The Veruca Factor

Veruca Salt is one of the five children created by Roald Dahl for his novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  She is portrayed in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as the little rich girl whose parents cater to her every whim. Her favorite saying is “I want it now!” So what does this have to do with, manufacturing data, and data analytics for the day to day decisions we make?


The open pipeline of information, personal feeds (tweets, facebook chats etc.) and personalized marketing is pervasive. The impact of this Internet culture is the expectation of instant gratification.  Feeling sad? YouTube a cute cat video. Need that trendy new thing? Amazon offers free same day shipping. Don’t know the answer to a question? Google it. As a society, in general, we are connected and expect this feedback and WE ALL WANT IT (whatever it is and) WE WANT IT NOW!!!!! 

The concept of satisfaction, of thinking through and solving a problem on your own, may not be gone.  However, we WANT solutions faster than ever before using larger and increasingly more complex data sets.  Additionally, users simply want the answer and the decisions to be made for them. This is both good and bad.  It is good, since looking at tables and tables of data doesn’t always yield results… at least not in a timely manner.  It is bad because we are growing ever more reliant on automation.

As a global educator for MESA, I see what is driving a lot of manufacturing and engineering decisions. In the bigger picture this is affecting the products we buy, to the careers the next generation is choosing (I have heard from recent high school graduate, that engineering is too hard “Math and stuff? That’s what computers are for.”  I teach parts of my class to this trend and to this change in the customer needs and requirements and on applying best practices in MES and MOM solutions.  The MOM and MES space has seen Mfg. 2.0, Big Data (I think that term big data is dying – more on that in a future blog) and so much more. As engineers and developers, we are trying to solve problems faster and more efficiently and create the decisions needed for our own Veruca's. In manufacturing, it is the Veruca factor is driving greater needs for analytics and our automation of MES, MOM, and level two systems to new levels. Is the world ready and are the manufacturers ready to accept the change.  I believe if a customer screams I WANT IT NOW! Loud enough someone will listen.  Amazon did. 

It is the Veruca factor that is driving us to upgrade our software and hardware. Without it, we cannot meet the new customer demands. And those who cannot meet the new Verucas’ (the new customers) demands shall not live to tell the tale.  So we need to design, cost, build and ship to profit while meeting the needs of our personal Veruca's.

Comments (1)

  1. Mike Batilaran:
    Jul 27, 2016 at 02:46 PM

    I'd have to agree. Companies that are willing and able to embrace and cater to their "Verucas" will thrive over the many years to come.

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