For a long time the company Cameco in Sandviken has had ideas on how to utilize digitization to improve operations. But in a stressful everyday it has been difficult to make reality of them. Now, the company has taken a first step in the form of participation in the national venture Kickstart Digitalization, run by the Association of Swedish Engineering Industries, the trade union IF Metall, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, alongside an array of local and regional partners.
Maria Bäckström, CEO and owner, says that she and her colleagues Michael Wirhed, management consultant and Jesper Sehl, operational manager and responsible for production at the company’s business in Sandviken and Vika outside Falun, entered the Kickstart with open minds.
”We didn’t really have any expectations, but it was incredibly inspiring. It was fun to meet others in the same situation and it was almost as rewarding to talk to them as the content of the education itself”, says Maria Bäckström.
Kickstart generates new ideas
Cameco has 14 employees and is a corporation in turning, milling and measuring, with small and medium-sized companies as customers. After the participation in Kickstart this fall, contacts with the other participants continued and gave new ideas.
”Everybody talks about the same things and has about the same problems and challenges. In addition, we have bought stuff from each other and I believe we will keep in touch,” says Michael Wirhed.
After participating in Kickstart Digitalization, it is initially in communication and information that the changes are most obviously noted at Cameco. The management has, among other things, been working to visualize results in new ways to increase interest in the way in which the company operates and efficiency enhancements affect the business.
Positive and plans for the future
Maria, Michael and Jesper recently summarize that a positive spirit is spreading among the staff at Cameco. Now everyone is experiencing things happening at the company, that there really are plans for the future.
”It’s not enough that management knows what it wants to implement, everyone must understand to participate,” said Michael Wirhed.
”I’m not going to say we have been forced to change things,” says Maria Bäckström, laughing, “but with Kickstart Digitalization, we have actually sat down to get it right. It was the kick in the butt that we needed.
What advice would you give other companies wanting to start their digitalization?
”Join a network where you talk about this, because it provides insight into how digitalization can help companies. Eventually it becomes a must”, says Michael Wirhed.
”It’s not enough to think, you also have to do. But you do not have to do everything at once, start small. We recommend other companies to participate in Kickstart Digitalization”, concludes Maria Bäckström.