Interview with xLab advisory board member, Greg Gumbs

Headshot of Greg Gumbs

Greg Gumbs is the president and CEO of Bosch - Rexroth North America, an organization of approximately 31,000 employees that uses cutting edge technology to support mechanical and plant engineering challenges around the world.
He has more than 30 years of experience serving in several functional and business disciplines, including application and systems engineering, sales and service, commercial marketing, business development and general management. Prior to joining Bosch, Greg held senior leadership positions at Eaton and Rockwell Automation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.

Greg joined the xLab Advisory Board in 2021, and recently shared with us his thoughts about xLab and digital transformation.

How did you get involved with xLab? 

I was invited to be a part of xLab by my good friend Youngjin Yoo, because we often talk in our social gatherings about the rapidly evolving industry surrounding digital transformation. I am very passionate and personally engaged in this topic from a professional perspective. I believe Digital transformation is (should be) front of mind for most executives in business and is increasingly becoming a mission critical GROWTH accelerator or disrupter for business across most industry sectors depending on which side of this you are on.

What about xLab is most exciting to you?

The work this team is doing in support of driving digital innovation, and the approach it is taking to collaborate and work with companies around the world to help them accelerate multidisciplinary learning, adoption and development of digital innovation initiatives and projects.

What does digital transformation really mean for today's business leaders? 

It means being much more agile and developing the opportunity to adapt, or change quickly, embracing continuous learning, improving operational quality and velocity (speed) and ultimately delivering a superior customer experience and outcome that are relevant to the customers in our markets. It also means creating greater transparency throughout the organization cross functionally, enabling better/faster decision making by our teams and support functions, so we can be more responsive to our customer and more effective at anticipating and responding to their needs.

What are pillars to digital transformation? 

In our view it starts with people (culture) and change management enterprise wide top to bottom. In terms of categories, more specifically I would say the pillars that we are focused on are IT infrastructure modernization, digitalizing operations including back-end processes, customer journey and outcomes (new offerings), marketing and e-commerce (omni channel market access).

What are the steps taken by Bosch towards digital transformation?
At Bosch and Bosch - Rexroth we are taking a “digital first” approach to everything we do from back-end processes, utilizing real-time dashboards to monitor performance, deployment of leading Bosch developed I4.0 practices, and offering our customers digitally enabled products and intelligent solutions and services. Bosch North America has also set up a digital lab learning environment which provides an opportunity to build and bind (retain) talent by recognizing, rewarding and growing associates who show interest and leadership in digital transformation for themselves, their teams and their business organizations. Approximately 140 associates are nominated and 100 are selected. Approximately 50 people are nominated for the subsequent micro lab sessions. Each micro lab takes a deeper dive into one of the digital lab topics.