In this ongoing series ‘What is Production Health?’, we talk with various key players about the potential in unifying Machine Health with Process Health – and making Maintenance & Operations one in the process.
As Augury’s Head of Design, Guy Laor comes with a particular toolkit to confront challenges – from maintaining the big picture of ‘brand’ to getting hands-on with the nitty-gritty of digital product and services design. As such, he’s the perfect person to talk about the new and ever-evolving frontier of Production Health.
Let’s begin with first principles. How do you define design thinking?
Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that seeks to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.
Nice. And how do you describe Augury’s current ambitions around Production Health?
It’s all quite new and expansive since we are creating a whole new category, so it’s easy to get distracted. But I try to approach it as much as possible via the company’s new vision: a world where the combined work of people and machines makes life better in every way.
Right now, Augury has two offerings. First, we make sure manufacturing machines are healthy. Second, we optimize the processes behind manufacturing. But for Production Health to happen, where these two worlds are brought together to feed each other, there’s a third aspect: the people behind making this all happen.
And that’s one of the reasons Augury talks about turning people – particularly, those on the factory floor – into heroes…
And it’s not just a slogan. Whether it’s through Machine Health or Process Health, we are really out to help those working in factories do better. With design thinking and the way we approach problems, we make sure to put them in the center. We look at those people and every interaction they have with Augury and ask the question: ‘Did we really improve their lives?’
Naturally, our own internal concerns are always on our minds – aspects such as operations, technology, finance, etcetera. But at the end of the day, it’s not about us but about our customers. This is a different level than ‘I care about my customers, so I provide great services’. It’s about customer-centricity, which means that whenever we create something – whether it’s a service, a digital experience or a process – we think about it and build it from the customer’s perspective. And that’s the core of design thinking.
Can you give examples of how this customer-centricity is reflected in Augury’s various layers?
It is manifested in many ways: through our brand, our digital experience, and the service design behind our end-to-end customer journey.
Brand is our heart – the emotional side of the company. We want customers to feel connected to us. We obviously need to consider the functional aspects such as: Do we solve real problems for real people? Are we able to save them money? Do we make them work more efficiently? Is waste reduced? Do we help them avoid unplanned downtime? And then there’s the question around whether we are a company they want to grow with and be connected to. That’s the brand design: it’s how we are perceived.
Then there’s the product design, which is a digital product in our case. Our biggest is the platform, where people can go inside, look at the insights and interact. We want them to engage, and feel engaged, with our full digital experience.
With service design, we look at the whole customer lifecycle: how we can fully best help someone’s professional life and how we connect the dots throughout the customer journey.
Can you elaborate on the concrete steps you are taking in terms of the service design behind Production Health?
In terms of Production Health, service design is a big challenge. We want to make sure we are looking at the full picture. It’s not only when they are on a machine trying to optimize something. We want to create the whole ecosystem and that’s very hard.
There are just so many touchpoints in the customer journey. At any given moment, someone from support is talking to a customer, an installer is putting in a sensor, a sales person is doing their pitch, a VP is expanding a project with a partner… All these things are happening. People are interacting and experiencing something. It can be good, bad, very good or disappointing. We want to control this by making sure all these experiences are well thought and designed, while also understanding that everything is connected. It’s about creating relationships and setting expectations.
So, we need to look at the whole space and make sure the people we are interacting with feel like heroes – as they make better things in better ways.
What’s the most important thing customers should know right now as Augury evolves?
That we’re very committed to our vision. That it’s about them, not us. It’s about always making things better. Production Health is very much the future.