Winning with agility: Making smaller, faster bets on disruptive technology

Tom Mayor talks about how industrial manufacturers can “descale” their investment bets to survive and thrive in an unknown future.

Global Manufacturing Outlook Episode 2


In the past, industrial manufacturers had a relative luxury of making billion dollar or larger investments in strategy, technology, and channel activities because the market dynamics were fairly predictable. But in Industry 4.0, the pace of change, disruption, and unknowns is accelerating at a dizzying rate.

For example, an executive in KPMG’s global strategy practice said that by 2023, only 14 short years after Uber launched, people will be able to buy monthly mobility contracts that will be stored on their mobile phone for digital travel experiences via hired cars, buses, trains, or airplanes.

It comes as no surprise that nearly two-thirds of the respondents to KPMG’s 2018 Global Manufacturing Outlook survey agreed that their companies would be bankrupt if they moved too slowly. But the critical question is, how can they make investment bets in a market that’s going to be dramatically different when the shape and flavor of the differences are uncertain? The answer is “descaling” the bets.

In this podcast, Tom Mayor, leader of KPMG’s Industrial Manufacturing Strategy practice in the U.S., sat down to discuss:

  • What it means to descale investment bets, i.e., to make bets in small pilots then rapidly scale those that are proving positive
  • Why legacy industrial manufacturers are quickly waking up to the vital importance of descaling and moving quickly
  • Why, going forward, industrial manufacturers will have to embrace multiple ways of thinking about strategy. 
Tom Mayor

Tom Mayor

National Strategy Leader, Industrial Mfg., KPMG US