Digital Transformation Is No Easy Task
Digital transformation is no easy task; the opposite is actually the case. In order to make this a more seamless transition, we have to apply a new kind of inter-company relationship, where we carefully listen to our clients and co-create personalized solutions, delivering the best possible results.
Regardless of the industry, digital transformation is inevitable. It is a process that can’t be avoided if an organization intends to be relevant and produce value.
When we talk about digital technology, we´re led to think of a means that allows us to take things and make them virtual. Historically, we´ve already taken many activities which used to be done by real people with pens and paper in offices and transformed them into things that happen in a virtual world. Alternatively, we could also call this the process of virtualization.
The process of digital transformation is having a huge impact on society, since it has been changing the fundamentals of human lives. Take, for instance, the nature of how people work; it has been
completely reconfigured from the model we were familiar with before the industrial revolution.
All things considered, you might ask: what does all this mean for industries and companies? A short answer would be a fundamental transformation of the basic mode of operation. It completely changes the way the game is played. If a company wants to keep or create
a competitive advantage, it must understand that what it has is probably temporary. Thus, there has to be an inner change, otherwise the company won´t survive. In times of rapid and constantly accelerating changes, inertia is the gravest mistake of all.
The human factor
Not only that— businesses and processes are important, but there´s a major factor we should consider when talking about changes: the human factor. Changes have been happening in such a fundamental manner that we could say we are undergoing a mutation, not only
a transformation. As the key to such a shift, people are crucial. A while ago, Kordsa Brazil realized that to innovate and go far beyond we first had to change our inner culture, bringing people together to give their best through our widespread principles and clear purpose, so all of us can work as one to deliver value to our customers.
Because we believe that people are the driving force for our present and future success, we will keep focusing on developing our teams so they can acquire new multidisciplinary skills like critical thinking and problem solving, consequently opening doors to diverse points of view and bringing an increasingly innovative mindset to our site.
Ready for the challenge?
Digital transformation is no easy task; the opposite is actually the case. In order to make this a more seamless transition, we have to apply a new kind of inter-company relationship, where we carefully listen to our clients and co-create personalized solutions, delivering the best possible results. Besides that, we’re constantly reassessing our internal needs, so that we can identify some of the major roadblocks we need to overcome in order to transform digitally.
We’re forever alert to the potential of innovation and to how we, as a company, can make digital transformation happen, being on top of the great changes due to occur and positioning ourselves as takers of opportunities when they become available.
What is going on in Kordsa Brazil?
With this is mind, we at Kordsa have been working to elaborate a digital assessment, respecting the individual needs of each site and the particular infrastructure and workforce available for the implementation of projects. One of the actions we´ve taken that
turned out to be very effective was to visit our four main productive areas and listen to their voices, surveying people involved in a
total of 57 projects. From there, we were able to start mapping work that helped us identify which fields they were related with and to undertake a prioritizing effort, mainly considering the impact on business. We also adopted a strategy of differentiating between short-, mid- and long-term projects, defining which ones could bring more and faster improvements to our sites based on our “behind
the borders” visits to customers’ plants. We were able to examine production efficiency and focus on the well-being of operators, so we can decrease the need for certain types of manual labor, for
example, giving employees more time and power to think and work on improvements for our processes and products.
This way, we had the chance to focus on a few select themes that could potentially bring the biggest benefits. These included Data Science, which is the process of using a blend of tools applied to data to obtain meaningful insights; Process Automation, so we can diminish the amount of repetitive activities performed by
humans through the use of Robotic Process Automation (RPA); and Autonomous Robots, which will collaborate and contribute to a more effective production process. Another key theme was the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), a network of intelligent computers, devices and machines connected to each other and constantly generating data that can later be used, for example, to provide autonomous quality assurance or to facilitate visual inspection system projects in all of our four production areas. We could also implement real-time predictive maintenance in our machines and improve environmental and labor safety.
Everything connected to everything
Machines have a common denominator: all of them have the potential to generate a great amount of data. Gartner/IDC estimates that, by 2021, as many as 25 billion devices will be connected in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), generating approximately 34 zettabytes (34 trillion gigabytes) of data. The most important thing, though, is what we’re able to do with all this data. What matters is how we’ll able to see what’s within this large data volume and how we can prepare our company so that it doesn’t lag behind the race
to deliver superior benefits to our clients, at the same time as we develop competitive and personalized solutions.
The usage of data insights to manage or completely change a business is becoming the rule rather than the exception. To
overcome what some specialists call data blindness, a company must embrace data culture, making people understand why there´s so much interest in it and what it means for the entire corporation. Moreover, data by itself can´t perform miracles; in its entirety, it can be complex, and most of the time it is unstructured while at other times deceiving. In order to arrive at meaningful insights, the right questions have to be asked and people have to stay focused on problem-solving, taking data analysis as a complementary tool to discover useful information and support decision-making.
Robots: Reshaping how things are done
The automation of industrial manufacturing is a very familiar action taken by businesses to enhance production processes, eliminating tiresome manual activities while boosting production. In Kordsa Brazil, we are undertaking this automation on two different fronts: logical and physical. On the logical side we have a piece of software, involving items widely known as bots, which are capable of automating rules-based and repetitive tasks performed by humans on legacy systems. This Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can potentially minimize errors and maximize productivity due to its autonomous nature, being the fastest-growing segment of the global enterprise software market, with (according to Gartner, Inc.) an estimated adoption rate of 40% in large enterprises.
On the physical side, we have just finished implementing one of our most eagerly awaited projects. As part of our short-term strategy, we’re deploying a 2.5m robotic arm that is going to be setting up our machines with 10kg yarn bobbins in one of our production areas.
This activity used to be performed manually by operators, taking much longer and, even worse, causing injuries due to a series of potentially non-ergonomic positions.
In the medium term, we’re planning on developing specialized solutions through custom software. This way we will be able to get rid of production errors and to minimize the need for reworking. Lastly, for the long term, we aim to expand such solutions both internally and beyond our walls, so that we can bring more sophisticated solutions to our site, so we can keep up with our digital transformation process.
Kordsa Brazil is mature in the way it conducts its operations, making use of processes and procedures that have changed over time in order to keep ourselves healthy and competitive. We do know that we have a lot of room for continuous improvement and various opportunities for game-changing differentiations. But we also know that, now more than ever, we have to keep both eyes on our customers’ needs, so we can be ahead of the changes when they happen, and they will.
In short, all the effort and investments in these and other near- future projects are our way of moving towards our goal of deploying technology for the purpose of sustainability.