Coen Huesmann

Coen Huesmann

Vice President Manufacturing at CGI

CGI's Coen Huesmann shares his insights into how manufacturers can navigate the future of the sector with AI and data-driven excellence

Coen Huesmann leads the manufacturing team at global IT and Consulting company CGI. Within that, he’s focusing on helping CGI’s manufacturing clients to improve manufacturing processes and support them on their digitisation journey.

He says: “I lead CGI’s manufacturing team in the Netherlands. We help our clients to improve their manufacturing processes, so we're in the heart of the factory, helping to select and implement and support systems in manufacturing.”

CGI helps its clients to select and implement these systems and provides them with their 24/7 support.

“We help to run the factory and we improve things for our customers based on data. Most of our clients are in digitisation programmes, so we help to digitise the manufacturing processes and make them increasingly mature,” Huesmann adds.

CGI’s manufacturing and data strategy

CGI’s data driven manufacturing has four core pillars: 

  • Data strategy 
  • Data management 
  • Enterprise intelligence 
  • Organisational readiness

says: “The basic steps are to become data-driven and the first pillar starts with what a customer’s vision is for the data.

“CGI focuses on the problems that customers are trying to solve, for example, why they want to get into data-driven manufacturing.

“Why do our clients want to go into data-driven manufacturing? There are several trends and several challenges that they face.”

The biggest trend at the moment, he says, is sustainability: “All of CGI’s manufacturing clients are focusing on this. The question is, how can we reduce the amount of energy used? How can we improve the yield on raw material and have less waste? How can we reuse old materials? All of that requires data.”

The second pillar is data management – how and where data is collected.

“This entails configuration management, having the right systems in place for the right business functions,” says Huesmann “Different functions use different systems with specific user groups. With this, the ownership of the data becomes really important.”

After this, the third pillar is enterprise intelligence.

“If you have data and you have a lot of information, you still might not have the right information from the right data sources,” explains Huesmann. “ “Sense, connect, collect, context, analyse, act. Harvesting value from data requires a strong foundation. Not all manufacturers have this in place yet.” 

he adds: “An example of this is if a customer wants to reduce their energy usage, then they have to collect the right information before they can start to optimise this. 

“When the foundation is in place, advanced analytics and learning algorithms play a big role in this, which is the intelligence part. If a customer wants to start using these kinds of systems and these very advanced algorithms, they need to be ready for that as an organisation as well.” 

Huesmann continues: “That's the fourth step – and that's an often underestimated step. . “Many organisations tend to focus just on the systems or the techniques, but equally important is that you build an organisation that's capable of handling the outcomes of data.”

Huesmann discusses with clients whether they should have a chief data officer and who owns the data or how it is managed.

CGI’s key partners include Microsoft, Google and AWS – platform partners in the cloud who are important players, especially on the IT side. 

Huesmann says: “We have partners in manufacturing, our core partners are a big driver of engineering and manufacturing systems, data historians, MES systems and with them we automate processes and get data from the factories itself.” Increasingly, these systems are being hosted in clouds such as AWS, Google and Microsoft.

He adds that, as manufacturers start to become more data driven and more mature, “they increasingly are able to use AI technologies to optimise their operations” and that “this is where AI platforms like SAS come in”. 

He continues: “You have to know how to work with a lot of different players and we can't do this by ourselves. Our partners cannot do it by themselves either.” 

For Huesmann, integrating all of these systems together is where their strength is, and that is something CGI will carry with them over the next year.

Read the full story HERE.

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