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Driving forward: our push into the digital world

Team members in a meeting

The launch of Premier Tech Digital in 2018 — one of the key outcomes of our VISION 2023 — was based on the same principle that enabled our diversification back in 1990. How can we redeploy our competencies, knowledge base and assets into new industries and deliver value to our customers in a meaningful way? We saw the thousands of equipment we have installed, whether it be wastewater treatment equipment or packaging systems, and listened to the voices of our customers claiming access to the data they generate — or could generate. Not only did they want access, but they wanted such data to be contextualized and made actionable. 

Now, four years down the road, Premier Tech Digital is gaining momentum with some 250 team members in North America as well as in Europe, and has made important strategic moves in the last fiscal year. 

From digitalization to digital products 

Digital and digitalization, two concepts that can sometimes get quite confusing and are all over the news since a few years. But what is the difference, really? Whereas the word digital can encompass a wide array of activities from business models to digital products, digitalization is quite specific. It means using technology to gain performance and productivity by transforming mostly labour intensive and unconnected business processes, into smooth and efficient ones using softwares. The underlying intention is therefore to improve and accelerate how you get things done as a company. The keyword here is to improve. Digitalization is what allows a company to improve its internal processes making them better, faster and more efficient, while completely reinventing the value and experience it provides to users and end customers. 

Digital products, on the other hand, are all about bringing easy-to-use software applications to the market. These will either work hand-in-hand with existing physical products or be products that stand alone in their own right. Again, it’s all about initiating change, innovating, being fast-paced and creating a better user experience, all while delivering value to the end user. 

Reinventing the field of possibilities 

The differences between digital and digitalization and their distinct particularities have been driving the way we deploy our development and growth strategies at Premier Tech Digital. With our industrial and manufacturing background in mind, it was quite straight forward to target smart manufacturing as our first business area from the start. Today, we help companies in various industries, from carbon fibre manufacturing to our own rotomoulding plants, and pulp and paper industries. The common goal: increase their efficiency and return on investment. Premier Tech Digital being an authorized integrator for GE Digital as well as SAP, our team of engineers, experts and specialists can help define the scope, and best approach to increase the performance of both process and discrete manufacturing facilities.

At Premier Tech, we often say that we master the science behind our technologies. But we still believe that technology would not be the same without people — and we think that’s what makes us quite unique. By focusing on people and change management, we are sure to fulfill our clients’ goals and deliver on their ambitions, while adapting the pace for a seamless, more durable integration. Here, we put people first no matter what. This human approach to smart manufacturing allows us to better accompany our clients and enable them to act on real-time data. Since we believe that people are the core enabler of digitalization and continuous improvement, we move forward with the firm intent of empowering all our customers through the power of technologies and people. 

From an idea to a business 

Without innovation, the world as we know it would not be the same. To innovate, one must constantly think outside the box and that is exactly what our team members do every day. This way of thinking was key to the development of the Liveline® product, which was officially launched on a pre-commercial basis at the very beginning of this fiscal year with its full commercial launch later in the year. 

Through 3D visualization, the real-time production line configurator Liveline® enables OEM’s (original equipment manufacturers) sales teams to create virtual production lines. Our team tapped into the potential of video game technologies to create a highly visual, immersive and unique experience for all, transforming a traditional commercial approach into a valuable 4.0 experience across all users. The idea behind this productivity tool first came from our own sales teams at Premier Tech Systems and Automation. We then made the decision to structure this effort into an internal start-up with a dedicated team having the mandate to turn the Liveline® product idea into a business, focusing on the needs of OEM’s.

The Liveline® configurator is Premier Tech’s first cloud-based product and is being commercialized on a SaaS-based business model. This introduction year saw two external customers adopting it to digitally transform their commercial processes and we expect more to join as we are accelerating our commercial efforts around this product.

Équipiers travaillant avec le programme liveline

Expanding our reach

At the very beginning of this fiscal year, we announced that Premier Tech and Mirego were joining forces, amplifying our digital acceleration. The news generated several questions — perhaps even stunned quite a few people. Why would a tech company ally itself with an industrial company? There are many reasons why, but the following two pretty much sum it all. For the Mirego team, it was driven by their desire to expand their reach and ability to use technology to transform and better our world. For Premier Tech, it was the next logical step to cover the full field of leveraging technology to make a difference. From digitalization in smart manufacturing — through our own digital products and digitalizing the commercial process of OEM’s — to helping our clients develop their own digital products and offer with the onboarding of the Mirego team.

Mirego’s expertise perfectly complements Premier Tech Digital’s skills. Together, we will push the boundaries of technology and innovation even further to bring thoughtful and purposeful digital solutions to life. This partnership also strengthens our commitment to support the acceleration of our digital operations, and that of our current and future clients. We both strive to make a difference with our products and take our impact to the next level.

Mirego Acquisition Albert Dang-Vu and Jean Bélanger

Doing things the Premier Tech way 

Where will this journey lead us? Well, it is too early to fully grasp just how far this will bring us. But one thing we know for sure: we see a meaningful opportunity to deliver and create value for all stakeholders. And this is what drives our efforts forward.

All this, we will do while fuelling our own digitalization. This agility and constant quest for innovation has always allowed us to stay ahead of the curve and lay the strong foundations needed for our teams to grow. With such fast and easy access to data — and with the power to act on them — we will keep on bringing innovative products and solutions to the market.

This story is from the Premier Tech Report 2022. 
Discover it now: www.premiertech.com/annual-report