Komas Ltd is a Finland based company offering machined components, forgings, hydraulic pipes, and plate cuttings. The company is known about its global supply chain and early adapter in the field of the digital supply chain. We got an opportunity to interview Eetu Pakkanen, the Head of Procurement at Komas.
You took the first steps towards digital supply chain a few years ago. Why did you start digital development?
We had some significant challenges in our procurement processes and one of them was claim processing. We recognized that requirements to handle and process claims effectively was changed. Our existing system did not give us that kind of capability to fit our need. Actually, at the same time we found a pretty new solution designed for collaboration between manufacturing companies and we decided to test it fast.
Which Komas supply chain processes have you digitalized and which one are you going to digitalize?
We started with the claims processing, it was the first step. After that we expanded the digital scope to supplier audits and request for quotations. Finally, we made the big step and digitalized the whole purchase order processing – PO sending, change handling and order confirmation. Now we’re able to direct our customers’ sales orders automatically to our ERP and receive suppliers’ order confirmations automatically to our ERP.
What kind of benefits you have achieved?
First of all, the email traffic has decreased dramatically. We have been able to make the shared information and communication real-time and symmetric between Komas and our suppliers. Our effectivity has increased tremendously, because the information is visible for all who need it – where and whenever. It was painful to handle all these processes with emails before we managed to digitalize them. We have achieved improvement in on-time-deliveries, shorter lead times and smaller cost of poor quality.
Your tips for companies and leaders who are planning to digitalize their supply chain?
My advice is to start with small steps but quickly. Don’t try to eat the elephant one bite at time. It’s crucial just to start! Even better, if there is a common understanding of a problem that should be solved. So, prepare the ground with a need, solve one single problem first, and make a success story of it. After the first successful implementation, it’s easier to expand into other areas.
The Komas Supply Chain interview was published originally in Friction Free on 28 June 2018.