Boualem Saidi, Senior Bayer Representative, Bayer Romania, is the latest business leader in Romania to answer the four main questions of the Call4.0Leaders interview series, centered around the main 4 trends of the new reality: resiliency and sustainability, the human-machine balance, organizational agility, and Co-opetition.
- What projects have you carried out over the past year to make your company’s operations more sustainable and resilient?
Contributing to sustainability is a core element of Bayer’s strategy and values. Guided by our vision “Health for all, hunger for none”, we promote inclusive development and a responsible use of resources to help people and the planet thrive.
We have developed specific projects throughout our operations and below are just a few examples:
- In our Seeds Production Site in Sinesti, we use digitalization to support our sustainability goals, by introducing agronomical practices in our production fields like Variable Rate Fertilization, Drip Irrigation and monitoring of the plots. All those measures help us preserve natural resources and be fully efficient. We also optimised our gas and energy consumption in the plant and implemented solar panels for the water heating system, photovoltaic panels for producing green energy or automatic lighting controls. Our goal is to achieve a CO2 emissions reduction by 14% for 2023.
- We also feel accountable for the sustainability across the supply chain. We are investing in digital farming solutions and precision agricultural tools (Climate FieldView) that are helping our customers (farmers) to leverage fields data, translate it into insights and agronomic analytics that support better decisions’ making, both from performance (high yield and quality from the crops) and sustainability (reduce environmental impact and use less natural resources) perspectives.
- Our New Business Models in Ag give us opportunities enabled by digital solutions, such as i) Outcome Based Model: implementing tailored solutions focusing on value creation and risk sharing model with farmers, or ii) carbon model, in which we help farmers to sequestrate more carbon in the soil with their agronomic practices while they are getting new source of revenues from value chain players.
- We are also taking specific measures in our offices, like recycling plastic, metal, glass and paper, reducing to 0 the consumption of bottled water and starting to reshape our car-fleet towards more sustainable options.
- How can we find the right balance between intelligent machines and human intelligence in the new business reality of accelerated automation and digitalization?
Artificial Intelligence is helping us to mine and exploit the new gold: Big Data! We are turning it into insights, analytics for better decision making, or models that can predict crops or diseases development. Smart tools and machines are making our lives much easier.
Common Human Sense will however continue to prevail in life science domains in which we deal with a lot of uncertainties, such as weather, pandemic, or any other extraordinary events. Human intelligence is more agile and can learn faster in totally new and disruptive situations. The best example I can use to illustrate that is the vaccine for Covid! It has been developed in 12 months instead of 10 years.
I can tell you from experience that digitalization and automation are of high benefits for well-designed and known processes. It boosts dramatically the productivity, and it supports scalability and fast deployment of new business models. There are many tasks that are repetitive that can be managed by machines, freeing more time for humans to concentrate on other value-creation activities.
- Are flatter, more agile structures better equipped to succeed in the new reality than their more traditional and rigid counterparts? How would you describe your organization in this regard?
Nowadays, with the “new normal”, speed is more important than perfectionism to succeed! Learning agility became one of the most important capabilities and key success factors for an organization.
At Bayer, we are ‘deeply” transforming our core businesses and processes. By 2030, most of our business will be digitally enabled. For that, we need to transform our organization to become more agile, fast learning and growing. We aim both to standardize and automatize some processes, such as procurement, legal support, HR operations, and at the same time we empower leaner and customer focused teams to take the relevant decisions.
- Is the business world evolving from a competition mindset to a co-opetition one? How integrated is your company in this regard and what can you tell us about the partnerships you carried out with other organizations?
Bayer is going in the direction of collaboration and partnership to co-create added value for all stakeholders in many domains. One example is working on cooperation with farmers and value chain players to implement the carbon model (CO2 removed from atmosphere and sequestrated in the soil). Another area of focus is the digital farming solutions’ platform that is integrating services and precision ag. tools from different providers (similar to an app store). In the same time, we are implementing new business models focusing on Outcome Based Model (risk sharing model with the farmer based on the final outputs), and carbon farming where farmers will be paid for removing CO2 from the atmosphere and sequestrating it in the soil.