Research & Innovation

Building a Connected Shopfloor Workforce

Unlock Sustainable Manufacturing by Empowering Operators to Make Real-time Decisions

17.05.2023 - Interview with John Papastylianou, Cyzag

For too long, analytics and reporting have been the domain of high-level management. But this top-down approach creates a bottleneck, blocking people from using valuable insights throughout an organization, resulting in delays that can cost businesses millions in missed cost savings. To solve this, Cyzag created their connected worker platform to democratize manufacturing innovation and create a stronger, more holistic culture of continuous improvement in the chemical manufacturing industry. John Papastylianou, founder and CEO of Cyzag, who has led the team to develop and deliver a best-in-class shopfloor digitization platform that enables and sustains continuous improvement, tells the story.

CHEManager: What inspired you to start Cyzag?

John Papastylianou: I’ve always been focused on chemical manufacturing efficiencies, leading and delivering large-scale manufacturing execution systems projects. Working mainly with big-tech vendors, I saw that two-year-plus projects for manufacturing systems weren’t working and that users were left behind, meaning that the critical link to the shopfloor was broken and many projects ultimately failed to deliver.

Thinking about restoring the shopfloor link and delivering digital tools faster and more effectively, I initially launched Cyzag in 2012 because I wanted to show that focusing on shopfloor users was fundamental to chemical manufacturing’s success. When you empower your workforce with contextualized data and robust work processes you essentially increase the population of decision makers. This leads not only to greater efficiency and time, emissions, waste and cost savings but also improves staff retention and employee attraction. Since then, Cyzag has evolved manufacturing software based on customer needs and market changes. In 2018, we released our flagship product.

What are the key ideas that drive Cyzag?

J. Papastylianou: Cyzag exists to innovate how manufacturers enable their teams. We serve our customers to be driven by data and powered by people. We understand that operations want to own performance, but they need the tools to do the job. They need to access data and align work processes around that data. As operation specialists, they need autonomy to make decisions in a timely manner, increasing speed and productivity and removing waste, but keeping the standard work processes and traceability.

The Cyzag platform places real-time decision-making into the hands of the right people, in the right place, at the right time. To do this, we developed a secure, cloud-based application that can be easily tailored to each user in a matter of minutes. Users can develop their own workflows and work processes contextualised data in a no-code and intuitive platform, gaining autonomy and speed.

To deliver sustainable continuous improvement, people are empowered to experiment with and test new innovations. This makes adopting the tool easier and the sustainability of the results much easier to reach. Cyzag focuses solely on processes in the chemicals manufacturing industry, so our customers know our product is created specifically for their needs.

What key challenges is the industry experiencing?

J. Papastylianou: We talk to executives and managers across production operations, business performance and operational excellence in major chemicals manufacturers. There is a big desire to connect the shopfloor, increase performance in sustainability and impact cost drivers, but many find it difficult to know where to start. Some have identified huge amounts of data but not enough information and insights to affect performance, particularly on the shopfloor. Many big digitisation initiatives have failed to bridge the gap between management performance objectives and the shopfloor.

Where is Cyzag on its journey?

J. Papastylianou: We have our foundation customers, which are international chemical companies using our software in more than 80 chemical plants in 11 countries, reaching thousands of users. The product market fit is proven, and we see a big demand for our solution in chemical manufacturing. Right now, we are at the beginning of our scale-up, increasing our industry partners and investment.

What keeps you awake at night?

J. Papastylianou: My daughter! And while she does actually keep me up at night, what I really mean is that more and more, I focus on what impact I have on her generation. We're in the fortunate position, at Cyzag, that we can influence the sustainability of multiple processes, in multiple factories globally. Even small incremental improvements add up to something huge.


Personal Profile

John Papastylianou, founder and CEO of Cyzag, is an innovator and creative and collaborative entrepreneur. He studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa, and has an MBA from the Imperial College London. He began his professional career in 2001 and has more than 20 years’ experience in the process industry. John led and managed large-scale manufacturing execution system (MES) projects and worked as an MES consultant and software engineer. He continues to innovate, working with chemicals manufacturers to improve manufacturing performance at scale across their businesses.


CM  Business Idea


Democratizing Manufacturing Data

Driven by numerous challenges, chemical manufacturing organizations have learned how to work leaner, cut costs and use data analytics and digital technologies to stay competitive. But the data revolution is not just about collecting or keeping the information in a few hands — digital technologies cannot be restricted to specific initiatives or parts of the organization.
Cyzag believes technology and data are best used when they enable individuals to perform better in their daily work, pursuing a culture of improvement and feeling valued. Cyzag creates a solid foundation from which chemical manufacturers can embed best practice and scale — top down, bottom up and horizontally. It connects shopfloor workers with the data they need to improve manufacturing performance, shift by shift, day by day.

By giving operations powerful tools that make their job easier and harness their talents, Cyzag is able to embed a digital infrastructure through which they can implement consistent processes and build collaboration and improvement culture from the shopfloor up. The tool is based on a three-step process to continuous improvement (CI) and sustainable business growth. These steps are:

  • Align: Cyzag makes sense of customer data and democratizing access; provides a single source of truth, embeds operational best practice and facilitates collaboration.
  • Optimize: Cyzag moves decision-making to frontline workers, saving time and money. It offers a unique way to track performance, identify issues and improvement opportunities early and optimize processes.
  • Scale: Cyzag provides the foundations that businesses need to drive sustainable CI. Improving communication of strategic initiatives top-down, feedback from bottom up and deploying best practices horizontally through the organisation.

Cyzag enables people to work smarter and impact the decisions they make for the business, building an agile organization that is able to respond quickly to internal and external challenges.


Three steps — align, optimize and scale — support sustainable continuous improvement. © Cyzag © Cyzag


CM  Elevator Pitch

Driven by Data

London-based UK start-up Cyzag developed their connected worker platform as a simple, modern and user-friendly no-code digital platform that reduces cost and waste. At over 80 plants in 11 countries, Cyzag provides shopfloor workers and operations managers in the chemical manufacturing industry with the tools they need for continuous improvement. The team around founder and CEO John Papastylianou understands the value of data and how frustrating and expensive it can be when it’s not accessed and analyzed fast enough to solve problems.
Cyzag integrates real-time data from multiple sources into a single source of truth with robust working processes, enabling workers to quickly identify which parts of the process and equipment will likely contribute to production losses or overconsumption. The secure, cloud-based software platform empowers them to make informed decisions based on accurate data, and follow standard working processes, saving time, generating cost-efficiencies, reducing waste and driving sustainable business growth.
Identifying manufacturing quick wins can save up to €1 million a year. Legacy software can be eliminated or consolidated into the platform, saving up to €460,000 annually on license fees. The platform empowers employees at every level to derive real growth and value from their analytics.


  • 2012:
    - Cyzag incorporated
  • 2012-2015:
    - Manufacturing execution system (MES)
  • 2015-2018:
    - Manufacturing excellence consulting
  • 2018:
    - Cyzag connected worker platform conception
  • 2018-2022:
    - Cyzag connected worker platform implemented in Nouryon, Nobian, Nefco and Perstorp

Key Numbers

  • Value delivery < 8 weeks
  • Implemented at > 80 plants in 11 countries
  • Demonstrated savings of €400 k/plant/year
  • 2 hours saved/shift/plant
  • 4–5 x increase in user engagement



Cyzag Ltd

Devonshire House, 582 Honeypot Ln
Stanmore HA7 1JS
United Kingdom