Challenging organizational structures and breaking boundaries

Venla Viertola and Helena Kortelainen

Changes in the Finnish forest industry are needed, and the forest industry has been seen as slow to develop their culture and processes. For UPM, SEED ecosystem is breaking the mindset and boundaries between organizations.

For UPM, the SEED ecosystem is not only a research project but also a way to develop new business practices. The advantage that the SEED ecosystem provides is clear: the ecosystem challenges organizational structures of today. Open and cooperative innovation environment can also help the emergence of such creative solutions that nobody could create alone.

UPM has offered to SEED three business-driven use cases and these use cases include next generation diary, 360-degree status tool and tools for mill collaboration management. These use cases build up a unified approach, in which novel digital solutions solve the challenges of future working environment and tacit knowledge management. Today, UPM is focusing the development work in the pulp mills at Kymi, Kaukaa and Pietarsaari. In the future, the goal is to involve also the pulp mill in Uruguay to the project. The current SEED ecosystem offers a variety of potential collaboration partners for UPM. The forest industry is often criticized for its slow renewal. However, today the forest industry companies boost experimental culture and encourage the personnel to search for new solutions. With successful digitalization, boundaries between organizations may shift and change. This could enhance collaboration, develop production processes and accelerate field operations. However, it is important to evaluate benefits and risks on a system level. Developing an app for everything is not ideal, but carefully designed, intelligent apps and platforms between teams, organizations and production facilities is the way to produce a good digitalization platform.

Source: Paperi ja Puu magazine (No 2/2020)