Go Digital project 1: Parts digital with new classification process

Go Digital project 1: Parts digital with new classification process

Around the world, companies of all shapes and sizes are starting to see the necessity of digitalisation and the benefits it offers. With the Go Digital Programme, designed by Wärtsilä Services to help propel Wärtsilä into the digital age, Twentyfour7. takes a look at the first three projects that are already nearing completion.

Text: Isabelle Kliger Photo: Wärtsilä

The Go Digital Programme uses lean and agile methodologies to develop Wärtsilä’s digital services of the future. Teams in the Programme are encouraged to work in a way never previously attempted.

“By ensuring customer buy-in at every step of the way, we improve our chances creating something that our customers need and are willing to pay for,” he adds.

When the programme kicked off in April, three high-priority project areas were identified, each of which targeted a different part of Wärtsilä’s business. The first looks at the Digitalisation of field services, while the second seeks to facilitate the order process by integrating customer systems with Wärtsilä’s systems. The third project seeks to boost efficiency in Wärtsilä’s spare parts business.


Internal spare parts orders

Wärtsilä’s spare parts business focuses on ensuring a high level of delivery reliability towards its customers. To overcome potential delivery delays, reservations for spare parts for production orders can be prioritised, which also prevents incorrect reservations later on.

“Production orders refer to internal orders for parts that are used for tuning, reclassification and kitting and thus play a key role in our spare parts business,” explains Anneli Heikkilä, Project Manager, Operational Development 4-Stroke Engine Services, and also the project manager for the Go Digital project team.

“The problem with incorrect reservations causes a great deal of extra work and fire-fighting for all the involved departments.”

One of the common themes in all Go Digital projects is securing customer buy-in at every stage of the project. Before the development work begins, customer interviews have to be carried out to identify the true customer needs upon which the project will be based. Heikkilä explains that, as this particular project seeks to enhance the way in which production orders were registered within Wärtsilä, the “customers” interviewed were actually internal stakeholders.


Internal customer interviews

“Forty of our colleagues were involved in the interviews, and many were interviewed twice or three times. Firstly, their feedback confirmed that the problem was worth solving, and it later provided the validation we needed for our solution,” she says.

The solution developed by Heikkilä and her project team is an enhanced version of the existing working process and will use intelligent analysis to improve forecasting and optimise availability of parts, with or without classifications according to customer requirements. In addition, the process will be streamlined to ensure that orders are reliably confirmed and enabling automatic prioritisation. Finally, the level of automation will increase, adding value throughout the process.

Although this is an internal efficiency project, Heikkilä points out that it also impacts external customers.

“For our internal customers, we’ve reduced the amount of extra work by streamlining and automating the process,” she says. “Meanwhile, for our end customers, it’s going to make Wärtsilä a more reliable partner when confirming and delivering spare parts.”


New mindset

For Heikkilä and her colleagues, Go Digital represented a new way of working.

“Although the process of interviewing and involving end users was completely new to us, the experience was entirely positive. My colleagues and I agree that the users need to be involved because they’re the people struggling with the problems on a daily basis. We can only resolve that problem if we fully understand their needs,” she says.

However, the Go Digital way of working also involves a fair share of time pressure.

“The tight schedule made it very challenging and forced us to allocate the majority of our working hours to the Go Digital Programme,” Heikkilä recalls.

“In spite of this, I’d encourage all my Wärtsilä colleagues to take the opportunity to participate in this programme. It’s guaranteed to open their eyes to something new, teach them how to work more quickly and think outside the box,” she concludes.


The project team

The team responsible for the Go Digital “Production orders” project consists of six people. They are:

Rafael Melis, from Wärtsilä Netherlands, working in GLS Operations Support as Process & System Expert, supporting Parts Delivery

Biemnet Tagleski, from Wärtsilä Netherlands, working as Key-User and Classification Engineer

Linda Masus, from Wärtsilä Finland, working in GLS Operations Support as Process and SAP Expert, supporting Parts Supply

Henri Seppälä, from Wärtsilä Finland, working in GLS Operations Support as Process and SAP Expert, supporting Parts Coordination Management

Nitesh Gupta, from Wärtsilä Finland, working in IM as a Solutions Manager in Supply Chain Service

Heikkilä Heikkilä, from Wärtsilä Finland, working in 4-Stroke Engine Services Operational Development as Project Manager.

Go Digital spring 2016

  • The first three projects in the Go Digital Programme kicked off in April.
  • The demo presentations from the projects are public and available for all Wärtsilä employees to see. Recordings of the presentations will be available in Compass.
  • The first phase ended on 3 June, and, on 6 June, all three projects were approved to move into the implementation phase.
  • The second round within the Go Digital programme starts in August and the projects are: 1) Next generation Condition Based Maintenance (CBM), 2) Remote Services, 3) Environmental Services and 4) Digital Container.

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