Olle Söderqvist Industriutvecklare IUC Väst

Collaboration can lead to better digitalization

Publicerad: 3 April 2024

The possibilities of digitization are enormous, but it is complex to do in a good way. Especially the small companies need to surround themselves with partners to set the right direction and find synergies along the way.

In my work at IUC Väst, I meet small and medium-sized manufacturing companies on a daily basis in our projects that aim to support them in their development in various ways. We meet many companies in Fyrdodal with 20-40 employees. Many of these companies have a CEO who is operational and have limited staff functions. It's a challenge for these companies to keep up to date with IT security, the ERP system's latest features (if you even have one) not to mention the advent of generative AI that has created a bit of a hype in recent times.

My observation is that these small companies are in a special situation. There are many smart and well-functioning solutions at these companies. The disadvantage is that there is often no time to keep up with business intelligence in an ever-faster development. And how should you think to create the best production system for your company? There is too little time to reflect together. They live very much in the moment in order to manage delivery to the customer with high precision. And with all due respect! However, the future must also be kept up!

There is a lot on the agenda to fix for the fairly near future, the examples are many: Cybersecurity – minimize the risk of intrusion, circular flows, energy efficiency, efficient production, automation, smart maintenance, minimize inventory management, skills development, be visible on social media, strategies, investments, need for post-calculations, choice of business system, how should we relate to AI.

Digitalisation is a tool that can support many of these challenges. BUT it is important to do that job in a way that provides value for the company and not for the sake of "digitization". It's difficult if you're alone.

You don't have to be alone! The increasingly effective cooperation in the innovation support system, i.e. the collaboration between IUCs, research institutes, universities/colleges and research funders, regions and others, is an opportunity for small companies. There are many examples of long-term collaborations where we as IUC have accompanied companies between actors, depending on where the best support is. There are many good examples. In general, we at IUC act as a gateway to the innovation system. We carry out needs analyses and help you take the first steps on the way to defining a problem and the solution to it. When the question becomes of a slightly more specific nature, we use experts from, for example, RISE or a university – all so that the company always receives the best support.

There are still many companies that have not yet tried to really cooperate with us IUCs. Try! Completely new opportunities can open up for business intelligence, knowledge development, client expertise and much more that can help meet the future even better.

We are here for you!

Published 2024-04-03  |  Authored by Olle Söderqvist