Lecture at Lacktreff Münsterland on March 16 (online).
On March 16, I spoke to a small but select group about a holistic concept for digitization in the paint and coatings industry.
If people used to like to say that paper is patient, this has been true for several years and still applies to the use of Excel and Word. However, it is important to see that this now shifts the problem of paper filing from the earlier times to the problem of file filing of Office documents on the file system (or Sharepoint servers). Of course, Excel and Word have their raison d'être, but today we very often find "applications" in Excel that, due to the nature of these document formats, are difficult to incorporate into a holistic, digitally-driven process and, above all, are very difficult to evaluate or research.
Using the LISSY Suite as an example, I talked about a typical process in companies that rely heavily on technical sales, application engineering, and research and development. All relevant information, such as the status of projects or discussions with customers, is available here via an app. Additional information can be recorded directly on site and fed directly into the process in the back office - manual transfer from e-mails or attachments is no longer necessary. Stage Gate projects can then be initiated directly from this info, in the course of which development orders with formulation elaboration, the creation of samples and technical testing are carried out. All values and results flow into the company database and are thus available for research and evaluation (lessons learned!) for further use up to transfer to the ERP. Finally, the circle closes again at the customer's site, who can be optimally advised and supported.
With this approach, current questions and, above all, future applications such as statistical evaluations and the feeding of AI algorithms are possible without any problems. One has known this from Google for a few years. Google "simply" digitized everything in databases that was publicly accessible on the Internet, digitally surveying "the real world" and turning its users into valuable data providers. With the development of the smartphone, just about everyone got their hands on a device full of digital sensors to collect data. This then gave rise to applications such as Google Maps, restaurant ratings, traffic flow forecasts and many other useful things. This would never have been possible through "digitization" in Excel and an insular mindset.
An important insight from the subsequent discussion was that, in addition to being very well structured and easy to use, a digitization concept stands and falls with the willingness of users to contribute themselves, their knowledge and their manpower. In addition to the technical and functional level, organizational and employee development is therefore also a central component of digitization.
Many thanks to Marcel Prieto, Patrick Wahl and the VILF district group Münsterland for hosting the event.
See you soon, Mike Bach
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