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  • By Lanner
  • In Blog
  • Posted 09/10/2019

Following the acquisition of Lanner by Royal HaskoningDHV at the start of 2019, we catch up with Lanner CEO David Jones, to discuss what exciting changes have been taking place at Lanner, and the new opportunities it brings to Lanner’s customers.

Royal HaskoningDHV acquired Lanner to support their strategy to offer services in which its extensive engineering and consultancy knowledge is combined with data-driven and technology-based solutions. With the expertise of both Royal HaskoningDHV and Lanner, customers will have access to the latest technology, designed to support any digital transformation strategy, as David Jones explains…

Q. It’s been eight months since Lanner became part of Royal HaskoningDHV (RHDHV), how has life been at Lanner post-acquisition?

As with all acquisitions, we initially have a greater workload as we get to know each other’s business, propositions and ways of working…and get to know each other as the first steps in bringing our two worlds closer together. We’ve already seen growth across the business, particularly within our development and customer delivery teams, and are looking forward to further building upon this initial success over the coming weeks and months.

Ultimately, the combination of RHDHV’s extensive engineering and consultancy knowledge and our data-driven and technology-based solutions, will enable us to deliver more innovative solutions that anticipate and incorporate the latest technological advancements. For our customers, this means they can run a more sustainable business that’s ahead of the curve and adaptable to change, however significant or complex it may be.

Q. Has there been anything that has surprised you following the acquisition?

A. There have been no major surprises, as the acquisition was implemented following months of careful planning and discussions and considerable consideration. However, one of the more notable things we have discovered, is the parallels between both companies, particularly in relation to our company visions and complementary customer bases.

Q. RHDHV clearly has a wide skillset across multiple disciplines and sectors, has there been much in the way of cross-fertilising of ideas and experience?

A. Yes, the partnership between Lanner and RHDHV was spearheaded by alignments in our visions and customer bases and we’ve already had numerous talks in which we’ve developed ideas and shared our insight.

Admittedly, it’s still very early days, however, we are already looking at numerous new engagements that will really take advantage of wider RHDHV technologies, including AI, ML, BIM and parametric design. Watch this space!

Q. What opportunities and advantages do you think reside with the RHDHV group for Lanner’s clients?

A. Both of our company visions are very much aligned, and our customer bases are complementary. By joining forces, we’re now able to provide our customers with additional value in the form of a full digital engineering service across the design, build, operate and maintain lifecycle.

Combining RHDHV’s extensive engineering and consultancy expertise with our technology and data-driven solutions, has created a pioneering partnership – and it’s one that has enabled us to apply a ‘full innovation’ approach to all elements of our work going forward. From optimising existing processes, to reimagining, designing and implementing future-proofed new solutions, we’re now able to fully support our customers on their Industry 4.0 journey.

Q. Likewise, your market-leading position within predictive simulation and digital twins must present great opportunities for RHDHV’s own client base? What skills/areas do you see Lanner providing assistance to the wider group?

A. By joining forces with RHDHV, we’ve provided them with a strong platform upon which to launch their eagerly-anticipated digital twin offering, details of which will be unveiled in due course.

Our software platform provides optimisation capabilities together with scenario management functionality. And, when combined with RHDHV’s broader digital capabilities, customers can be supported with a predictive digital twin that’s capable of hunting for the optimum balance between customer service levels and operational costs, which is a real game-changer.

Q. Given the rise of Industry 4.0, do you think access to a wider skill base will help?

A. Yes, definitely. Having access to wider specialist talent and additional digital products and services will enable us to offer a wider range of solutions to customers than ever before.

In today’s rapidly-changing business environment, it’s vital organisations are able to quickly adapt and respond to market changes to protect their longevity. As we all know at Lanner, predictive simulation is a catalyst to enable companies to make fact-based decisions, improve their operational efficiency and wholeheartedly embrace Industry 4.0. This, coupled with RHDHV’s engineering and project management knowledge, is an incredibly powerful combination, ensuring customers make the best Industry 4.0 investments in the process.

Q. Lanner has been involved with predictive simulation for over 20 years, you’ve seen lots of changes in that time, where do you see the future direction/applications of simulation?

A. There’s been a widespread adoption of predictive simulation within Industry 4.0, which we envisage will continue to gather momentum. As data becomes an integral part of business strategy, leveraging the data to provide value through insight, and more importantly foresight, will become a fundamental requirement that only predictive digital twins can provide.

In the near future, we anticipate these digital twins will take on a whole new life of their own. Further technical advancements will see them being augmented with AI capabilities that can identify potential future problems and take prescriptive action to optimise outcomes. In turn, process owners will be able to leave the firefighting to their digital twin while they focus on innovations and improvements.

Q. What’s next for Lanner now that it’s part of RHDHV?

A. The future for Lanner looks really exciting and full of industry-leading opportunities we can take advantage of right now. Being a part of RHDHV will enable us to really accelerate our capabilities, technology growth and market access with the invaluable resources that are now available to us through our parent, RHDHV.

We’re in an incredibly strong position and are looking forward to further building upon our existing achievements and driving real and deliverable Industry 4.0 certainty and success for organisations worldwide.

Q. Are you working on any interesting projects you can talk about at present?

A. While we can’t give too much information away, we can say that some of our most innovative clients are deploying cloud simulation solutions integrated with machine learning algorithms. As part of a joint project between Lanner and Data Science experts, Ynformed, also a company of RHDHV, we are looking to discover how AI and simulation can be used together to optimise models and create more intuitive digital twins for one of our biggest customers. This is enabling them to significantly increase their experimentation capabilities, which is an incredibly exciting development.

This involves analysing much wider sets of scenarios than ever before, which is benefiting strategies, operational plans and investment decisions on a whole new level. And working with this level of insight, is having a phenomenal impact on balancing costs and performance, as well as future-proofing business decisions.


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