In a nutshell, the concept of smart industry boils down to viewing IT as a strategic partner to management and as an enabler of business transformation. Meaning, IT exists in a complex ecosystem — rather than as a separate and simple business function — where the business processes and technology are interdependent.
Viewing IT as an ecosystem is called Ecosystem Thinking. This concept has partly grown out of an increasing frustration of companies that are wrestling with the limitations of large, monolithic, modern ERP systems. In the past, vendors of modern ERP systems have tried to cover an increasing number of business functions with these systems. However, more and more specialized business processes and rapidly changing requirements are pushing this approach to its limits. According to Gartner, these limitations have already led to a new era of post-modern ERP systems that aims to re-focus ERP on the core business functions for which they were originally designed.
Postmodern ERP systems are a good example of Ecosystem Thinking because they don’t view technology or certain business areas in isolation. Postmodern ERP systems are all about finding the best solution to a specific problem while considering the interdependencies to the broader ecosystem of the business.
The case study at hand is about how we used Ecosystem Thinking and postmodern ERP to make complex supply chain processes more efficient for a leading manufacturer of biofuels. Built on solid IT knowhow and two decades of experience in the oil and gas sector, Nortal delivered a far-reaching, robust solution to one of the industry’s most significant players.
In short, the chief benefit of this custom-built solution is the near-total level of automation it provides, streamlining the dozens of processes that take place from the moment oil products arrive at the terminal to the point of delivery to retailers and customers.
Some of the remarkable impacts of this solution include 100% traceability, a 93% decrease in time for service action and a 30% increase in logistics information accuracy. Most importantly, our customer is now ready to adapt its capabilities to whatever new challenges the market might bring.
If your interest is piqued, and you want to know more about our approach and the customer case, feel free to watch the webinar recording. (P.S. the presentation is in German.)
The full webinar on Future-Proofing Supply Chains with SmartEST Digitalization can be found here.
Feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss how our approach can benefit your business. We are always happy to collaborate and brainstorm to find the best solutions for your specific challenges.
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Hendrik Lume, senior consultant at Nortal, has spent most of the past decade advising organizations on how to stay ahead of tech disruption and thrive in tomorrow's economy. Relying on his background in both the business and public policy arenas, he is laser-focused on bringing Estonia's seamless digital society to Germany. To learn more about Estonia's digital solutions, send him an email.