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Outdated and clumsy solutions are not accepted anymore

Danfoss Drives is a global leader in the variable speed control of electronic motors. The company is developing, manufacturing, and supplying low voltage AC drives that work with any motor system – for optimal control of electronic motors. Danfoss Drives specialist engineering, testing, and development facilities are strategically located around the world. We got an opportunity to interview Riikka Tikkala, Manager of Supplier Operations Management from Danfoss Drives.

In this changing business environment, what are the driving development trends in supply chain management right now?

There are a lot of uncertainties on markets, no matter if talking about B2B or consumer markets. There are continuous changes ongoing impacting every step of the process and that is causing challenges to keep the supply chain under control. Transparent and efficient information and status sharing between partners and internal stakeholders are essential.  

What kind of challenges digital solutions can solve in the space of supply chain management in near future?

There could be better tools to handle information sharing between partners than email. How much valuable information is lost in rambling email conversations. At the same time, companies are putting a lot of effort into designing efficient and lean processes and standard ways of working, removing waste, and reducing costs. But if there is an external partner involved in the process, we’ll see a gap in keeping the process flowing. Digital solutions are needed to close that gap.

If looking from a practical point of view, there are a lot of opportunities to save resources from both sides for example in document management and continuous task handling and monitoring.

What are the suppliers expecting from the manufacturer? What has changed during the past 10 years?

Suppliers are expecting transparency to manufacturers’ plans and similar flexibility what manufacturers are expecting from them. It is about partnership. Every company is trying to hold on to their productivity and profitability and that is expected to be common agenda in partnership.

10 years ago any kind of supplier platform or Extranets was fine for many suppliers. Now it is more widely known what kind of digital solutions are possible and available. People are using useful and clever solutions and apps in many aspects of daily life so they understand what is possible also is business. They don’t easily accept outdated or clumsy solutions in work life either. The solutions taken in use should save also suppliers time and resources.

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