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Digital transformation

Like youthful love

DX relies heavily on proven industry practices (Industry 3.0) and allows digital tools to step more strongly into innovation, greater customer focus, and even better efficiency. The famous sentence from the title (paraphrased) was uttered by Arjan Sissing, vice president of the German DHL, and it really can’t be closer to the truth. “Everyone talks about it, and nobody knows how to do it, but everyone thinks everyone else is at it. In the end, you’ve just needed to be a bit daring and just go for it,” he said, emphasizing that at the end of the story, the most important thing is to dare and start. Why is it so?

It takes a long time for technological innovations to settle down and reach the “dominant design” stage. The moment when the industry recognizes the undoubted benefits they bring and begins to apply them en masse. Digital transformation (DX) is no different here either. The road to technological maturity in the domain of digital transformation for Croatia took too long. As Europe industrialized, we were paralyzed by the war, and backward due to the consequences of privatization, which dealt a severe strike to the industry. The remaining companies focused on survival – shrinking, focusing on key markets, and prudent investment in cost reduction. Entrepreneurship has recorded significant growth only in recent years, but even here we are talking more about individual successes than about the entrepreneurial wave. DX relies heavily on proven industry practices (Industry 3.0) and enables digital tools to step more strongly into innovation, greater customer focus, and even better efficiency – process optimization and digitization. In such conditions, the caution present in the Croatian industry is understandable, but not justified.

The CEO of an excellent company must be focused on the jobs that make the company competitive. Expanding the core market and reducing costs are the main concerns of such people who do not spear time to experiment with new technologies. Proven solutions are being sought that can ensure a quick return on investment and carry minimal risk. On the other hand, information from the foreign market speaks of the uncompromising step of Western factories in DX and the large investments that accompany it. Then such a leader feels torn between the need to somehow bridge the digital divide towards Western competition and the lack of good practice and a reliable partner in his environment.

The good news for them is that these solutions still exist and have been used in the rest of the EU for ten years. There are many excellent examples in the domestic industry (Rimac, AD Plastik, Končar), but they are, de facto, just becoming the standard. “Our experiences show that in Croatia, manufacturing companies are mostly struggling with the limitations of the ERP system. This is usually in the area of ​​product life cycle monitoring (production documentation) and complex production process planning, on which most ERP systems fall, ”says Dr. Drago Cmuk, CADCAM Group Business Director. These areas are also the most complex parts of the DX, but they bring the greatest savings and significantly increase efficiency.

“Digital platforms like 3DEXPERIENCE that integrate digital production are the standard in the West, and our partners understand that well. They know that they will either fit into the world value chains technologically and procedurally, or they will not exist tomorrow,” he emphasizes. In our region, companies tend to develop their own solutions and are skeptical of solutions that they cannot “feel” nearby. As a result, they usually waste a lot of money and time on the long-term development of partial solutions and expansion of ERP functionality. That’s where they eventually run into a wall. The recipe for success is simple: focus on what you are best at and indulge in a proven system integrator to help you make a digital breakthrough. With a well-defined strategy, the first steps in process improvement and automation will also bring significant savings. The situation with the Coronavirus has put Croatia in an extraordinary position.

Border problems and the industry’s focus on closing supply chains in a national or close-by environment have brought countries outside the EU or inaccessible by car (for example Bulgaria and Romania), creating a great opportunity for Croatia to take advantage of. A necessary precondition for this is a technological breakthrough and that is why it is time to stop talking romantically – and get to work. Opportunities like this are not provided often.


by: Drago Cmuk, CADCAM Group

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