Digitized data for transparent processes
Digital, cloud-based work has become part of everyday life for many of us. Efficiently integrating this technological progress into production processes is a top priority for the experts at thyssenkrupp Materials Services. They use the advantages of digitization to drive processes forward sustainably, create transparency, and automate analyses.
One of these experts is Lynne Howieson. After joining thyssenkrupp Materials Services as a dual student in 2017, Lynne has been using Microsoft Power BI as the project manager in the company's Digital Technology Office (DTO) since 2020. She gives us an insight into the world of data and explains why the program efficiently supports her in her work. "Power BI is a business analytics service from Microsoft," Lynne explains. "The goal is to provide interactive visualizations and business analysis capabilities with an interface that's simple enough for end users to create their own reports and dashboards."
As a project manager, Lynne Howieson is responsible for stakeholder management, among other things. In addition, data preparation and visualization play a central role in her day-to-day work - the big helper here is the tool from Microsoft. Power BI serves Lynne and her colleagues as the basis for data-driven decision-making. Digitalization in everyday work is a matter of course for the project manager, because: "What is more digital than data?
How data provides transparency in the company
Lynne's colleagues are also committed to a data-driven culture. Together, the team is creating more transparency within the company. "MS Power BI lays the foundation for a transparent culture," says the project manager. Lynne is particularly proud of a sales report that a cross-functional team created using Microsoft's tool: "It's fascinating what you can get out of raw data!"
With the help of various data sources, reporting can now present key figures that were not available before. Particularly in the area of eBusiness, this has led to the identification of potential and - through derived measures - to a corresponding increase in the eBusiness share of the materials trader.
"In addition, I am proud that the reporting also increases transparency among colleagues and with customers," says Lynne. This happens first within the company through wider availability and provision of the key figures but also through meaningful benchmarks to be able to look at the figures in relation. In addition, the first solutions are being developed for customers to increase transparency in the supply chain - in line with the Materials as a Service strategy.
Data-based work promotes innovations
In digital career fields like Lynne's, it's all about a constant process that will accompany thyssenkrupp in the years to come. "Following the trial-and-error principle, new innovations and process optimizations are always being sought," Lynne explains. In this way, new insights can be gained and linked to AI applications, for example. After all, with the help of AI, even better forecasts and thus, the planning of "just in sequence" productions can become even more accurate.
"Just-in-sequence" describes a production concept in the automotive industry by which the required goods are delivered at the right time with the right quantity and in accordance with the customer's production rhythm. Digital data and correct data preparation are essential for this process to run smoothly. With the correct data, companies can then accurately estimate which quantities are needed at what time at the customer's site and fill warehouse stocks and areas accordingly.
"Often, by using Power BI, we can replace repetitive, manual analysis using Excel, for example, minimizing that work, but also ensuring that new results are available more often," Lynne explains. The more optimal presentation of results minimizes additional analysis work and creates more time for identifying and leveraging potential. "For example, in sales, in contact with customers, or even internally when analyzing costs," the expert explains.
An exciting area for young professionals
Interest in working in such future-oriented areas is growing steadily. But what skills, values and interests should interested parties bring to such a job? According to Lynne, a natural affinity for data and technology is an advantage. "The rest," she says, "can be learned." More importantly, she says, is to be open to new things, to always question things critically, and to always keep yourself up to date so that the company can be as well."
If you're interested in helping to drive digitization at thyssenkrupp,look at our careers page.