28. March 2019
We introduce: Dr Dimitris Di Sandro
Dr Dimitris Di Sandro, the new Head of Digital Transformation & Information Technology
Dimitris, you have been the Head of Digital Transformation & Information Technology at Eugen Seitz AG since 1 October 2018. How have the first few months been for you?
Extremely exciting! I have been able to gain in-depth insight into the challenges at Eugen Seitz AG, as well as the current challenges in the MEM industry. What I also encountered was a very informal working atmosphere that welcomed me warmly and kindly. The employees, the management team and the proprietorship brought up emotions that I had almost forgotten over the past 20 years I have spent in the technology and finance industry.
How digital is SeitzValve?
We need to look from two different perspectives in order to answer this question. On the one hand, we have our Operations, which, de facto, has been in a digital transformation since 2005. What needs to be mentioned in this context is the introduction of Lean Management. Thanks to its successful implementation a solid and substantial basis for the actual digitisation could be created. This basis has been strengthened since 2015 and particularly concerns topics relating to Industry 4.0. On the other hand, there is the holistic perspective of digital transformation, which strives for integral horizontal and vertical optimisations. Specific emphasis is, for example, the evaluation and introduction of the latest technological possibilities, like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation, but also on “classic” topics such as digital collaboration and knowledge management. However, this digital transformation also deals with organisational change, process optimisation and the promotion of new business models, which, thanks to the technological possibilities mentioned above, are also feasible today. There is still a backlog in these and other disciplines.
What are the biggest challenges in digital transformation at SeitzValve?
In order to promote and successfully implement this digital transformation, it is essential for our employees to comprehend and support its objectives. It is not possible to pursue this digital journey without the active support of our employees. Structured Change Management to optimally accompany cultural change, as well as targeted and transparent communication, therefore become core challenges of this digital transformation. A key role in this endeavour will be played by our IT. It will be paramount to modernise our IT and make the core processes streamlined, agile and effective. The digital backbone here is the seamless, service-oriented integration of all platforms and applications, which will enable us to promptly respond to change, accompanied by a secure hybrid cloud strategy. We at SeitzValve also constantly have to consider the question of how we can better understand our customer needs so that we can address them in the best possible way using the resources available to us. Finally, in line with constant change, we must learn to let go of our habits and openly question historically evolved structures and working methods.
Where do you think the biggest potential lies?
Naming "the biggest” potential is going to be difficult. With digital transformation we can, among other things, be perceived as an attractive employer and thus attract talented individuals. This will also enable us to offer flawless and technologically advanced products and services to our customers in the future. As previously mentioned, digital transformation allows us to more precisely meet customer needs. It will assist us in constantly improving our service- and product quality and also increase efficiency and productivity. This is especially important for SMEs of our calibre. However, I think, it would be wrong to only focus on those KPIs. As part of our digital transformation, we must also show our courage and invest in innovations in order to permanently achieve competitive advantages, and ultimately growth.
How digital are you personally?
I would say that I am a very digital person who uses digital media multifariously, both professionally and privately. I have been carrying out my private administrative transactions for over 20 years, e.g. online banking. In this timeframe, I could probably count the number of times that I have been to an actual bank branch on the fingers of one hand - and not purely because I wanted to pay a visit to a branch, but because the banking processes actually required me to be there. This digital sensitisation is probably related to the fact that I had already been developing software for digital banking for private clients and large customers at a major Swiss bank as far back as 1998. I'm honestly a little less active on social media platforms, except for professional media like LinkedIn and Xing. In everyday working life, I primarily use digital media for informative purposes and knowledge development. I could no longer picture a world without digital media when it comes to my private life, as they play an important role in relaxation and entertainment for me today.
Dr Dimitris Di Sandro, 47, has been the Head of Digital Transformation & Information Technology at Eugen Seitz AG since October 2018. In his role, he builds on existing digital initiatives in operations to expand on them from a holistic horizontal and vertical perspective. Dimitris is a lecturer of information and knowledge management at the Fernfachhochschule Schweiz (FFHS) (Technical College of Switzerland). He studied electrical engineering, majoring in computer science, at the School of Engineering HTL (today called ZHAW). His further academic education was completed with an MBA (General Management) at LUISS in Rome and a Doctorate in Business Administration (Strategy) at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.
About Eugen Seitz AG (SeitzValve)
Eugen Seitz AG is an independent, family-owned business – and has been that way for over 60 years. Its Swiss headquarters in Wetzikon develops, manufactures and supplies premium valve technology for the technically demanding solenoid valve market worldwide. Our activities focus on high and medium pressure solutions for gaseous media. Today, Eugen Seitz AG is the leader in a wide range of valve technologies and considers the notion of improvement as a daily challenge.
 Mechanical, electrical and metal industry