Bonfiglioli Consulting leaders release new book on Lean Digital

23 February 2021 3 min. read

The CEO of Bologna-based management consultancy Bonfiglioli Consulting has released a new book on Lean processes and digital transformation in a post-pandemic Italy.

‘Lean Digital – the Italian way to the 5G factory’ is co-authored by Michele Bonfiglioli and Umberto Mirani, CEO of Digibelt – Bonfiglioli Consulting’s dedicated innovation startup for the manufacturing industry.

The book traces manufacturing in Italy from two decades of waning productivity and eroding competitiveness, through the current pandemic-induced challenges, to a future where 5G and other Industry 4.0 technologies are touted to bring the sector back to its former glory.

Michele Bonfiglioli and Umberto Mirani release new book on Lean Digital

With tech investments rampant, the authors warn against digital for digital’s sake: technology should be a core part of the corporate strategy, but not the strategy itself. The secret is to combine digital transformation efforts with a transition to Lean practices – an efficiency-driven manufacturing principle that aims to eliminate wasteful practices that don’t add value.

“Twenty years ago my father wrote the first book on lean thinking, pointing out the advantages of hunting for waste,” said Bonfiglioli – an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley who himself has extensively researched manufacturing engineering.

He joined Bonfiglioli Consulting – a Cordence Worldwide partner – in 2002, and took the reins as CEO in 2009. He has since taken his father’s ideas forward to become an expert in Lean thinking, with a number of publications on the topic under his belt. Over the years, his management consultancy has worked with global stakeholders to hone in on a tech-powered, data-driven, efficient and transparent decision-making process – “Lean Digital” – explored in the latest book.

Co-author Umberto Mirani is an engineer by background, who has been at Bonfiglioli Consulting for more than two decades – currently as a Senior Partner and CEO of the firm’s manufacturing innovation platform Digibelt. Mirani is an expert in Lean Industry 4.0 organisation.

Using examples of stalwart Italian companies such as Lamborghini – a highly automated producer with widely digitalised functions – Bonfiglioli and Mirani demonstrate how a strategic transition towards advanced technology is the best way forward for Italy.

The book’s timing is opportune, as these principles become survival tools at a time of crisis. “In Italy, Covid-19 has caused small and medium enterprises a considerable loss of turnover, which has caused a significant impact on the country's economy,” said Bonfiglioli. “Only the companies where digital transformation had entered at all levels and in all departments were able to cope with the lockdown without reporting losses."