It’s been a tough year for the manufacturing industry, with COVID-19-related shutdowns creating a host of logistical, financial and labor challenges. In early June, the Biden Administration issued a series of recommendations to address near-term and long-term supply chain bottlenecks in a number of industries, including manufacturing. Shortly after the White House announcement, Microsoft coincidentally held its inaugural M12 Manufacturing Summit, ‘Futureproofting the Enterprise’. The event featured a panel discussion about the global supply chain and how to handle disruptions. It also showcased six M12 portfolio companies - the list of which included Webee (along with Acerta, FarEye, Prevedere, Rescale and Wandelbots).
During the summit, the panelists (Robert Locke, SVP of Corporate Development of Johnson Controls; David Petrucci, Microsoft Industry Strategy Leader; and Samir Kumar, GM and Managing Director at M12) discussed how to best leverage technology to bolster the manufacturing sector. Here are some observations and recommendations from the conversation:
Following the panel discussion and a short Q&A series, the Summit transitioned to its M12 start-up showcase. The showcase kicked off with Prevedere, an intelligent forecasting and predictive analytics company that gives companies the ability to look beyond their four walls and use external data as easily as they can internal data. Prevedere was followed by FarEye, an intelligent delivery management platform helping scale delivery operations and rescale, a provider of high-performance computing technology.
Following rescale, our co-founder and COO Cecilia Flores presented. She shared an overview of our product and mission – we are an industrial IoT and AI company building a no-code toolset for industrial manufacturing to help organizations obtain real-time insights. She also discussed some of the challenges manufacturing customers are facing and the feedback they have shared with us, such as the extensive amount of manual controls leading to human error, the lack of visibility into legacy machines, and delayed problem detection. We noted the goal of our solution is to quickly and efficiently collect information that will allow our customers to set up workflows in a drag-and-drop environment. We pointed out that Webee allows customers to simulate scenarios and manipulate information in an agile way and enables them to connect disparate machines and then make sense of the subsequent data. We concluded by sharing use cases that best captured how the product works.
Following our session, Wandelbots, a no-code robotics company based in Germany, expanded on its goal of teaching industrial robots without writing a line of code. Closing out the showcase was Acerta, a company with the goal of empowering manufacturers with the data that’s being collected across manufacturing, assembly and production lines and then connecting that data with in-service operational information. This in turn drives cost-savings and improvement in how the data is being leveraged.
Interested in learning more about the Summit? Both the panel and showcase talks were recorded and can be found here.