Manufacturers planning for expansion will logically prioritize the tools, tech stacks, facilities, and staffing necessary to stand up a greenfield site—or dozens of new sites across the world. While these elements are critically important for scaling operations, another aspect that is equally important—if not more so—can get overlooked: governance. Establishing robust governance structures alongside those tools and systems will unlock sustainable growth with security and control.

But where do you start? Or, if you’re already a manufacturer with multiple sites, how do you retrofit a governance structure that makes sense into a pre-existing setup? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. While every manufacturer is different, and there are some nuances to governance that will vary across organizations, there are a few standard operating procedures that make up a compelling governance framework.

During the virtual event, “Build, Govern, Scale: How Tulip Drives Global Operations,” Tulip’s Global Head of Customer Success Jessica Yen covered this topic during her informative session:

“Ultimately, a strong governance structure should support efficient use of your resources, but also faster time to value in your digital transformation.”

Let’s pull out the key insights from her session.

Governance and Composability

The concept of composable solutions is changing how organizations approach technology deployment. Composable platforms are flexible and human-centric while remaining transformative, appealing to a broad set of needs, users, and processes on the shop floor. This is a departure from traditional monolithic systems, enabling manufacturers to create purpose-built solutions tailored to specific business requirements. This adaptability necessitates governance structures that can accommodate change and future states.

“Composable solutions are flexible, they're human centric, and they cater to the needs of a specific end user.”

Jessica Yen, Global Head of Customer Success, Tulip

Continuous improvement engineer building an app in Tulip's no-code app editor - anonymized

Governance at Scale

With the complexities of scaling operations, effective governance is crucial for identifying and removing roadblocks, ensuring regulatory compliance, and fostering innovation. By prioritizing governance at scale, manufacturing organizations can confidently navigate expansion challenges, laying a solid foundation for sustainable growth. But it’s important to identify exactly what “governance” means:

“When I hear people talk about this, I always try to pause them and break it down because governance can encompass everything from strategic data structure and system of record decisions to content management decisions like ensuring the digital solutions on the shop floor are proved to be there,” Jessica explained. “Or defining processes that allow citizen developers to build solutions they need while still following global standards. There’s a lot wrapped up in it.”

At a high level there are two ways you can categorize governance:

  1. Adoption Program or Center of Excellence: How do you set up roles, responsibilities, processes, and policies to facilitate digital transformation across the organization?

  2. Platform Content Governance: How do you define, approve, and version app solutions used in various parts of the plant?

Within both of these categories there are also elements of security and access control—by managing teams effectively, and setting up the correct protocols for app creation, organizations can ensure they’re meeting necessary security standards.

Building a Successful Center of Excellence

Establishing a CoE begins with top-down support and direct involvement from teams across different levels of the organization, ensuring alignment with strategic objectives and practical realities. This fosters a culture of collaboration and knowledge-sharing, serving as a catalyst for driving digital transformation initiatives forward.

"An adoption program should grow and evolve with your organization and digital transformation."

Jessica Yen, Global Head of Customer Success

Defining clear roles, responsibilities, processes, and policies within the CoE is essential for its effectiveness. This involves identifying key stakeholders, such as Adoption Program Managers or CoE leads, to prioritize work and drive the digital transformation agenda. Additionally, involving technical resources and process owners ensures the CoE has the necessary expertise to support deployment efforts and address challenges effectively.

A well-functioning CoE serves as a hub for innovation, continuous improvement, and skill development. By leveraging collective expertise and embracing a culture of experimentation, the CoE accelerates the pace of digital transformation and fosters organizational excellence and resilience.

To learn more about establishing a Center of Excellence and scaling operations, watch Jessica's session and the rest of the virtual event at the link below.

Build, Govern, Scale: How Tulip Drives Global Operations

Hear from customers, industry analysts, and Tulip leaders about how to deploy a platform and manage end users across your manufacturing operation.

Factory Floor