In the fast-paced landscape of Industry 4.0, companies are navigating the challenges and opportunities presented by digitalisation. Tembo Group, like many other companies, has embarked on a transformative journey towards a higher level of digital maturity. We recently had the privilege of interviewing, Ivana Mishikj, Digitalisation Portfolio Manager at Tembo Group, to discuss her experiences, insights, and the key role she plays in managing the group's global digital initiatives.
Embarking on the Digitalisation Journey
Ivana's journey with Tembo Group began in 2022, when she joined the Global Technology and Digitalisation department (GT&D), a newly formed team of experts in the field of Industry 4.0. Since digitalisation was a relatively new topic for Tembo Group, there was a need to inform people about its implications for the companies in the group and outline the key focus areas for the upcoming years. Ivana mentioned that digitalisation is not only connected to technology, but also connected to people, processes and the value creation for the customers (internal and external). As in life, it is about the balance between these main pillars and every company needs to find their own balance to start the digitalisation journey.
In her first year at Tembo, Ivana's primary focus was understanding and defining the current and desired future state of the Tembo companies. She emphasized that before starting with the digitalisation journey (execution of projects), internal assessment must be done so the bigger picture can be drawn. It is important to understand which are the external and internal focus areas where digitalisation can play a key role.
The Tembo Advantage: Technology and Talent
What attracted Ivana to Tembo Group was the organization's reputation as an agile and innovation-driven entity. The company's commitment to embracing technological advancements aligned seamlessly with her background in digitalisation and technology. The decision to join was driven by the prospect of applying her skills to meaningful projects and collaborating with a diverse and talented team across different countries and cultures.
Technology's Role in Innovation and Growth
In Ivana's perspective, the role of technology in driving innovation and growth within Tembo Group is crucial. The Global Technology and Digitalisation department (GT&D), through knowledge sharing and pilot projects, encourages colleagues to think beyond daily challenges and focus on creating value for internal and external customers. Ivana gave an example about Microsoft 365, a cloud-powered productivity platform used to create a more efficient and transparent work environment. However, to maximize the benefits for the organization, the platform's rollout needs to be planned in a structured, systematic way. This ensures it can effectively support both existing and future processes, as well as the people (end-users) in their day-to-day activities. While selecting a market solution or adopting innovative technology might seem simple, the real challenge lies in making it practical and accepted. For technology to genuinely drive innovation and growth, there must be alignment among people, processes, and a clear understanding of the internal and external value it brings.
Digitalisation in Action: Key Projects and Initiatives
Ivana's expertise has played a pivotal role in significant projects at Tembo Group. One noteworthy project involved the implementation and testing of advanced data analytics to streamline decision-making, supporting the shop floor users with production process optimization and transparency. This was a group effort done together with Tembo Technologies Data team, said Ivana. Another example of key initiatives and projects is the involvement of Ivana and the GT&D team in building the digital transformation roadmap for two strategic customers. This interaction significantly enhanced customer satisfaction, trust and led to new projects. Furthermore, Tembo internal collaboration tools and platforms, developed under the umbrella of digitalization and guidance of Ivana, have fostered a culture of cross-functional teamwork, resulting in better alignment and transparency across various departments. These projects exemplify the tangible impact of integrating digitalisation into the business strategy at Tembo Group.
Challenges and Opportunities in the Digital Era
Digitalisation brings both challenges and opportunities. Ivana identifies organizational acceptance and time as significant obstacles. Change requires commitment, support, and consistency, and in a competitive landscape, time is of the essence. Digitalisation creates the need and, consequently, the challenge of implementing more advanced infrastructure. This, in turn, enables more data-driven approaches, the adaptation of processes, and the implementation of new standards within the organisation. All these activities have a high impact on the way of working, which can create frustration. However, by embracing the change that digitalisation will bring, transparency and accountability for bottlenecks will be enhanced. The organisation's competitive positioning will improve by expanding the business offering with new digital products and services. Additionally, it will foster a more efficient working environment and improve internal communication and collaboration.
The Road Ahead: Focused Strategies for Future Success
Looking ahead, Ivana's primary focus will be on standardizing digital solutions for monitoring and control of machine performance and process quality. Standardisation is key for the development of scalable and secure digital solutions. Another focus area for Ivana is machine connectivity, maximising the usability of machine data for gaining detailed insights, and achieving a competitive advantage. She will be exploring this aspect in collaboration with Tembo's strategic customers. Furthermore, she emphasises the importance of cultivating new competencies and fostering a positive attitude towards advanced digital technologies. Knowledge and experience sharing with fellow colleagues is a key factor for success. As Tembo's motto says, 'We are Stronger Together'.
Ivana Mishikj's journey at Tembo Group reflects the organization's commitment to digital transformation. As technology continues to evolve, Tembo stands at the forefront, leveraging digitalisation to drive innovation, enhance customer satisfaction, and ensure a competitive edge in the ever-changing industrial landscape. The future holds exciting possibilities as Tembo Group persists in its journey towards digital excellence under the guidance of Ivana.