Resilience and Sustainability accelerate the need for Automation

Resilience and Sustainability accelerate the need for Automation

Independent Journalist Pat Brans and Niklas Sundberg, Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer at ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions division.

“Resilience is as important now as it has ever been,” says Niklas Sundberg, Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer at ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions division.

Virtually every company in the world has felt the massive disruption in their supply chains—especially shortages in component parts. Many organisations are moving from global to regional sourcing.

“It’s not a single event that has triggered the supply chain crisis,” says Sundberg. “It’s the war in Ukraine and the instability in Taiwan. It also has to do with coming out of Covid and getting factories back up to production capacity.”

Resilience is now about rethinking the notion of just-in-time and building up safety stocks. Companies need to examine the choke points in their supply chains and think about where they should build buffers. But then in some cases, such as fast-moving consumer goods, it’s also important to avoid letting products sit on the shelf too long.

“The more you can use automation for supply and demand planning, the better off you are,” says Sundberg. “In our case, we leverage process mining to gain transparency and oversight. We look at our critical processes to see where there may be blockers. We look at order to cash cycles, material requirements planning, forecast management, and decisions about who we source from. We make sure we automate as much as possible across all the organisation to focus our attention on deviations and to make sure we can manage any surprises that come our way.”

“With automated processes you remove the tedious tasks that nearly always result in human error,” says Roger Tunnard, CEO of Ignite Technology. “What’s more, you can schedule the processes to run at any hour of the day and be sure they get started on time.”

If you do it right, sustainability can be an opportunity for growth

All the changes across the global value chain bring on a great opportunity for companies to become leaders in ESG. Now is the time for organisations to revamp their supply chains and switch to more sustainable means of shipping raw materials to factories, sourcing more sustainable materials and components and delivering finished goods to retailers—again in a more sustainable way.

“How do you optimize your supply chain to reduce transportation emissions and minimize waste? How do you ensure ethical sourcing?” asks Sundberg, who authored “Sustainable IT Playbook for Technology Leaders.”

“One thing you can do is use automation to improve inventory management and logistics. You can improve transportation routes. Most importantly, you can become more data-driven to enhance visibility across the supply chain.”

ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions divides process mining into two categories. The first is for short terms gains that can be obtain by just tweaking processes and making sure everything runs smoothly. The second is to look holistically at opportunities to improve automation across big processes. This often involves different actors in the ecosystem.

More than ever, supply chain partners need to work together. A new body of legislation called the “Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism” is coming out in Europe, reinforcing the need for companies to track CO2 consumption across the supply chain. “This is a game changer and is another good reason to improve automation across your supply chain,” says Sundberg.

The interview forms part of Ignites Insights Series. You can attend the first Webinar in our series entitled Building Operational Resilience: Harnessing Automation for Business Success, by clicking the banner below.

By Austen Moore

Marketing Manager

Responsible for managing Ignite Technology’s marketing initiatives, Austen uses market research and analysis to direct marketing strategy and planning. He oversees the production of all promotional materials and marketing campaigns. With over 20 years of experience managing a range of companies, Austen’s expertise centres around commercial management, enterprise content management, marketing, sales, project management and team leadership.