Go Digital project 2: Integration of customers’ spare part ordering tools to Wärtsilä system

Go Digital project 2: Integration of customers’ spare part ordering tools to Wärtsilä system

Joining the digital age is no longer an option, it is a must. As the Go Digital Programme seeks new ways to help Wärtsilä and its customers reap the rewards of digitalisation, Twentyfour7. has taken a look at the first three projects to be completed as part of the scheme.

Text: Isabelle Kliger Photo: Wärtsilä

Customers these days expect services to be created more quickly than ever, and that requires companies to re-think their development methods. The Go Digital Programme is comprised of a series of lean and agile methodologies designed to cut lead times and facilitate co-creation with customers.

“Development has to become more customer-centric – responding to known market needs instead of developing services that may or may not be a hit with customers – and the speed of development has to increase dramatically,” says Mikko Tepponen, Head of Digitalisation at Wärtsilä Services.

The first three Go Digital projects targeted a range of topics: from the digitalisation of field services, to boosting efficiency in the spare parts business and enhancing the order process for spare parts by integrating customer systems with Wärtsilä’s systems.

Each team consisted of five to six people from different parts of the organisation, working together for the first time in a co-located space with one objective: to develop a new digital service that would add immediate value to Wärtsilä and, most importantly, its customers.

In the project focusing on the spare parts procurement process, the team sought to reduce the amount of manual effort required, both for the customer purchaser and the Wärtsilä spare parts coordinator. This project was managed as an Operational Development project, with the objective of increasing integration between customers’ purchasing systems and Wärtsilä’s order systems, to make the process quicker, smoother and less cumbersome for everyone involved.

In accordance with the Go Digital process, the first step in the project consisted of a series of customer interviews to establish what the market need was, before starting work on creating a truly customer-centric solution.

“We soon established that there was a known problem that required a concrete solution,” explains Project Leader Jan Gustafsson, who was the Wärtsilä Online Services representative on the project. “The manual data entry steps in the procurement process don’t add any value and, by streamlining them, we’ll eliminate a lot of unnecessary effort for both our customers and ourselves.”

The solution proposed by the project team is to build an interface to which customers will be able to connect their existing procurement systems. The connection is designed to enable customers to send Requests for Quotation (RFQ) and Purchase Order (PO) data directly from their system to the Wärtsilä SAP. Further, it will allow the Wärtsilä spare part coordinator to respond directly with a quote or order acknowledgement via the SAP.

“This is an automated solution that eliminates the need for data entry of document details, line items, quantities, prices and so on,” says Gustafsson. “And in future, we hope to extend it to include other spare parts procurement documents.”

“All the customers we spoke with agreed that this would be a positive solution, while some even went so far as to say it’s exactly what they want,” adds Gustafsson who confirms that the customer-centric way of working offers clear benefits.

“Much like when we built Wärtsilä Online Services, we need to know exactly what the customers’ problems and needs are. This ensures that we focus our efforts on the right things, instead of making assumptions and developing something that turns out not to be of interest to the customers,” he says.

For Gustafsson, the most intriguing aspect of Go Digital was the “fail early” concept, which allowed the project teams to experiment during the development and go back and fix things that did not work out as planned.

“Compared with traditional working methods, it was quite liberating to be encouraged to go back and make changes to previous assumptions when new information became available,” he says.

Although Go Digital involves a very heavy workload, Gustafsson does not hesitate to encourage more people to join up.

“It’s a great opportunity to gain new insights and new ways of approaching familiar things by looking at them from a new angle. I’d like to thank the instructors and all three teams for the great co-operation and especially for all the laughs along the way,” he concludes.

The project team

The team responsible for the Go Digital  project “Integration of customers spare part ordering tools to Wärtsilä systems“ consists of five people. They are:

Morten Kjaer, Spare Parts Manager and Account Manager from Wärtsilä Denmark

Shelley Davis, Parts Coordinator and Key User from Wärtsilä North America in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Henri Tammisto, Online Support Engineer from Wärtsilä Finland

Martti Hyssälä, Solution Manager IM from Wärtsilä Finland

– Project Leader Jan Gustafsson, Development Manager e-commerce from Wärtsilä Finland

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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