5 Minutes With Orange Business Services' Glenda Brady

Manufacturing Global sits down with Glenda Brady, Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Orange Business Services


1. What is your experience in the Manufacturing industry?

Throughout my career, I have worked with the manufacturing industry, from being a product manager to my role now. The manufacturing industry is very important in the UK and European markets, so it is a focus for us.

At Orange, we have significant experience in delivering a range of IT and Communications services to many different manufacturing customers, from food and beverages to automotive and construction. We support multinational manufacturers across the globe in their digital journeys, from co-innovation and cybersecurity to networking and cloud services.

I am working with the team to support our manufacturing customers in bringing technological advancements in automation, and IoT connected objects to enhance the efficiency, safety and output of their operations. Our expertise in cloud and business consulting, along with our manufacturing experience, is enabling our customers to not only deliver on their digital transformation objectives but to explore new business models and revenue streams.          

2. How do you see the industry evolving over the next decade?

We’ve seen how the last 12 to 18 months have stretched manufacturing supply chains and placed pressure on global logistics. The pandemic and other factors are still causing availability challenges for certain goods. The construction industry is a prime example.

Despite this, and considering the enormity of the global pandemic, those supply chains have held up remarkably well. For some areas of the manufacturing sector, I expect the next decade to produce a shift in production that will mitigate the risk of centralising all production in a single region. Although Asia will continue to dominate as a choice location for manufacturers, I anticipate manufacturing operations to be complemented with a greater number of manufacturing hubs in other regions throughout the globe.

The value of data, and analytics, is widely accepted, and I expect that manufacturing operations will continue to develop their data skills maturity to extract greater value and competitive edge. Through the collection and analysis of data, Manufacturers will hold increasing amounts of information about end-consumers, and in some areas, we will see a continued trend towards compressed value chains and direct to consumer models. Data will also provide them with a deeper insight into the production process. This will drive manufacturers to implement predictive and preventative maintenance to increase overall efficiency.  

The manufacturing sector will continue to implement emerging technologies, including connectivity technologies, to track goods through the production line, transit and during the product life cycle. 5G will also have a huge impact, especially on private networks.

The other evolving trend that will continue to drive change in the industry is sustainability and CO2 neutrality.

So, in the next decade, we will see a fundamental change in many areas – ‘greener’ manufacturing, more digital business models and different work environments – will all impact how the industry operates.

3. Over the length of your career so far, what has been the best piece of advice you have ever received?

At the beginning of my career, a colleague said to me that you constantly have to reinvent yourself like Madonna. While that can mean many things, to me, it meant constantly learning, being curious and undertaking training when I could. I have learnt so much from those around me. Everyone can teach you something, no matter their level, age, background or experience. Every experience is a learning opportunity, so it is about being open to expanding your knowledge.

4. Has there been a particular achievement that you are proud of?

I am most proud when I see those I have recruited and helped develop reach their potential and progress in their careers. Being in a position to push people out of their comfort zones and see what they are able to accomplish is the biggest achievement. Many have come back to me years later for advice and even references. Alongside working with customers, helping people grow is the best part of my job.

5. What inspires you?

I am a problem solver. So, working with customers to co-innovate is what inspires me about my job. Data analytics has given us the ability to go even further; we are helping companies to build completely new business models.

The feedback we get from customers and analysts is that the level of customer relationships we have are like those of smaller companies. We work so closely with customers that we are able to effect change, whether through efficiencies or building new revenue streams. Seeing our customers succeed is incredibly inspirational.

6. What are your favourite things to do outside of work?

I am very active, so anything involving a sport, particularly marathon running. Our team (UK Orange Business Services team) will be taking part in the Windsor half marathon at the end of September.

Although I can also be found playing paddle tennis, rock climbing or scuba diving, especially if it is a sport that conquers a fear – I also like to push myself out of my comfort zone.


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