Covid 19 Diaries: How Adient Technologies Beat the Lockdown Blues

These are challenging times. Owing to the lockdown due to Covid 19, organizations are facing serious challenges as far as business continuity is concerned. However, there are several enterprises, and we have reported about them, which were able to anticipate the crisis and took steps to mitigate the impact. They have done it through far-sighted adoption of technology. They have by and large been able to ride the lockdown crisis without major challenges. One such is Adient Technologies, which had a comprehensive mitigation plan which helped it brave the lockdown blues. The company has 79 manufacturing units in China; with over all presence in 32 countries with 214 plants. Yogesh Dadke, APAC IT Leader, Adient, divulged the details of the multi-pronged approach.

“Of course, the scale of the COVID 19 has been beyond imagination, understanding and planning. The lesson learned out of China operations showed us that manufacturing will attract heavy impact due to supply chain disruptions. Hence, from business side we shifted our attention to design centers and deliverables which are possible for WFH situations,” says Dadke.

According to him, the company set up targets with respect to WFH by nominating and collecting project delivery data from the team leaders and Segment heads. By Jan 2020 last week, the technology team had re-established baselines for VDI infrastructure. They enhanced graphic card allocations for the design applications such as PLM, CAD, etc. which are heavy workloads as the background for IT infrastructure. He points out several of the company’s mitigation strategies.

1.)  Collaboration and information sharing: Collection of information at the source was essential for proactive planning and taking advance steps for user doing work from home, etc.

2.)  In line to that at design center we established a SWAT team consisting champions of all Depts chaired by Business leader and IT leader. As IT will constitute a backbone for the enabling the WFH for all users.

3.)   Tests were conducted with the help of end users by 10 Feb 2020. However, there was the major challenge of latency while accessing the PLM infra and drawing applications. To overcome that a VPN concentrator was deployed in India, which helped in enhancing the performance by 400% for designers.

4.)  For EUC parameters, the tech team created three buckets: Only Office 365 users (consisting of managers, leaders, etc.); critical delivery users and program delivery champions. Accordingly, BYOD, Office laptops,  desktops, engineering workstations were placed, assigned and delivered.

5.)  Security: As far as the security of physical, logical & data is concerned, there was end-to-end encryption followed. Desktop, laptop ports were disabled for any data download and ports were in read-only mode. Extensive cyber security training and end user awareness programs was conducted to ensure compliance.

6.)  By Feb 2020 last week, the company had procured hotspot WiFi routers, wireless keyboard, mouse, tablets. etc. For user availability and billing, periodic screen capture, deliverable goal tracker etc  on daily basis with help of team leaders and segment heads.

According to Dadke, six months of internet expense claims were offered to employees. A suitable policy was constituted for asset insurance and physical damage. Virtual kiosks and tools were established for quick support along with an escalation matrix.

“Overall, we achieved a high percentage of work from home above and beyond customer expectation. We also conducted daily, weekly, and monthly calls with segment leads, team leaders and end users to make sure their issues are addressed,” adds Dadke.

By Muqbil Ahmar

A graduate from Indian Institute of Mass Communications and M.Phil. from JNU, Muqbil comes with a very diverse and vivid background. An author, a tech evangelist and environmentalist, Muqbil has worked with various organisations as a senior editorial resource. At Grey Head Media, his prime responsivity is to nurture the western regions of Mumbai and Pune with rich and intense interactions with CIOs, CISOs and technology vendors.

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