Mark Hernandez, senior vice president, Global Manufacturing, joined Navistar earlier this year. We recently talked to Mark about his first 90-days and his thoughts on the future of manufacturing. Read the three questions and answers below and learn more about Mark’s background here.
Why did you decide to join the Navistar team?
Navistar made it through a successful turnaround and it is exciting for me to join the company during a time when energy is high, momentum is going in the right direction and it’s clear that we need to take things to the next level. While the market is strong, this is Navistar’s opportunity to strike. I spent 22 years at Daimler and I know that we can make a real dent in the larger players in terms of market share.
What are your observations from your first 90-days at Navistar?
The people at Navistar are great. Everyone I have met and worked with so far are hard-working and want to do the right thing to get the job done.
In terms of opportunities I have noticed, we are in the age of data and our systems should talk to each other. There is a huge opportunity to collect and leverage data in a way that allows us to conduct lean operations in an extremely efficient, repeatable and sustainable way.
I believe that Manufacturing 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) are terms that Navistar should embrace. Manufacturing 4.0 includes emerging trends and new technologies such as automation and data mining. IoT is the concept of connecting any device to the Internet, so equipment can talk to one another. In manufacturing, an example would be a vibration sensor on a motor that directly sends data to a computer or mobile device to be reviewed. This helps operators get information fast, so problems can be resolved quickly before trucks on the line are impacted.
Navistar has constantly been in survival mode. We need to switch our mindset from survival to developing good business practices that will prepare us to be successful well into the future.
What is your vision for manufacturing at Navistar?
It’s all centered around stability, capability and flexibility with costs in mind. We can implement data mining and analytics, but we need to do so in a way that makes sense for Navistar, in a way that we can see returns on our investments.
We will also only get to a certain point if we are not transparent in our work. There needs to be a willingness to be transparent at all levels of the business. This allows for better continuous improvement and problem solving.