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Strategic Workforce Planning

Supporting the deployment of Industry 4.0 via Strategic Workforce Planning in the food industry

digitalization food Industry4.0 Strategic Workforce Planning SWP transformation

The question:

How do you anticipate the impact of an ambitious digital transformation program on the workforce and ensure that the right skills development action plans are in place to make the transformation possible?

The client’s starting point

  • A world leader in the food industry, with over 100 000 employees in more than 50 countries, 50% of whom work in Operations (production, logistics, maintenance, and quality)
  • A global digital transformation program aimed at modernizing the industrial production tool, involving all the Group’s business units and regions in progressive waves, first in Europe and then worldwide
  • A need to complement the program’s technical and financial arrangements with a human component to anticipate the impact of the transformation on the workforce, optimize its social impact and ensure the program’s success

Akoya’s response

  • A methodology adapted to the deployment of the SWP in parallel with the transformation program, notably with its own SWP governance and ongoing support for the central SWP team and local plant teams to carry out their own SWP
  • Social cost of digitization program reduced by 30 million euros (i.e. 80% of the social cost initially anticipated)
  • Highlighting the need for skills upgrading (particularly in digital and behavioral areas) and anticipation of new professions, essential to the success of the transformation
  • Dozens of industrial Executive Commitee teams trained in SWP ( interplant training sessions, transmission of tailor-made methodological kits, personalized weekly monitoring by plant), now empowered to carry out and improve the SWP exercise on a sustainable basis for their industrial site

The whole story

Our customer, a leading global player in the food industry, was launching a large-scale program to digitalize its industrial facilities on a group scale, with the aim of making its production sites even more efficient, modern and resilient.

Aware that this transformation would not be successful without careful consideration of human factors, our customer chose Akoya Consulting as its partner to implement a Strategic Workforce Planning strategy. Our response was designed to meet several challenges. Firstly, to anticipate the direct HR impacts, i.e. to minimize the social cost of the quest for industrial efficiency, to identify professions undergoing transformation in order to set up mobility paths and to prioritize training actions for key skills. Secondly, to ensure the success of digitalization at each industrial site, by characterizing the savings generated and supporting the men and women involved in adopting the new digital tools.

SWP is now part of the decision-making tools used by management teams at both plant and group level. In our series of articles about Industry 4.0, we take a closer look at how this has been put into practice at our customer’s production sites.

In order to meet the customer’s need to make local teams autonomous from the very first Strategic Workforce Planning exercise, we have built and deployed a methodology in successive waves, mirroring the transformation program. The first pilot in Europe enabled us to test the methodology at several plants recognized for their digital maturity. We then trained other factories in subsequent waves, keeping them up to date with personalized training for the teams in charge of transformation as well as the HR team, along with raising the awareness of the Executive Committee teams. Overall consistency was also ensured by coordination with the program’s central team and common tools were built with the Group’s SWP referent (segmentation of industrial jobs, key skills repository, training capsules, visualization and consolidation of analyses on our partner SWP tool, Albert).