Accelerating Operational Efficiency and Agility in Manufacturing

Author photo: Sharada Prahladrao
By Sharada Prahladrao
Industry Trends

At the online ARC Industry Forum Asia titled Accelerating Digital Transformation in a Post-COVID World, AVEVA participated as a Global Sponsor. AVEVA’s Sebastien Ory, Vice President, APAC Operations Business, spoke about accelerating operational efficiency and agility in manufacturing, specifically the food and beverage industry, and the importance of optimizing the full value chain. At a press conference in 2017, Danone’s CEO had said that new consumption channels and increasing competition from local brands had changed the rules of the game and disrupted the food & beverage business. “The pandemic has further accelerated this disruption,” said Mr. Ory.

This blog captures the key points of Mr. Ory’s presentation. His presentation video (Day 2, Session 3) will be available at the vFairs platform for the next three months: ARC Asia Forum 2021 ( The documents and video link are also available at AVEVA’s booth.

Challenges and Changes in the Business Landscape

Manufacturers are facing unprecedented challenges that have significantly impacted business results, growth, and profitability. These challenges have been amplified by supply chain and work disruptions due to the pandemic. Manufacturers must adapt to the changing requirements and consumer demands quickly. Critical changes include reducing waste and energy consumption, ensuring flexibility and green packaging, and meeting the demand for organic food. Also, there’s been a drastic change in how technologies are being used. It is no longer about optimizing at the site level - it is about optimizing the full value chain to deliver maximum business value from digital transformation. AVEVA, a leader in industrial software, helps 23 of the world’s top 25 F&B and CPG companies optimize their value chains by reducing energy and water usage by 10 percent, improving productivity and throughput by 5-10 percent, and eliminating up to 25 percent of waste.

The graphic below shows proven business outcomes through value chain optimization.

efficiency and agility in manufacturing

The Approach

The five areas that technology can deliver value are:

  1. Monitoring at enterprise level, detecting anomalies, taking corrective actions, and optimizing processes
  2. Connected worker – the right information at the right time, and collaborating with others
  3. Advanced analytics for continuous optimization of plant processes and asset reliability
  4. Multi-site MES to drive standardization and integrate automation with scheduling and business systems
  5. Planning and scheduling to provide real-time visibility and ensure optimized production schedules  

“Driving standardization is critical at the enterprise level to achieve operational excellence and deliver additional value,” said Mr. Ory. Their three-step approach is:

  • Digitalize operations
  • Standardize (manage best practices, KPIs, product specifications, compliance, and safety data between plants)
  • Continuous improvement

Leveraging Technology

Technology has always been around, but what is specific about the current period is that many technologies are approaching maturity at the same time. IoT, Cloud, 5G, Analytics, AI/ML, AR/VR have all reached a level of maturity when they can be deployed effectively and scaled very fast. So, this is the time to change, but the question is “how to start?”  


  • Think big and have a clearly defined strategy sponsored by executive leadership
  • Start small and validate
  • Scale fast across the organization
  • Sustain by evaluating and replicating best practices

Keeping these principles in mind, changes can be implemented at any stage of the project. Another query asked is about deploying one solution or many niche systems. AVEVA believes that it is important to have a common platform to scale across the enterprise and integrate multiple systems, with added analytics for specific applications.

Case Study

Olam, a global agriculture and food producer based in Singapore, has been very successful in applying the principles mentioned above. Two years ago, Olam decided to change gears and shift to the path of digital transformation. Olam selected AVEVA’s MES software to deliver value in quality, asset productivity, cost efficiency, and ensure the sustainability of its global industrial footprint. The pilot project in Vietnam proved successful, and it has been deployed across sites. Some of the benefits include:

  • Consistent product quality and end-to-end traceability
  • Real-time production line visibility
  • Better tracking of materials and energy usage



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