For years, companies have known that digital transformation is a must. At the same time, there has often been a lack of specific ideas about which measures will lead to the optimum result. Many senior managers outsource the issue of digitalisation to actual or supposedly expert teams instead of setting about finding answers themselves.
Things are different at LAPP! We have been taking digitalisation into our own hands for a number of years. This has definitely not been the easiest route in the short term, but it will certainly prove to be the best in the long term. In these times of the pandemic, we are benefiting from our digital agility. Digital transformation has long since become a part of our lives.
An issue that affects all of us
We believe that digitalisation affects us all. We will all have to adapt our thinking and actions to some extent and will have to give up old habits. The more everyone is actively involved in shaping these changes, the more effective and the more accepted they will be. Our employees and corporate structures provide an ideal framework for this process. As a medium-sized family company, our employees have a strong level of individual responsibility, autonomy and scope for creativity. This spreads the burden of coming up with new ideas and adapting to changing thought patterns among everyone, something that has always been the normal practice in our company. We also know our customers, we are on site and know exactly what kind of solutions they are looking for. We are used to thinking and acting as part of local projects, which are generally the responsibility of our local teams.
Video: © LAPP: LAPP Kanban System
Digital transformation is not an end in itself
When it comes to implementation, it must be clear that digital transformation is not an end in itself. Externally it has a very noticeable effect, for example allowing us to offer our customers improved products and services that are only possible thanks to digitalisation via e-commerce and online marketplaces.
Internally, it is focused on process optimisation and development of new business models. However, many aspects offer benefits on both sides, such as logistics services like Track&Trace solutions or automated reordering systems that can be used to expand our service area. Or digital sales, information and communication channels that simplify contact between customers and businesses and tap into new customer groups. In our transition to a solution provider, digital customer service is very relevant.
And it also has an impact on the customer experience. Digitalisation means that every employee represents through their work and – directly and personally or indirectly through the results of their work – is a touch point with the customer. This means that if we involve all employees, we increase the probability of the customer experience being right at all of these points.
Data open up new insights and opportunities
Although digitalisation is everyone’s responsibility, we have created a core team to take the lead on advancing digitalisation. Their job is to highlight how analysis and interpretation of data help us to get better by opening up unforeseen insights and stimulating new ideas. This triggers a kind of aha effect and strengthens our employees’ enthusiasm for digital transformation.
Naturally, the entire transformation process will involve a large number of individual projects. For this purpose, among other instruments we have developed “cross functional purpose teams”. These are international teams from different departments who implement projects together. Within these teams we purposefully bring together long-standing and new employees. The former are familiar with our customers and know what they expect, while the newer faces are overflowing with new digital ideas.
New impetus for our core business and our employees
This is how we develop new tools, products and services at all levels. New structures and processes are created and our employees gain additional skills. That’s why we have developed an e-learning programme on the subject of Industry 4.0 and digitalisation to give all employees an insight into the journey ahead.
With this approach to digitalisation, we are providing new, contemporary impetus for our core business and for our employees. And that works perfectly because we all work together across all hierarchy levels, departments and countries. Last but not least, we not only share the work, we also share the experience of success.