By Gregory Hale
John Rudolph wants to challenge the status quo.

“I’d like to change the norm. I want to be challenged,” said the newly named president of Honeywell Process Solutions at the Honeywell User Group Americas in San Antonio, TX, Monday. “Share your objectives with us on safety, on yield, on energy, on the environment, and we’ll partner with you to achieve them.”

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In this changing era of moving toward a more digital plant, Rudolph said he was reminded of a quote from Apple leader Steve Jobs said.

“He said, ‘Don’t hire smart people and tell them what to do.’ I’d qualify that statement by adding that even smart people need data, and they need an aggregation of experience in order to make the informed decisions. Connected is about empowerment of people.”

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With advances in technology there are great benefits, but before going all in on the latest and greatest technology, all end users have to ask the million dollar question of what is in it for them? If they find there would not be a big change, then maybe they shouldn’t go that route.

“How do it get more efficient with what I am doing?” Rudolph asked.

He recalled the day when there would be a call to an expert across the globe to talk about a problem the facility was having and all you would hear on the other end was “that is impossible, it shouldn’t happen.”

Well, it is possible and it did happen. That is just one scenario where the digital plant can correct the situation where everyone is seeing the same numbers and experience the issue in real time.

“We want to allow people to make intelligent decisions faster,” Rudolph said. “I can fix any problem you have in 15 minutes. The problem is, it may take me six months to find it.”

When you go digital, that means there is a new way to do things and the process changes, which can be a good thing.

“At some point the process has to be cleaned up, that is when you get ahead,” he said. “Don’t waste your time on business requirements because they will go away. You can do it differently. You have to look at the process and where we are going with this.”

“Digital transformation has to be about more than just moving data into the cloud,” Rudolph said. “It has to be about the outcomes, including driving increased productivity and savings for our customers while allowing them to increase knowledge capture, knowledge sharing and knowledge retention.”

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