Go Digital project 3: Overhaul calendar

Go Digital project 3: Overhaul calendar

The world has never been as networked as it is today. From driving a car to manufacturing and medical imaging, the new digital reality is changing the way things are done. Wärtsilä is changing too – using the Go Digital Programme as the vehicle for creating the services of the future.

Text: Isabelle Kliger Photo: Wärtsilä

Lean and agile methodologies have long been present in manufacturing plants, but, more recently, they are also being applied to the development of solutions and services. The result is reduced lead times and a new generation of digital services that are being created in response to immediate customer needs. In Wärtsilä, this culture change is being realised through the Go Digital Programme.

Devised by Wärtsilä Services, the Go Digital Programme kicked off in April this year. In early June, the first projects in the programme were presented to the Go Digital steering committee , where all three were approved to progress into the implementation phase. One project will move forward as a normal Operational development (OD) project, and the two others will be developed as digital projects.

The three projects focused on the diverse topics of: 1) boosting efficiency in the spare parts business, 2) integrating customers’ spare part ordering tools with Wärtsilä’s system and 3) automating the front-end sales process in Field Services (FS). The first two have already been covered in previous articles and the time has now come to take a closer look at the third and final project.

Customer-centric process

“When the Digitalisation team first asked what we wanted to do, we had a long list of possible projects,” recalls Project Leader Måns Granholm, who runs Process Development within FS. “Together with our Sales Management colleagues, we soon settled on enhancing the front-end sales process because of the obvious customer impact.”

“We started out with a broader scope that included the overhaul calendar, Request for FS Quotation and availability check of FS but, over the course of the project, it became clear that we first needed to focus on the overhaul calendar,” he adds.

One of the main requirements of the Go Digital Programme is that any projects need to address an immediate customer need, offering an implementable solution to a concrete problem. In order to establish whether the customer need exists, the project teams are required to carry out customer interviews.

The FS project team interviewed more than 20 individuals from customer organisations. In the first round of interviews, the Wärtsilä representative simply listened to the customers to understand the issues they faced, without trying to solve the problem. Three weeks later, they went back and presented their proposed solutions. Once the development process has begun, they will go back again asking the customers to test the solutions.

This process of involving the customers from the very beginning to the end of the development process is known as customer co-creation and is a cornerstone of the Go Digital Programme.

“The customers we’ve spoken to are very happy with this way of working. They want to be part of the development and work together with us to make improvements. If we can solve a problem for them and create a saleable product for us at the same time, it benefits everyone,” admits Granholm.

The project has focused on developing an automated overhaul calendar, which will be added to Wärtsilä Online Services as a separate menu item.

Scheduled maintenance

All Wärtsilä engines require overhaul, or maintenance, after a set number of running hours. The new automated calendar will allow customers to input the information on when and how much their equipment is used, and the system will then calculate when the next maintenance is required.

“This benefits both the customer and Wärtsilä,“ explains Granholm. “For customers, it enables them to plan and set aside the budget for maintenance, while, for Wärtsilä, knowing when the customer’s equipment will require its next overhaul allows us proactively to contact them to discuss our maintenance services.”

Granholm is in no doubt that the most positive aspect of the Go Digital way of working was the customer interface.


Understanding the customer

“Sitting down and talking to a customer, understanding the issues he or she faces and knowing that what you’re developing is a solution to that problem makes a tremendous difference,” he says.

Another major change was starting the project even though the concept was not yet fully developed.

“We’re engineers and used to working in a traditional way – so everything has to be validated before you start building it and perfected before it’s launched. But when you’re developing services, you can make gradual improvements according to customer feedback,” concludes Granholm.

The project team

The team responsible for the Go Digital Field Services project consists of five people. They are:

Rainer Kuula, Manager Business Applications, from Wärtsilä Finland

Kirsi Markkanen, CRM Application Manager, from Wärtsilä Finland

Karina Kaliska, Team Leader FS Resources, from Wärtsilä Poland

Tomi Heikkilä, Online Deployment Manager, from Wärtsilä Finland

– Project Leader Måns Granholm, General Manager Process Development, 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.

Leave a comment

Load more comments

Related articles