Ilkka Leppävuori: Unfolding the Benefits of Digital in Paper and Packaging



Although digital may appear to threaten paper and packaging companies, it actually provides opportunities for cost savings and new products. Ilkka Leppävuori, who leads Bain's Forest Products, Paper and Packaging practice in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, shares three areas where digitalization can be effective in paper and packaging companies.

Read the Bain Brief: Unfolding the Benefits of Digital in Paper and Packaging

Read the transcript below.

ILKKA LEPPÄVUORI: Digital is often seen as a threat by the paper and packaging companies. But it does provide a lot of opportunities, as well. We see leading paper and packaging companies apply digital in at least three areas. One is, they want to provide a better customer experience through, for instance, better online ordering and better transparency on deliveries.

Two, they create new digital-enabled products powered by technology, like RFID or QR codes. And three, they want to improve their internal operations at plants and mills. One example of this is advanced analytics and mobile applications in maintenance.

While all of this sounds very promising, it does require a lot of work from the paper company executives to get value out of digital. We advise them to focus on two areas in parallel. One is, simply, get started. Start small. Define one or two narrow use cases. Assemble a cross-functional team to try to solve them. Refine and scale.

In parallel, executives should be thinking about the long-term enablers to get value out of digitalization. These typically start from a proper capability assessment of the company and entails things like changes at the operating model, hiring new talent, and building an ecosystem of digital experts around you.

Read the Bain Brief: Unfolding the Benefits of Digital in Paper and Packaging