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What propels the pulp, paper and flat sheet industries into the future

Creating a future of wins and success requires a forward-looking perspective on critical business and IT trends. Read more about the key takeaways from Tieto’s Pulp & Paper Industry event.

Jarmo Ropponen / June 19, 2019

Creating a future of wins and success requires a forward-looking perspective on critical business and IT trends to create new business value, market-shaping innovations, inspiring industry leaders and cutting-edge solutions and services.

Tightening competition seems to point to five main things companies in the pulp, paper and flat sheet industries need to get right if they want to cope.

1. Sales & operational planning defines success
Steps towards a predictive operating model are clearly needed if companies in the domain want to stay relevant to their customers. Efficient Sales & Operational Planning (S&OP) consolidates the entire supply chain, not only from mill to customer, but all the way from demand prediction to the supply side to profitability and On-Time In Full (OTIF) deliveries.

Reinventing the supply chain can turn a company into a truly customer-centric organisation while shortening lead times, reducing inventory and producing savings to both the supplier and the customer.

2. New technology brings together people and data
Simplifying processes, faster and more accurate decision-making and employees’ new roles in an increasingly automated environment require seamless connection between data and people.

Huge amounts of data can be collected from processes and machinery through IoT, the Internet of Things, while humans can also act as sensors to introduce an empathic aspect to operations. The crux of the matter is how to turn the data into actionable knowledge that can be applied to practice instantly.

When this is done right, the result will be an empathic mill and empathic business operations where technology puts the decision-making human in the middle. Routines are handled by technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and humans can turn their attention to intervening in exceptional situations. The end user is the king. For this to succeed, it is crucial that we apply design thinking and place the end user in the focus to ensure a great user experience.

Data also enables totally new ideas, such as virtual twins. Virtual and Augmented Reality can allow, for example, a forest owner to evaluate the results of different what-if forest management scenarios from hundreds of kilometres away from the site. A similar approach can be applied to other industrial use cases. Only our imagination is the limit.

3. We make decisions ignoring fact that stares us in the face
Where humans make decisions, they often do so guided by their ‘preconfigured’ brain and unconsciously biased thinking patterns. Research has found some 300 factors that contribute to false decisions.

When data is relegated to the role of only reinforcing existing beliefs, its full potential cannot be realised. We need to place more trust in data – which, on the other hand, requires accurate, verified and verifiable data and analytics.

4. Progress requires courage to meet the unknown
We can predict the future only so far. But when we are heading into the future, we will inevitably face situations where we can only make educated guesses and must have the courage to experiment. Uncertainty is the new constant, and we need to be prepared to fail occasionally. Data and analytics, of course, will make our guesses more educated all the time.

5. New value is created in networked ecosystems
To paraphrase a little, no company is an island. Success requires collaboration with others. Ecosystems and networks are growing in importance, with new integrated solutions and services.

Where it all came together

Tieto’s Pulp & Paper Industry event PE Days 2019 with the theme Winning in the industry – IT’s about People & Data in Milan, Italy, in May gathered together some 100 industry leaders and experts from 40 companies. The event covered all the ingredients of success outlined above.

The SCM (Supply Chain Management) pre-conference workshop brimmed with enthusiasm, with participants eager to find new ways of creating the future together with new data-driven capabilities hands-on.

One of the major industrial changes gathering momentum is the transition to SAP S/4HANA, an important ingredient for business transformation requiring knowhow and planning.

During the mini expo and in the demo booths, guests could personally familiarise themselves with innovation from planning to process enhancements to performance optimisation and beyond. One of the newest extended ecosystem dimensions introduced is energy management, not as the traditional generation-consumption chain, but as a way of complementing supply chain solutions from the profit-and-sustainability benefits angle.

As always, the event once again also gave the participants an excellent opportunity to personally network with industry leaders and experts.

For more on the outcomes and customer presentations of the conference in Milan, take a look at the PE Days event site.

Jarmo Ropponen
Head of Sales & Marketing, Pulp, paper and fibre

Jarmo is driven by the customer valuecreation, delivering on commitments and passionate about creating success. He has over 30 years of experience and extensive know-how gained in international IT, Forest, Pulp & Paper and Manufacturing industries working in service and solutions, ERP, MES, supply chain and Business Development with many leading global companies.




Jarmo Ropponen

Head of Sales & Marketing, Pulp, paper and fibre

Tieto in Pulp & Paper Industry

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