GMT +1:00). We will uncover the strategies shaping the future landscape of manufacturing and gain invaluable insights into the pivotal role of service centricity from a panel of AI experts. Mark Brewer, VP Industries at IFS, will conclude with an exploration of why technology and AI is crucial in the drive towards service-centricity and why manufacturers need to look at closing the loop between service and asset lifecycle management.

Register here.


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