From roofing and insulation to advanced mortars and green retrofitting, the Holcim Group is expanding its solutions through acquisitions as part of its 2025 strategy.
We’re supporting the business in this process enabling the integration of these solutions into the Holcim digital ecosystem so that we can continue to build greener and smarter.
Ilona Keller, Project Manager at the Holcim EMEA Digital Center, talks about how this digital integration process is going and the challenges and opportunities these new solutions bring into our digital product portfolio.
NEW ANSWERS FOR NEW SOLUTIONS
We provide support to all Holcim EMEA region countries with digital solutions for managing the cement, aggregates and RMX businesses. We have a standard business model in the region that we have been continuously improving to meet all business requirements. As the business expands its product portfolio, this model must also evolve and adapt to accommodate it.
Last year we launched a project to integrate a new solution, the Precast business. We quickly realized that this wasn’t a question of simply implementing an existing solution; we were dealing with a completely different business, discovering several differences between our standard model and the new precast and Structures business line. One example is the structure of the material master data. The precast business involves a lot of custom products, designed for specific projects or slightly modified for special client requests. We needed to design a model that would keep the right level of detail and be able to recognize the deliverables and invoice, but also ensure the right categorization and standardization to track the actual cost, revenue and correctly calculate the standard price.
We also had to adjust manufacturing and stock management processes to include batches, create a much more elaborate invoice and accrual model, and design a new reporting model.
The project was a tremendous opportunity for us to understand this new business. We learned so much about new processes in several different areas (sales, stock management, manufacturing and finally reporting) that we were able to deliver a model that correctly reflects costs and revenues per project and provides a clear picture of profitability.
As a result, we are now ready to deploy our solution for this type of business in other EMEA countries.
People, the key factor for success
I think that in almost every project (and here, too) the most important factor is the people. Our project team included business users, the EMEA Digital Center IT team, the shared center team and local consultants. Every member of the team was heavily involved from the first day of rollout, working hard and concentrating on delivering the best possible solution. We worked as a team, supporting each other and all pulling in the same direction.
We had a great combination of skills: extensive knowledge of the precast business from experts, incredible experience regarding the existing model, group policies and rules of thumb from key users in Holcim business, strong support from our EBS colleagues and, finally, excellent expertise from our EMEA Digital Center team.
We often had to think outside the box, do deep analysis and research, and because of that we were able to come up with a winning solution for even the most challenging issues.