Karlheinz Wex, Member of the executive board of Plansee Group
WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT DRIVERS OF DIGITIZATION AT PLANSEE?
WEX / Our key drivers are our customers’ changing needs. On the one hand, they demand faster and more flexible services, and we have to make that possible in our organization, perhaps with the aid of IT, but also through revised processes and better collaboration with customers. On the other hand, customers also experience digitization in the personal environment and want to transfer the advantages it offers into their everyday working lives. If I use Amazon for my personal online shopping, that’s my benchmark for all webshops. And if I rely on pay-per-use solutions increasingly often, I’d like to also do so in a B2B environment. We must adapt to meet these preferences.
WHERE DO YOU SEE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN THAT?
WEX / Digitization requires courageous decisions and specialists who advance the subject in terms of both content and technology. That said, this is a subject that affects the entire company. All employees are challenged to create momentum and deliver new ideas, and to pour their energy into supporting implementation. Plansee has been so successful for almost 100 years because our employees have always been able to overcome the many challenges we have faced. Digitization is the next one, but it certainly won’t be the last. This is why we have to take our employees with us and utilize all of their potential. Achieving that requires training, as well as raising awareness of new topics and ways of implementing them.
WHEN IT COMES TO DIGITIZATION, HOW DO YOU ENSURE COORDINATION?
WEX / Many sub-projects are executed in individual areas of the company, with each digitization-related topic being assigned to operational units. Interaction with the customer is handled by Sales and Marketing, for example, while Production is responsible for optimizing the manufacturing process. We also have a centralized committee that monitors project progress. With this configuration, we ensure that project execution is coordinated, as well as that projects are a good fit for both the business and digitization strategy, and that sufficient resources are available for them. We only push forward select topics on a centralized basis, such as shared IT platforms for all business segments and joint ventures.