Pilot results Spectro


Spectro is a family owned company and I think
as a family owned company you always think ahead. You’re not working on today or tomorrow,
but in years or perhaps generations. We already see a lot of things like shortages
of raw materials in our industry and still there is a lot of spilling. And for us that is, we just cannot understand it and we
believe that we truly need to do something about it. And that’s why have quite an extent CSR program. Our company slogan is:
Next generation cleaning solutions. Ecodos is our concept for ecological
cleaning agents and dosage systems. We believe that the combination is very important. That on one side we have highly concentrated
ecological cleaning agents, based on renewable ingredients,
a good biodegradability, a European ecolabel certification and so on. But also to look closely at the use of our products and especially when you’re talking
about high concentrated products and you give it to cleaning personnel,
they often use it wrong, they overdose and then in the end
you still have unnecessary environmental impact, unnecessary costs and also less result. This is part of our filling process,
we do everything in house, so also our filling. So we have several filling lines,
where we do the filling, labelling, putting caps on the bottles and so on,
especially for the more traditional products. Here you see another filling line. At the moment we are filling an interesting
packaging, which is one of the newest we have, made of 100% recycled plastic,
in this case filled with hand soap. We had several reasons
why we wanted to integrate data. First of all we wanted to improve hygiene. So,we see a lot that customers are not using
the products correctly, or not, for example, disinfecting enough, or are just not using
the products and so on, and so on. Well, we are a company over 30 years old,
very good at making cleaning agents, however, we were just making 2 or 3 years now
dosage systems by ourselves. So that’s very new for us, all these techniques,
electronics, data and so on. Like I said in the beginning, we have quite
a big concern around sustainability, thinking of all the impact we have
as a company on the future. I think social responsibility
is also something you need to think of and that’s why we joined the project, to also have
a closer look at what can we do around these issues. Talking about the main ethical issues we faced
during the PRISMA project, was quite interesting. A lot of our products
go to healthcare and food industry. What came out was that the data that we generate,
can be connected to the results regarding hygiene. So for example, with our data we can see that
someone has cleaned and disinfected somewhere, or didn’t clean or disinfect,
because those are I think more interesting. There came an ethical issue where we said
ok, if we see for example an increase in illness or even fatalities,
what are we going to do as a company? We can demonstrate with the data that something
went wrong, so that was quite an eye opener for us. There are these issues, and we found out that
we as a company, or as a supplier, got valuable data. But it is data about the use of our customers
and we didn’t want any ethical questions about it so the things we did was share the data with
our customers, make it open for them to see it also. So for example, we use an app
to read out and adjust the dosage equipment. We made this app also available for the end
users where they can see their own data, and this way we want to prevent the ethical question
of us, as a supplier, being responsible for the data, but also making our customers,
our users let’s say a co-owner of the data. So this is our app, this is our ecodos app and what we can do here
is read out our dispensers, our dosage equipment. So we can see how many washings have they done, how many washings
with one cartridge, all the settings. But there is an interesting new part of our app, that’s where we have
the data also available for the end users. That was one of the things we learned from the project,
is that we need to share our data and therefore also make the customer
a little bit more responsible with the data. So that’s an interesting part. So you can see in the app when the last washing was? For example, last washing, when did they place
a new cartridge, when was it empty, did it give an alarm or some kind of false mistake? So that’s all within our app. Nice. Privacy is an interesting subject, and to
be honest for us and I think for every industry it’s still very difficult. But with our dosage equipment
we don’t register personal data, and I think that makes it a little bit easier
and is also preventing issues around privacy. However, our systems are getting more intelligent,
are registering more and more data and definitely privacy
is something we need to keep in mind and we have to prevent
ethical questions around privacy issues. Our main stakeholders are of course our customers. We are into the business-to-business market, which
means that you are doing business with professionals. However we also have other stakeholders
that are very interesting, especially talking about ethical and social
responsibility, for example inspections. We try to believe to be a sustainable company
or do as much as possible within our possibilities. What’s interesting what came out of
the project is again that we think of issues that our customers and our stakeholders don’t think of. And that’s also I think a bit of an alarming issue. Because should we as a supplier
be the ones that make them more aware? I think we should, but that’s not the easy
side of your part in these questions. However I think that it’s just a matter of time. Another interesting thing that came actually later,
after we finished the project. We were talking with the Ministry of Defence here,
and they were very interested in our systems. They have issues with products disappearing,
cleaning agents disappearing, and they want to do something about it,
they want to be more sustainable and so on. So we started talking about data also,
because that’s what our dosage systems do, and then there came an interesting
ethical question from their side. That was actually the first time I heard the customer,
or in this case the future customer, talking about these issues,
because they are also having issues with data. That was earlier this year with a sport apps, where
the apps were registering data and making it public: where are soldiers and so on. So that was an interesting thing
that came directly out the project. We were able to discuss about. I think a good example of a slowly evolving and
the ethical questions that come out of our businesses. As a company you always think ahead,
always try to think in business solutions, which is very good, you are very creative,
well that’s what we always try to be. But I think an important aspect
is that you also think closer about what will be the other impact
also from the things we are developing? And that’s something we learned: the big benefit is that it gives you a direct
extra dimension in your development process. So, it helps you looking also at other things
you never looked at before. But also, like I said before,
we expect there are coming issues in the future and with the use of the PRISMA project you can try to prevent these issues in the future
or predict them more, so I think those are big benefits. Talking about a drawback, it could be that it can make
your development process a bit more complex. The things we immediately found out, that was that it was quite difficult
to get good feedback from stakeholders, but what we also found out is that
if you are going to talk with stakeholders or experts from other industries, then it’s a lot easier. So, that’s I think one of the biggest advices I want to
give is: talk to people that are not within your industry. Talk about these ethical issues
and I think then solutions will also come and opportunities will also come. But you must think about it and also try not
to limit your development process and your creativity, but also try to give it a positive flow. In the end there always will be a solution. After finishing the PRISMA project we immediately changed some things
within our products and our concepts, so that’s something directly visible. That’s something we are also proud of
and I hope also the PRISMA project is proud of. And I think the other big change is that
we try to look a little bit closer at these aspects within our development process, it definitely
changed our vision on development and that’s something
I highly recommend also to other companies who are doing things around sustainability
and their impact on the future.

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