How to avoid costly mistakes? – Smart Manufacturing Meetup

Author: Elo Gaver

The Smart Manufacturing Meetup took place in Tartu for the fifth time, where it focused on the benefits of digitisation. The goal of the conference has always been to offer participants new ideas and solutions in a pleasant setting. This event, too, offered something for the live audience, those participating via video link and the contributors who shared their ideas on stage.

Lauri Antalainen, Chief Consultant at Digiwise, led a discussion on how to avoid mistakes related to digitisation.

In consulting work, we come across mistakes that have previously been made involving a specialist. Panelists Reigo Rusin, Kadri Rehkli and Kaur Saarepuu agreed that digitisation doesn’t necessarily make processes easier simply for the sake of digitisation. Just because one company uses ERP doesn’t mean it is the answer to all the questions of another company.

Lauri Antalainen pointed out that the most important stages of the four-stage journey of digitisation are the first and the fourth.

It is important to start with mapping out the problems. His idea was further developed by Kadri Rehkli, who talked about practical experiences and shared a story about how they thought they desperately needed an ERP system without knowing what possibilities it offered and which problems it solved.

Once the problems have been identified, work can begin towards solving them – at this stage, the insight of an experienced consultant who has encountered countless similar challenges over the years and is familiar with various solutions can be extremely useful.

When suitable solutions for the company have been identified, they need to be implemented. This is the stage that some mistakenly believe is the end of setting up the digitisation process. However, Reigo Rusing aptly said that no matter how good the coach is, you still have to run the race yourself. In other words, the last stage, implementation of the solutions, is something that all employees in the company must be involved in, and if not addressed properly, all the previous work will have been in vain.

Therefore, it is important to ensure from the outset that the company is clear about which processes need to be digitised, and that the entire team is willing to work on implementing the new solutions.