Digitalisation: Contributing to profitable growth from forest to customers

Published 26 February 2018
Projects are supported that enable Stora Enso to explore and harness new technologies and capabilities and steer wider deployment.
Deep in the era of digitalisation and such disruptive technologies as advanced analytics, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, blockchain and robotic process automation, Stora Enso is looking at opportunities for digitalisation throughout the value chain. Digital themes include smart operations, transparent supply chain, digital customer experience, new smart products and services as well as internal business processes. The aim: speed up the company’s transformation.

Some immediate steps to drive digitalisation in the company have included a Digitalisation Fund, a startup Accelerator Programme, internal innovation tool, external business partnerships and cooperations to gain more cross-industry learning, as well as theme specific excellence groups. Through the Digitalisation Fund, projects are supported that enable Stora Enso to explore and harness new technologies and capabilities and steer wider deployment after prototyping to get full scale benefits.

“The Digitalisation Fund is an important engine in the company’s development," says Teemu Salmi, Stora Enso's CIO and Head of Digitalisation. “What’s more, we have 25 000 potential innovators within Stora Enso through our diverse employee base, and the fund helps us realise their best ideas."

Every year, the Stora Enso Digitalisation Fund opens up for EUR 10 million in investment in employee initiated projects. From forest to customers, for example, these digitalisation projects include the use of advanced analytics to identify unplanned stops, smart wearables to enhance employee safety, augmented reality to view maintenance needs of running machinery, drones to capture forest or wood yard inventory data and trials of self-driving vehicles. Stora Enso also has projects focused on enhancing the customer experience, such as design tools, calculator apps, remote service, AI advisors and intelligent packages.

“There are so many possibilities – and benefits. In production, using big data to predict web (board as well as paper) breaks helps us to avoid costly disruptions. A common mobile solution for plant maintenance can help to increase efficiency and precision in mill operations, support preventive maintenance and improve warehouse handling,” continues Teemu. “At harvesting sites, digitally scanning trees provides an effective way to identify what tree is best suited for what product. In packaging, digital RFID tags enable us to track packages in the logistics chain and guarantee the authenticity of the packaged product. Incorporating our cloud solution, we can offer our customers a one-stop-shop to digitalise their supply chain.”

“An important point to make is that innovation does not take place in isolation, but rather in ecosystems with niche partners and collaborations with customers, suppliers and research organisations. The Stora Enso Accelerator Programme has also given us the invaluable opportunity to work side by side with startups to learn how we can further increase the pace of innovation within the company and find new commercial products and services. This programme has been focused significantly on digitalisation,” adds Teemu.

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