An interview with our team in Ukraine for European Business Assossiation

16.09.2020

Our team in Ukraine gave a big interview for European Business Assossiation about investing in employees, construction market, industries revolution, process automation and much more. Below you will find some extracts from the artcile and the link to the full version.

What issues does the company have in Ukraine? And what is the best way to tackle them?

Ivan Koval, Head of Engineering: More than 25 years of operations in Ukraine have taught us to be agile and to adjust to a constantly changing environment.  We always try to see not problems but tasks, which we translate into opportunities. Our main principle of doing business is to find ways of partnership and mutual complementarity. In Ukraine, we do not have a problem of creating opportunities; on the contrary, we have a lack of experts for the implementation of both internal and external projects. Investing in employee education and creating competitive working conditions to prevent the outflow of intellectual resources can be a solution to the problem of a shortage of high-quality experts in Ukraine.

As of the construction market of Ukraine, intense market competition from both international and local providers of engineering services forces us to constantly adjust the strategy of cost and content components of our services. However, we believe that we have certain advantages: the experience of a general designer, known in the best international standards and practices, specialization in various industrial and commercial markets, the ability to attract not only local resources but also the expertise of the developed European network of Bilfinger Group and external partners. Our experts are able to speak the same language with technology solution providers and customer engineering teams, thus relieving the workload or complementing the client’s project management. Foreign investors, for example, do not always have clear understanding and experience of passing approval procedures, taking into account building norms and permitting procedures in Ukraine. Bilfinger Tebodin has extensive experience in this. International companies and their financial and technology partners developing business in Ukraine usually have their own standards for the construction of new facilities, and Bilfinger Tebodin ensures the maximum possible adaptation to Ukrainian construction requirements, acting as a bridge between the customer’s wishes and local realities.

In general, in Ukraine the enthusiasm of investors is ahead of market conditions and opportunities of the investment climate. And although the country is gradually revising its mechanisms to support the investment climate, we share some investor concerns.

To overcome the risks and different countries’ specifics and to focus on the development of our core practices, Bilfinger Tebodin has moved away from the geographical organizational structure at country level. Instead, we are developing business lines (consulting, engineering, process engineering and project management) at Central and Eastern Europe. It also allows you to build strategic relationships with investors who have plans in our region.

What business opportunities can open up in the times of change?

Oksana Cherinko, Director of Consultancy: Traditionally, the main drivers of opportunities in Ukraine are International Financial Institutions, which are usually leaders in financing projects in Ukraine, advancing the country on the path of transformation and implementation of world best practices. The strategic focus of International Financial Institutions is a priority support for accelerating Ukraine’s integration with the European Union and strengthening the resilience of the country’s economic model, as well as the development of strategically important sectors such as agro-industry and transport infrastructure.

We are proud that together with International Financial Institutions we help leading companies to realize projects focused at implementing climate technologies, studying advanced methods of industrial waste management, construction of new manufacturing facilities in accordance with advanced European technological and environmental practices, and development of strategic planning of so-called “Green Cities” aimed at environmental protection, energy efficiency and development of efficient infrastructure, and many others. We see multiple opportunities for business development and help to implement them.

Could you name innovations that could help Ukrainian business survive unforeseen situations in the future?

Maksym Khilo, Head of Process Engineering: If we talk about innovations and trends, first of all it is the application of integrated approaches. For example, in design, we increasingly see in customer requests the need to use integrated solutions for the design of technological processes based on software solutions AVEVA, COMOS and others. In a broad sense, this all goes under the term BIM (Building Information Model or Modeling) design, when your drawings carry not only visual information but also have an informational component. The use of integrated solutions allows making design more efficient, providing an intelligent connection between all components of project documentation: project database, 3D model, flow charts, specifications, questionnaires and so on. This approach reduces potential errors, speeds up the design process, and reduces design and construction costs. It should also be noted that the integrated project information model creates additional added value for the customer, as it is the basis for further implementation of the Digital Twin concept and can be used at the stage of operation as a standalone product, for example, for training operating personnel or planning further reconstructions. Bilfinger Tebodin uses AVEVA E3D, Siemens COMOS, Autodesk Plant 3D solutions for technological design at the corporate level.

In terms of production processes, the current trend is the implementation of the Digital Twin concept for new or existing production processes. Digital twins are used throughout the life cycle of technological production for engineering analysis, forecasting and optimization of the production system. By simulating the process with a digital twin and analyzing what is happening with the help of digital communication, companies can create a manufacturing methodology that will be effective in a variety of conditions, including changing market needs or the company’s shift to another product program.

Do companies that once invested resources in process automation feel that they benefit from these investments?

Oksana Roman, Head of Management Consultancy and Business Development: There is no doubt today that success of the company largely depends on the degree of automation or digitization of its managerial and production processes. Therefore, companies that once invested in process optimization – whether it was an internal enterprise resource management system or technological processes optimization within manufacturing facilities – have a positive response.

The advantages are multiple indeed, including increase of asset efficiency rates, decrease of number of errors caused by human factor, safer technological processes for people and the environment and many others. Nevertheless, in the context of energy and industry transformation, investments in process automation should be approached comprehensively. Prior to implementing certain digital solutions, a complex assessment of the company’s operating model is needed to provide a clear understanding of the market environment and to assess how the company’s model meets the market needs, which processes need to be adjusted or changed, and which need to be eliminated.

A deep level of process automation is increasingly becoming a basic condition rather than a competitive advantage. Today you can hardly imagine success in most industries without the use of cloud storage, artificial intelligence or augmented reality technologies. Ukraine is now on its path in this direction. Thanks to the intellectual resources and the developed base of information technologies the country has great prospects.

We see our role as a Consultant to assist companies in their smooth transition to the new industrial norm by applying a holistic approach. We run market studies to help our clients develop market and business intelligence to verify investment plans with market trends, best available technologies and solutions, and to adjust their market strategy. Our consultants are ready to model and support the entire business transformation of the company from strategic input, scenario verification and roadmapping until the execution stage, including redesign of operational processes, adaptation of supply chain, optimization of asset management and enhancement of business resilience and sustainability.