My role as digital technology partner for our colleagues

One of the three facets of our business strategy is to bring digital solutions to transform our field of play and how we work. The Advanced Digital Solutions Team is one of the important players in integrating advanced technologies into everyday situations, today, and for tomorrow. Meet Priti, Jaro and Yufeng who explain what it is like being part of the team and how they act as a leading partner with their stakeholders. 

What is so unique about the Advanced Digital Solutions (ADS) team? 

Priti: Bekaert has embarked on a journey to “establish the new possible.” With passionate technologists in our team from across the globe, we work as a trusted IT and data partner to shape and deliver value with digital solutions. What I like about the team is that we are driven with a strong purpose and an incredible vision from the leadership, which helps to lift our digital journey. As part of fostering the growth of our team members, we have so called Learning Fridays, where you can learn something new every second Friday of the month, and Sharing Mondays, where you can share your learnings with the rest of the team and decide how to apply your learnings in your day-to-day work.

Jaro: Our team has a commitment to focus on goals, and leaves room for creativity and learning. We have a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences which bring different perspectives to the table when solving problems or brainstorming about new ideas. I also see our different teams in ADS have a strong sense for mutual support, which to me creates an environment where you feel comfortable and can work effectively. Overall, I think that the combination of our skills, values, and teamwork is what makes us truly unique and successful.

Yufeng: The ADS team always focuses on setting goals and delivering results for our internal customers, and every member contributes their fair share. We agree on the team goals based on outcomes and results with regards to our customers/stakeholders, rather than just on the amount of work being done. Every member of the team is unique and able to contribute with their own experiences and knowledge. And we are always happy to assist others when they need a helping hand. As we say in Bekaert - better together.

How do you challenge the impossible in your day-to-day job?

Priti: My mantra is to really believe in yourself, work with agility and embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. With our strategic direction to Smart Operations, we continue to go beyond and leverage future technology possibilities like Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and machine learning to enable data driven process optimizations. As part of my role, I am leading the Digital Manufacturing program as an IT Product Manager and the Release Train Engineer (RTE). We work to provide our shopfloor employees with the right tools to make informed decisions with real time visualizations, digital execution assistance and so on. 2023 is the year of execution for us. We aim to realize our Digital Manufacturing strategy and roadmap by executing and scaling our solutions in more plants, thereby further transforming our manufacturing processes, and driving operational excellence.

Jaro: To me it starts with a can-do attitude and a willingness to think outside the box. I’m encouraged by ADS to question, come up with creative solutions, and sometimes to take calculated risks. Currently, I take the lead in the architecture and development of our whole tooling suite linked to our solution delivery lifecycle and supporting service management processes. Secondly, I’m leading a track to develop visualization standards for enterprise performance management reports and dashboards. With my experience in the Power Platform combined with UX design, I make the products more mature, efficient and grow their capabilities to position them as a digital product towards our stakeholders. I am excited about these projects because they are truly challenging me to do the impossible and allow me to grow. 

Yufeng: Let me give you one concrete example. I am very passionate about one of my current projects, where we are building a digital checklist in the Manufacturing Execution System (MES) to replace the traditional paper data entry. I am responsible for the system configuration, master data setup, training and support. When the project team successfully finished the first pilot we ran into some hurdles. As a solution, I worked with the business team to design the digital dashboard from zero. After 4 months of teamwork, 5 digital reports/dashboards are now deployed successfully to help business teams by providing real time and historical data. Many times, I also tap into the wisdom of my ADS team members as they help to observe a situation from a different perspective. Team wisdom and brainstorming will push me to new heights with huge inspiration.

The ADS team acts as a trusted IT & Data partner to shape and deliver value with digital solutions and drive Bekaert’s performance.  How do you partner with your stakeholders in your role?

Priti: As part of the Digital Operations team at Bekaert, we work closely with stakeholders within ADS, and with operational excellence and other business functions. We align with our business partners on strategic initiatives and co-own the product responsibilities to meet business and financial objectives. Agile ways of working have created a foundation to partner more with our stakeholders and involve them throughout the journey of delivering value. As a Release Train Engineer, I organize program increment planning (as per the SAFe agile framework), that aligns teams and stakeholders to a shared mission and vision. Acknowledging end-to-end accountability, we partner and enhance our user community, promoting and enabling users with better understanding and adoption of solutions.

Jaro: In my role, I engage with our ADS leadership team, team leads and some key stakeholders from the different functions and business units to understand their requirements and goals and proactively seek for feedback to ensure that our solutions meet their needs. Additionally, I openly share my work and best practices to enable self-service. By partnering closely with stakeholders, I believe that we can deliver digital solutions that meet their needs and create value for all involved.

Yufeng: I work on the digital solution delivery in Manufacturing/Operation process hence I engage with many different stakeholders in the business units and functions. I always make sure that I get a clear picture of the current system/application to assess the impact/feasibility for each business requirement based on short and long-term decisions. Then I have a clear objective and build a clear Return On Investment (ROI) evaluation for each business requirement to make sure the digital solution will be deployed with higher value.

How is Bekaert helping to unlock your full potential?

Priti: I truly believe in “dare to go beyond”, which gives me immense confidence in creating an impact. Bekaert supports my personal growth ambitions with the freedom to pave my own path. Over the past 3 years, I have been able to work in an environment driven by continuous learning and anchored by the purpose of building safe, smart, and sustainable solutions. Bekaert strongly believes in empowering and putting its people first. This helps me to grow my “wings” to fly and chase my dreams. With the better together belief, we collectively grow the business and deliver results by inspiring and engaging each other. What helps me to further unlock my potential are the Bekaert values of integrity, trust, agility, and boldness. This drives me to challenge the status quo, build relationships, embrace change, and drive decision making. 

Jaro: Firstly, Bekaert creates an environment for growth and development. Through various trainings, I have been able to grow my digital skills and knowledge, which helped me to take on new challenges and responsibilities within the team. Secondly, Bekaert offers career opportunities and recognizes employees for their hard work and achievements, which has motivated me to continue striving for excellence. A great example for that is that since I joined in 2017, I have been able to grow from a supporting Project Management Office role to a more leading and development role for automating ADS processes, installing the digital products, applications and so on. Overall, I feel that Bekaert is invested in my success and is committed to helping me reach my full potential, both personally and professionally.

Yufeng: Bekaert helps me in several ways to unlock my full potential. Each year, we need to create short-term goals and a long-term career roadmap. Our “dare to go beyond” belief guides us to set bold goals. We are willing to accept the challenge, change and uncertainty while not just pursuing the goal with safety and easiness. Bekaert has a comprehensive training program. As a newcomer, I receive many valuable training sessions including 360 leadership elevation which is helpful for my daily work. I really appreciate that I can grab these opportunities to level up and I never feel left behind.

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