We were delighted to welcome @Christine Kerdellant, Managing editor “L’usine Nouvelle”, to moderate our Innovation Day round table bringing together customers from industry and education. We took the opportunity to interview Christine to have her point of view on the impact of the adoption of digital transformation in French industry.

KEONYS held its second edition of Innovation Day on September 17, 2019 on Dassault Systèmes campus. This event was structured around the main challenges and opportunities of digital transformation in industry.  We aimed at linking technological innovation and competitiveness and we focused on customers’ success stories. Large companies, SMEs or start-ups could prove that digital transformation is a key factor for growth and differentiation for all the companies and for any industrial sector. KEONYS has developed a step by step methodology to help companies to better manage change and to be successful in implementing the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform.

KEONYS : What did the exchanges of this second edition of Innovation Day inspire for you?

Christine Kerdellant : I met some quite extraordinary companies, like the start-up Spacetrain who is trying to recreate the Aerotrain thanks to the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform because for the moment there is no prototype and everything is designed based on the software, this project is being designed through this platform.

K : Is the French industry mature enough to tackle the digital shift?

CK : Yes, the French industry is quite mature, but we are still behind the Germans, Americans and Chinese people. It would have been very difficult to invest ten years ago, during the subprime years, but today, thanks to the measures of surcharges, the CICE and the reduction in charges, we can see that many companies are investing again because they believe in the future and they have the financial means to do so.

K : What are the challenges facing the French industry in catching up?

CK : There are still many challenges ahead for the French industry, but there is currently an important opportunity. Indeed, the main principles of manufacturing are a little obsolete. Before, we tried to move towards very large units and especially in China but today many things have changed. The Chinese wage has increased tenfold, and we no longer have very large factories because with small and highly robotized factories using digital platforms that make them agile and flexible, we are able to produce at the same price as what was produced before on large units in China. We are noticing a phenomenon of relocation to the United States and European countries, we do not yet know which platforms in Europe will be the hubs of this relocation and France can be part of it thanks to digital tools.

K : Can digital technologies help industry to play a more important role in French GDP?

CK : Today industry only represents 10% of GDP in France, while it is more than 20% in Germany and I believe that this is the result of the lack of investment during the difficult years during the fifteen years in which industry has suffered. Today we are moving in another direction on both sides: in the hardware investments as well as in robotics and software such as the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform.  So, we can face the future with confidence because there are plants that are expanding and we are really witnessing the rebirth of the industry.

I have been working for three and a half years at l’Usine Nouvelle and I have been noticing for three years how companies are accelerating their digital transformation and how this is impacting the way they are conquering new markets.

Digital transformation is an undeniable lever for competitiveness and differentiation for all sizes of companies and in all sectors of activity. To support and help companies to better manage change, KEONYS has implemented a project analysis and monitoring methodology that allows, step by step, to successfully implement the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform.