Bayer Wins the TrendMiner
Of the Year 2022 Award
If you ask Bayer AG engineers about their digitalization journey, they will tell you it is gaining speed. Their commitment and dedication to improving their analytics maturity level has earned the life-science company the 2022 TrendMiner of the Year Award.
Bayer started its journey into process data analytics two years ago. The company did an extensive evaluation of solutions that could help them improve its operations. Bayer chose TrendMiner because of its unique selling proposition of putting software users first.
“We continued to receive excellent feedback regarding the TrendMiner program, but also our approach at that time. The value of TrendMiner was confirmed, not only for our use cases, but for our users.”
The Bayer Approach
Initially, Bayer used TrendMiner at just two sites. The company was interested in analyzing time-series data, but also contextual data such as laboratory quality, production, and maintenance reports. These features helped to realize the collaboration of different business functions to enable advanced analytics.
Bodo Güldenring, TrendMiner program lead at Bayer, said the pilot program with TrendMiner was immediately successful and demonstrated value with its intuitive and easy-to-understand user interface. The Crop Science Division moved to a one-year TrendMiner explore program where process experts, operations, and IT were closely aligned to support the rollout.
“We continued to receive excellent feedback regarding the TrendMiner program, but also our approach at that time,” said Güldenring. “The value of TrendMiner was confirmed, not only for our use cases, but for our users.”
A Healthy Partnership
Bayer is a German-based life science company with three divisions: Crop Science, Pharmaceuticals, and Consumer Health.
“Our vision for all three divisions is Health for all, hunger for none,” said Christof Backhaus, Digital Lead, Product Supply Active Ingredient Manufacturing at Bayer. “We are tackling two of the most pressing challenges of our time: health and nutrition.”
With 374 companies in 83 countries and about 100,000 people Bayer reached annual sales of 44 billion Euros in 2021. Bayer spent 5.4 billion Euros on research and development last year.
Bayer deployed TrendMiner in a cloud environment that collected local, regional, and centralized process data from various historians. The cross functional rollout team created a standard implementation approach, that is still applied in the ongoing rollout.
The company launched TrendMiner with specific use cases in mind. During the rollout, Bayer also built a Microsoft SharePoint site and Teams channel for collaboration within the organization and for knowledge exchange.
“We gain additional momentum as more and more colleagues from corporate engineering and technology use this system in their process optimization projects together with the sites,” said Backhaus.
Cooperation was one of several key benefits the company sought in an analytics partner. Backhaus said trust, communication, scalability, and access to data were other primary factors in choosing TrendMiner.
“There has to be a certain trust in the system and its ability to optimize production,” he said. “It’s very important to do some internal marketing here. We have quarterly calls with experts who are responsible for data sources, cooperation, and have the ability to connect people in different roles in our organization to support the TrendMiner implementation. It was mainly our cross-functional rollout team, but also site experts, who acted as local multipliers here.”
The Journey Ahead
Backhaus and Güldenring said they have challenges ahead, but also have found ways to improve user adoption.
“We try to keep the threshold to start TrendMiner as low as possible through a centrally sponsored program to minimize administrative work and index the data before the initial trainings start,” said Güldenring.
The greatest challenge, however, is getting process experts to find time for training and preparation work. Once they are onboarded, users quickly realize the value of TrendMiner.
“But it’s hard to remember to fix the fence when you have to catch the chicken that got out,” said Backhaus. “You have to be motivated to free up some time to really get started.
“It’s very important to ask the right questions during onboarding,” he said. “If you start with TrendMiner implementation and continue its usage, then you have a winning team.”