Michael O'Connell, Continuous Improvement Specialist and Co-Founder, Visual Performance Management

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Michael O'Connell, Continuous Improvement Specialist and Co-Founder, Visual Performance Management

Company Background

Visual Performance Management produces software for manufacturers to capture and display clear, understandable, real-time information on the health of the production process. Failure levels, throughput and downtime can be instantly shown to aid cost saving and allow problems to be fixed before they escalate.

 Our VPM-Visualiser software is simple to implement and allows for manual or automatic capture of data. With customisable features for input and display the system can talk your company’s language and have the impact you need to get the best out of your processes, making it a perfect fit with Lean and Industry 4.0 initiatives.

Where did your passion for digital come from?

My background is not in software, I originally studied chemistry and ultimately became involved in continuous improvement as a Master Black Belt at Johnson & Johnson. From here I got a thirst for using data to help make better decisions and it was why I jumped at the chance to become a co-founder of Visual Performance Management Ltd, to create software solutions that help companies get the best from their manufacturing processes by using their own data in a high impact way.


What’s your favourite thing about the industry?

I’m always a little in awe of the people who write the code and how they can take our ideas and turn them into a working piece of software. To me, as an outsider, it seems like a mixture of science and art. By that, I mean that there appear to be lots of ways to write software that will produce a similar result but some are much more elegant solutions than others.

Why did you join ScotlandIS and importantly, why are you still with us?

We joined ScotlandIS after attending ScotSoft2017. The energy and enthusiasm in Scotland’s software community was fantastic and seeing the projects being delivered by the young software engineers gives me a lot of hope for the future of the industry.


If you could give one piece of advice to an emerging business/startup, what would it be?

Starting a new business is physically, mentally and emotionally tough but it’s also intensely rewarding. We have been very lucky to have great support from a variety of different places and the best advice I was given was that you don’t have to go it alone! Talk to other people, don’t just try and struggle on by yourself.

Looking to the future, what do you see as being the next big thing in tech?

The affordability of sensors and the ability to be able to monitor and connect information much more easily means that we have access to far more data than at any time in our history. I think that two big areas of focus will be around understanding the quality of the data we are collecting as we increasingly need to avoid the trap of rubbish-in, rubbish-out and finding new ways to uncover insights that are truly valuable from the ocean of information that could so easily swamp us. It’s going to be an exciting time.

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