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The IEC MTL team is growing with a new player!

26 November 2020

The Industrial Expertise Center of Montréal (IEC MTL)’s team is proud to welcome a new collaborator: Mr. Michel Rioux, PhD, professor at the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS), speaker and business consultant in performance optimization. Michel Rioux will work with the team to implement new initiatives, such as the "light" audit.


DESTL speaks with Michel Rioux.




What is your experience in digital business?


Following my bachelor's degree in industrial engineering at École Polytechnique, I started my career as a consultant, then I worked for 10 years at the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) in maintenance engineering and continuous improvement. During that time, I completed a master in systems technology at ÉTS, where I was then hired as a professor. I also obtained a doctorate in industrial engineering at Polytechnique. I have developed an overwhelming passion for pedagogy. I mainly teach optimization: data analysis, maintenance, reliability, innovation, project management, etc. With my head full of projects, I had the chance to develop a master's degree in digital businesses in collaboration with other professors in addition to having co-founded the Numérix laboratory, a research laboratory in business digital transformation.


Over the years, I have developed a strong interest in the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0; I have also discovered that my focus is on improving performance. Therefore, I started doing business consulting to analyze the processes in place and optimize their productivity. My biggest challenge? Transform the business as a whole, not just by adding electronic devices or integrating artificial intelligence. At the heart of the digital shift there are people, you must start with a change management and a skills’ acquisition strategy.


On the other hand, I consider it more effective to adopt a cautious and realistic strategy in terms of the digital shift. Rather than replacing all the technological infrastructure and changing the business model, it is better to start by limiting the loss of money instead of trying to increase the income. To do this, businesses have to ease into new technologies, develop internal skills, simplify and improve processes (lean approach) and break down silos. I always recommend focusing on people above all and aiming for small 4.0 successes rather than wanting to change everything at the same time, the failure rate will be higher!


Why did you decide to collaborate with the IEC MTL?

Greatly concerned about the health of Quebec's economic fabric and the increasingly international competition, I am convinced that businesses must adapt and innovate quickly to remain efficient and competitive. Do you know digital Darwinism? Businesses have faced accelerating technological advancement for several years now, but only those that are most adaptable will survive.


I made the decision to collaborate with the IEC MTL for several reasons. First, the center is located in one of the largest Quebec industrial parks, one of the best places to work. Moreover, I want to get involved in the Zone d’innovation Saint-Laurent’s project which is coming very soon in this area.


Then, the IEC MTL is, among other things, an experimentation center for new technologies (with its technological showcase in particular). In my opinion, a training center that uses demonstration and experimentation as a learning method is highly effective in raising talent’s awareness on 4.0 technologies and in developing new skills. This is a direct access to reality, and that, for a teacher, is ideal!


Finally, I think that my collaboration with the IEC MTL will be beneficial for everyone. What I really want is to have the chance to share the valuable skills that I have acquired over time.


What are the upcoming digital transformation projects at the IEC MTL?

I am currently working with the IEC MTL team to develop a “light” audit, only half a day, dedicated to SMEs. This audit will provide an overview of the digital maturity of the company, its digital capital, and its digital "hygiene".


We are organizing 4.0 ideation workshops with businesses. Our approach is marked by Design Thinking: we first work on understanding the need, and then build a solution adapted to this need. Our priority is the development of tailor-made solutions as well as the adoption of products and services that are adaptable and scalable.


Other projects will be coming soon!


To find out more about the activities offered by the IEC MTL and Michel Rioux, contact us.

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