October 18, 2016

Guest blog post: Rethinking the supply chain with data

Turkka Keskinen


Innovations, efficiency and sustainability guide our business. We want to help our customers to succeed with products and solutions that create a sustainable future. That's why fostering innovation and finding new ways of using data are so important to us, and why digitalization is becoming such a key part of what we do. That’s why we want to support Biofore by Digiforce!

Within UPM we embrace digital change positively. For us digitalization is the key to transform our current operations into more efficient ones. We have done and we are doing a lot in many fronts. As an example we utilise cloud enabled mobility in plantations, digitally optimised logistics in wood sourcing and advanced analytics in energy. And we expect much more to come! There are promising cases in the area of supply chain optimisation, maintenance management and robotic process automation. Even artificial intelligence is in our radar.

For UPM, one of the biggest opportunities is the Internet of Things (IoT). Because of the global nature of our business, we generate huge amounts of information every day. IoT enables us to gather data at every stage of our operations - often in areas that would have been invisible in the past - and use advanced analytics tools to study and spot new patterns and opportunities to improve our ways of working and supply a better service to our customers.

Seeking great innovations at Junction Hackathon

With our traditional practices, it may take a long time to build a usable solution. We need to think and act differently. That's why we're excited to be running a new 'hackathon' approach alongside our service partner Tieto and technology partner IBM. The Hackathon can bring a fresh approach and develop new ways of using our data that might never have been thought of before.

We'll have many hackers working on our supply chain challenges at the Junction hackathon in Helsinki in November. Our goal is not just to participate on a fancy event, but to find real innovations, concepts and solutions that benefit our business. We have three challenges for hackers to work on: how to track our paper supply chain in real time; how to visualise the entire lifecycle of an order; and how to take full advantage of predictive analytics to forecast issues or optimise processes.

Tieto's expertise and experience in this area will be invaluable to this event, and in turning these innovations into real-world results. In today's ecosystem, where there are so many technologies emerging and evolving at a rapid pace, it's important to work with partners that understand the environment we work in, innovate together and offer scalable services.

I'm excited to see what the participants in the hackathon come up with, and how it can help us build a digital supply chain that's sustainable and fit for the future. Read more about our Junction challenges and join our team: www.upm.com/junction

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