Developing digitalization: countless opportunities
Digitalization is a buzzword at the moment – including at Aurubis. The company isn’t only relying on traditional IT, automation, and modern software, but is bundling its approach in its own digital strategy.
Three pillars of the digital strategy
Aurubis wants to collaborate more with its customers digitally and to offer them digital added value. With these objectives in mind, the Aurubis Digital Innovation Lab, called the InnoLab for short, was established in early September. The InnoLab develops digital solutions that focus on customers and offer them digital added value, for instance in issues like price fixation or reviewing contracts. The goal: to draw customers and suppliers closer to Aurubis and to tap additional revenue potential.
To use the possibilities of digitalization for Aurubis’ production as well, Aurubis acquired azeti GmbH in July 2020. The Berlin software company develops and markets an Internet of Things platform that integrates and evaluates production data. This helps in determining and using optimization potential – making production processes in metal production and recycling more flexible and efficient.
IT’s main responsibility is still to make business processes more efficient through software and to create the necessary conditions, for example with the appropriate IT infrastructure. With a variety of different projects, IT has achieved a great deal in the past several years. A lot of energy continues to go into other projects – such as the current switch of our SAP system from R/3 to S/4.
With the introduction of Microsoft 365 and its conferencing tool Teams, Aurubis did a lot of things right before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Colleagues across the Group were able to quickly shift to remote work; video conferences are more common now and a number of processes, even audits, have been digitalized. A boost for digitalization – but it’s not quite enough. To stay ahead of the competition, Aurubis has to make its production processes more efficient and provide its customers with digital added value, according to Vice President IT Marcus Sassenrath. As a result, a digital strategy has been developed resting on three pillars: digitalization of administrative processes, digitalization of production, and digitalization of business models. “Together, they form a strong network – but each area nevertheless has enough space to independently work on innovative ideas,” says Sassenrath. “When it comes to traditional IT, we’ve been in a good position for a long time. But production and customer relationships can benefit from digitalization, too. We have a lot of potential in this area.”
When it comes to traditional IT, we’ve been in a good position for a long time. But production and customer relationships can benefit from digitalization, too.
Marcus Sassenrath, Vice President IT
New digital organization established
Working on innovative topics requires a different approach and is best in small, independent teams, which is why Aurubis has set up a new digital organization independent from traditional IT where ideas can be developed with some distance from daily business.
The new organization includes azeti GmbH, with their software platform for integrating and evaluating production data. Aurubis acquired the Berlin software company in July 2020, a smart strategic step that ensures that the platform will be developed to align with the needs of Aurubis and the industry in general in the long term. This also supports the work in the Analytics Center of Excellence, where a team of Aurubis experts works on projects focused on data modeling and artificial intelligence. And, finally, the Digital Innovation Lab established on September 1, 2020 also belongs to the new digital organization. Here, ideas are developed – together with the relevant specialist departments – to provide customers and product suppliers with digital added value.
Watch a short presentation by Marcus Sassenrath here: