Portraits of Colgate-Palmolive Innovators

As manufacturing innovation leaders at the Colgate-Palmolive Company, Norris McLean and Andres Bejarano were instrumental in the implementation of Augury’s AI-driven Machine Health Solutions throughout the company’s global manufacturing operations. We asked them what they thought were the main secrets behind the roll-out’s success. In short: start small, maximize both stakeholder engagement and communication, and celebrate those wins.

Left to right:  Senior Technology Engineer Norris McLean
and Global Oral Care Technical Director Andres Bejarano.

This article was originally published on May 19, 2022.

Colgate is a caring, innovative growth company reimagining a healthier future for all people, their pets and our planet – and it is leading the way in applying predictive maintenance to maximize uptime so store shelves remain filled with the company’s health and hygiene products that people need. 

In this quest, Colgate was an early-adopter of Augury’s Machine Health Solutions, which uses the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to predict and prevent industrial machine failures and improve machine performance.

Making Moves As Innovation Leaders

Senior Technology Engineer Norris McLean and Global Oral Care Technical Director Andres Bejarano are both backed by long international careers to drive innovation throughout Colgate’s Global Supply Chain. Their biographies reflect the highlights of a Colgate career: diverse experiences, global cross-functional teams, and an embrace of the Company’s FEED concept: to encourage all employees to be Focused, Experimental, Empowered and Digital.

Norris not only has a variety of patents to his name, he also developed interconnectivity strategies to increase office floor plan flexibility at two major telecoms – radically cutting floor space requirements while speeding up the implementation of new equipment. And since he represented New Jersey at the 2007 United States Tennis Association Nationals Championships, we can also assume he’s got an amazing serve.

As far as diverse backgrounds go, Norris meets his match in Andres. Andres began his career at Colgate 25 years ago and his career has grown ever since. Andres knows how to bring innovation – and savings – to the work floor, as evidenced by his work to improve the unplanned downtime globally for the company’s factories. 

Augury - Colgate

Predictive Maintenance as Springboard To Full Digital Transformation

It’s safe to say Andres and Norris have found their place at Colgate. Together, they’ve been instrumental in bringing the Augury solution into the fold. 

Colgate’s Global Supply Chain organization is central to the Company’s purpose considering the millions of homes that depend on its health and hygiene products for people and pets. 

The Company is regarded as a pioneer in bolstering supply chain reliability by having rolled out a machine health program throughout all their global manufacturing operations. In fact, the Company’s ambitions go much further than just saving significantly on time, money and energy. By applying predictive maintenance technologies across the board, the Company is out to create a fully digitized manufacturing universe.

Global Manufacturing Learning Points When Applying Augury

When Andres and Norris reflected back on their journey with Augury, they had this advice to offer those just getting started.

1) Empowered Core Team, with Senior-Leader Sponsorship

“Our senior leaders empowered us to pursue this journey with Augury – that was the first step. And that sponsorship is one of the main reasons for the project’s success,” says Andres. “An empowered core team as well as engaged senior leadership was certainly key to getting started and moving the project forward.”

2) When Thinking Big, Focus

Andres recommends focusing on a key site to lead the roll-out. “We picked a site where we had a strong and engaged practitioner who could help push the pilot along. You really need to collaborate with a practitioner on the ground: not only with selecting the type of equipment you want to monitor, but to ensure all priorities are fully aligned,” says Andres. “Augury understands this and made the pilot very easy with a fast deployment. The platform is also very easy to use, which helped maintain team engagement during the pilot.”

3) Power of Partnership

“At Colgate, we believe in the power of partnership. You need to help the Augury team build relationships and have regular conversations with your team. And by ‘team’, I mean this across the board: not only with those who are in-country, but also with end users and the companies you may have brought in to do the maintenance and operations,” says Norris. “And don’t forget to include site leads and procurement, finance and logistics.” 

4) Engage Your Stakeholders Early

“If you’re looking to include international regions,” says Norris, “you should get ahead – way ahead of the planned rollout – of all requirements and procedures related to duties, importation and asset classification.”

5) Celebrate – and Communicate – Wins

“You should spotlight and promote successes in utilization and bringing down equipment downtime, as well as all the savings in terms of maintenance operations and materials,” according to Norris. “And you should do it company-wide and keep doing it on a regular basis.”

Andres totally agrees. “One thing that was very important was how the technology proved itself very quickly. So once we had a few predictions and repairs, the practitioner from the first pilot site shared the results with our other sites and with senior leaders. This helped create excitement. As a result, other sites began requesting the solution – and as we know, such requests help fuel the most effective deployments,” says Andres. 

“And by continuing to communicate the further successes, you keep up momentum. I really believe these sorts of communications were a big reason why we were able to deploy Augury worldwide so quickly and successfully.”

 

Learn more about how Colgate is digitizing its manufacturing universe. And do follow Colgate on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on how Colgate is reimagining a healthier future for all people, their pets and our planet.