Digital Technology: A Key Business Assistant in the Age of Social Distancing
Publish On 21, Apr 2021 | Digital Technology: A Key Business Assistant in the Age of Social Distancing
Ever since COVID-19 pandemic began exerting an impact on the daily life of people across the world in both personal and professional spheres, more and more people have started to adopt and even embrace digital technology in a very tangible way. We clock in virtually in the morning, order food delivery from our phone during the lunch break, attend a teleconference in the afternoon, and go shopping online through mobile applications at night – our lives are becoming increasingly immersed in the digital world.
In response, organizations need to make adjustments and start adopting digital technology to ensure their business continuity during the pandemic as well as enhance operational efficiency and respond to social policies. In other words, this marks the point where organizations need to cross the threshold and fully undergo digital transformation.
In this issue, we sat down with Sanya Chindaprasert, Digital Director, Chemicals Business, SCG, to talk about the digital technology development in both the office and the production line and how to fully take advantage of digital technology in catering to the needs of SCG’s customers and partners.
Digital Technology for Offices
“We were asked what we thought would trigger digital transformation. We all chose to answer ‘COVID-19’.” Sanya began by giving an overview of the digital world following the advent of COVID-19, especially key developments in the digital workplace.
“Our organization has been using digital technology for several years, but they have so far been limited to certain functions. Now, however, it is adopted throughout the entire organization. We try to achieve growth with greater efficiency and enable everyone to benefit from this. So, first of all, we have moved various processes from offline to online. For example, virtual meetings have become a new normal. Other than making it possible for participants to brainstorm from different locations, the added benefits include information sharing, result tracking, and online minute taking, which allow everyone to see the same overall picture.”
“An extension on that is the visual board, which enables everyone to clearly see the work status of each unit. In terms of documents, we have also introduced AI or machine learning to automatically convert and put data into the system, reducing the time it takes from the usual 30 minutes to a mere 5 minutes.”
“This offline-to-online migration is not simply a matter of introducing digital technology but is also an attempt to elevate the digital capabilities of our personnel across the organization.”
Digital Technology for Manufacturing Plants and Production Lines
Chemicals Business, SCG, has also combined its expertise in manufacturing plants and production lines, which is one of its strengths, with digital technology and launched a platform entitled the Digital Reliability Platform (DRP), which collects machinery data and monitors its efficiency through the production process from start to finish. In addition, the company has joined hands with various world-class partners, such as the world’s engineering and industrial software leader AVEVA, to optimize the efficiency of manufacturing plants.
“This platforms allows us to monitor the machinery and predict its lifespan to ensure that the production continues as smoothly as possible. Also, in case of errors, this digital technology will notify us so we can identify the issues and address them accurately. If machinery functions with optimum efficiency, it is possible, then, to carry out production to meet customer needs as planned.”
Another key innovation that has been applied is machine learning and AI, which can collect and logically analyze big data to identify needs and improve upon existing work process.
“An advantage of machine learning is that when the data changes, it can analyze the new data and optimize actions under the optimal condition such as converting sounds or images into data. This technology is becoming increasingly pervasive and is poised to alter our daily life.”
Digital Technology for Customers and Suppliers
A key consideration in the development of digital technology to address customer needs is the establishment of an accurate understanding between customers and the organization to serve as a basis in the development of new products. Digital technology also contributes to the accurate and prompt transfer of information.
“To meet customer needs faster, we are considering using digital technology to analyze overall customer needs and pair them with the technology that we have, such as a platform that enables customers to learn order statuses in real time. In addition, digital technology also makes it possible to record order histories, which can be further analyzed to the benefits of our customers.”
As for suppliers, thanks to its expertise and knowledge in plant and production line technology, the services that Chemicals Business, SCG provide range from plant and machinery optimization systems to the development of a platform called ROOTS, which facilitates the procurement of industrial products that requires careful management and prompt delivery. By cutting procurement time by over 50%, the platform efficiently handles procurement needs while offering the service at reasonable price, transparency, and accountability.
Digital Technology for the Future
In addition to introducing digital technology to streamline and optimize work processes, Chemicals Business, SCG, also works to take care of those involved in its operations as well as the environment in line with the circular economy principle. “As a plastic manufacturer, we also look at how plastic and waste can be managed systematically. Therefore, we have developed KoomKah application for waste banks, so that it can transition from manually recording all data and transactions to a digital management system that is easier and more convenient. As the process has been made simpler, people will become more incline to sort waste and increase the amount of waste recovered and recycled.”
“One clear change is that people will be more immersed in the virtual world. In the future, whoever can acquire and utilize more data faster will have the upper hand. Adaptation and openness to innovation are therefore central in the world of digital technology. We have to look that how it can benefit us and stop thinking that it is something irrelevant to us. Technology will only get better and easier,” concluded Sanya.