How Enbridge is Working to Deploy Automation Technology
Biju is an engineer by education and has been in the transformation technology disruption space for 20 years. He has worked in organizations of all sizes in both the private and public sectors in India, Japan, the United States, and Canada.
As Director of Operations for Enterprise Services at Enbridge, Biju is actively involved in transformation programs, and it is his responsibility to drive operational excellence across the company’s North American team. His role involves process re-engineering and looking at how to do things faster, better, and cheaper. To do that, Enbridge are leveraging process automation and process mining technologies - to increase quality, accuracy, and speed - to enhance the user experience.
Can you elaborate a little bit on Enbridge’s digital transformation journey?
I don’t think we’re any different than any other company who is going through this. We recognize that technology has an important place in driving business performance.
There are a number of initiatives, such as process automation, but there is also the innovation part of what we do - trying to understand ‘is there a different and better way of doing things with technology?’ In general, digital transformation is like that.
There are a number of things out there in the market today, from a technology perspective, and the question is how do you put them together to drive business performance?
How have you realigned strategy and operations to make this transformation possible?
It is important to look at business and technology road mapping. It means looking at a three-year horizon and plotting out what it is that we want to be able to achieve and then the road map outlines what needs to be done to achieve them.
Then you’ve got to execute on those things year by year. Once a year passes, add another year onto your road map so it remains a rolling three your vision. That offers a clear picture of what you are trying to achieve and it gives a sense of strategy to all of the teams involved. ‘How will what we are doing now support our goals?’
Because once a new technology system is decided on, you still have to implement it and get it up and running. You have to make the most of what you build. It’s not just about maintaining, it’s about realizing the maximum benefit in what you’ve created.
What are some of the challenges that you have faced along the way?
In general, when it comes to large transformations, the challenge is always that organizations get fatigued. There are many different forces at play and a lot of new initiatives getting started. It is a lot of stuff in addition to your day to day and it can be difficult for people. I have seen this happen over and over again through my career.
Overcoming this is a matter of prioritization. It goes back to the vision and the strategy to decide what is important. What is important to me and my team might not be as important to the company as a whole. You have to analyze quickly and be specific in what you are trying to achieve.
Second to this is the execution aspect, and that is paramount. Moving beyond planning requires a level of discipline and focus, and that comes down to teams and their behavior. Teams always need to be reminded of what it is they are doing and why they are doing it.
They need to be measured on their ability to execute and they have to have a say in how that is done. In a big company, finding the right people for the right teams can be difficult, but it is an important step in successful execution.
Thirdly, are the company silos. Every company has them, in which each area of the business operates in their own world, disconnected from the other business functions. Breaking down the silos starts at…
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