Why should we care about Digitalization?
In the mining industry, we know that ore grades are constantly declining. In the aggregates industry, new opportunities emerge in mid-markets as urbanisation grows. In recycling sector, its critical to deliver high quality constant capacity at lower energy consumption. For these and similar other reasons our customers expect higher throughput while keeping operational costs at the minimum to achieve profitable growth.
Digitalization in the form of machine connectivity, artificial intelligence, automation, advance sensors etc. enables fast access to data and information from our equipment, processes and also from our internal operations. Having fast access to data means that we can serve our customers faster, effectively and reliably such that they can achieve their targeted throughput at lower operational costs.
How has this megatrend impacted our industries over the past 10 years?
Our customers are already using web commerce for the last 10 years for buying instrumentation and electrical spare parts. It’s natural to expect more easy-to-use digital tools at a click of a button to order also larger spare and wear parts for example. Also, our customers are starting to see the importance of big data in their operations and have more predictive information upfront to make decisions for operations rather than reactive actions.
We are also seeing that as the senior and experienced folks with 30-40 years of knowledge are now attaining retirement and much younger, less experienced and digital-savvy people are replacing them, it creates an imperative to deliver new and improved digital tools and services to our customers and also employees.
How do you see it impacting the industries in the near future?
Digitalization is not a fashion trend which comes and goes. It’s like the internet, it’s here to stay for a foreseeable future. It’s a fact that we are all drawn to our mobile phones and our consumer nature will want similar digital experiences also in the industrial B2B sector. Also, health, environment, safety and sustainability topics are going to become crucial than ever before in our industry. Making relevant data, information and digital tools easily available to customers and employees would mean that we and our customers can operate reliably, safely and sustainably.
What innovative steps has Metso taken in response to Digitalization?
We do not see digitalization in isolation. We see that we have to connect data, experts and customers together. I'll go through a few examples of how we are doing this.
1) We have launched Metso Metrics solution and Metso Performance Centres wherein equipment health and process performance data are easily made available to remote experts so that they can diagnose service incidents and help our customers instantly.
2) We have also launched my.metso.com on a renewed, more simple-to-use e-commerce platform to make it easy for customers and distributors to configure and order equipment and parts.
3) In addition to connecting data, customers and experts, we also have a Digital garage for rapid prototyping and experimenting with new digitalization ideas.
As technology changes today much faster than organizations do, we apply lean and agile methods to run large-scale digitalization projects and to prototype new ideas. By working closely together with customers and our businesses, we help the organization quickly adapt and embrace the advances in digital technologies.