What happens when an international technology catalyst – itself composed of many companies – undergoes its own technological transformation, and makes that transformation the heart of its processes?
Kymera International is a leading specialty material manufacturer, focused on the production of diverse particles and special alloys for a perfusion of technology requirements with truly global applications.
The company's core activity involves atomising different metals to create small particles used in powder metallurgy – particles which serve as the building blocks for manufacturing alloys, pastes and other materials that meet specific client needs – across a multitude of industries.
One of Kymera’s distinguishing features is its ability to provide a customised mix of products tailored to the unique requirements of its clients.
Whether the need is for high RPM, extreme temperature tolerance, rigidity or flexibility, Kymera leverages its research and development capabilities to create alloys and powder mixtures that fulfil these demands.
Their products find applications in a wide range of industries, including metallurgy, medical, aerospace, defence and electronics.
Kymera’s reach: Truly global
Kymera International operates through two major lines of business: engineered materials and surface technologies.
Under the engineered materials segment, the company provides specialised materials to meet specific requirements. In the surface technologies segment, Kymera International combines its material expertise with advanced surface treatment technologies to offer comprehensive solutions that enhance the functionality and durability of materials.
With 16 sites worldwide, Kymera International is a global player in the industry. The company’s extensive network includes nine North American sites and seven overseas sites, all working together to form the unified entity that is Kymera International. This global presence allows the company to leverage its diverse resources and expertise to serve clients around the world effectively.
Creating innovation and value in every particle
Kymera International’s vision is rooted in creating innovation and value in every particle it produces. The company takes great pride in its ability to manufacture tiny, precise, high-quality particles.
“With a strong emphasis on quality control and continuous improvement, Kymera International ensures that each particle is produced with the utmost competence and advanced technology,” says Gabor Szentivanyi, Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Kymera International.
Szentivanyi brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his role. With a professional journey spanning more than two decades, Szentivanyi’s career has primarily been focused on the manufacturing industry. His passion for creating tangible products and his love for IT led him to pursue a path in manufacturing, where he could witness the physical output of his work.
Szentivanyi’s journey in manufacturing began in 1998. Since then, he has dedicated a significant portion of his career to working with companies involved in the manufacturing of various products.
Recognising the intrinsic connection between manufacturing and information technology, he naturally gravitated towards IT activities. His extensive experience in both domains has positioned him well as the CIO of Kymera International, with a focus on taking the organisation to the next level.
“Our commitment to excellence extends not only to our products, but also to our resources, guaranteeing that our clients can rely on Kymera International as a trusted and dependable partner,” he adds.
How big data analytics is powering Kymera’s transformation
In leveraging big data analytics, Kymera International has embarked on a transformative journey to streamline its operations and enable data-driven decision-making. Recognising the limitations of its previous approach, Kymera International has embarked on a transformative journey to leverage big data analytics in its operations.
“When I first joined as CIO, I observed that the company had multiple independent enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems spread across its entities,” says Szentivanyi. “Each facility operated with its own set of specifications and requirements, resulting in fragmented data management.
“To address these challenges and unlock the potential of data-driven insights, I spearheaded an IT strategy focused on consolidating and integrating the disparate ERP systems. Instead of opting for a single, standardised ERP solution, we pursued a heterogeneous ERP approach topped with a central data warehouse that welcomes and hosts all data of the enterprise.”
Kymera’s emphasis on Cybersecurity
The operational domain of Kymera is naturally extensive – compounded by its dive into big data and analytics – and this extent requires a robust cyber security environment. In recognition of the ever-increasing importance of cybersecurity, Kymera International places a strong emphasis on maintaining robust security measures. As a company with a long-standing history and a vital role in providing critical materials to various industries, cybersecurity is paramount.
The company also recognises that being a reliable and sustainable company requires a proactive approach to cybersecurity, going beyond the minimal requirements and ensuring the highest level of protection for its operations, customers, clients and partners.
Furthermore, following the recent announcement of a merger with TSS and the expansion into new markets (including the U.S. Department of Defence), Kymera International is poised to seize additional opportunities. This strategic move will allow them to enhance existing products and develop new materials and solutions that may not be readily available within North America – giving Kymera a comparative advantage and opening up new avenues for growth.
Kymera’s Common Data Warehouse: A single source of truth
The heterogeneous ERP strategy allows each entity to automate local business processes according to its unique needs, while ensuring that global reporting and visualisation could be achieved through a common data warehouse. The company's primary objective is to establish a single source of truth – a comprehensive data warehouse that hosts transactions from all ERP systems and other important systems.
Having a central repository enables the standardisation of data across geographies and provides the foundation for generating valuable insights. By consolidating and harmonising data from various sources, Kymera International aims to shift from mere data representation to data-driven insights, empowering business leaders to make informed decisions and steer the company effectively.
With this new data infrastructure in place, Kymera International significantly reduces data latency. Instead of relying on weeks-old data, the company now operates with the previous day's business data from all geographies. This real-time access to accurate and relevant information allows for proactive decision-making and a deeper understanding of market trends. By identifying and analysing these trends at an early stage, Kymera International gains a competitive advantage and can align its operations with evolving market demands.
The real value of Information Technology
Szentivanyi says: “The value of IT lies in the transition from raw data to actionable insights. By providing leadership with a clear understanding of ongoing trends and future directions, IT becomes a driving force for the company's success.”
This shift from a rear-view mirror perspective to a windshield-view enables Kymera to proactively navigate the dynamic landscape of the industry and stay ahead of the competition.
From Excel spreadsheets to spreading excellence: Cloud-based data warehousing and business intelligence
In the past, many Kymera employees stored vital data in Excel sheets on their local hard drives. Gaining momentum in the digital era, Kymera recognises the need to move away from this traditional approach. The company is focused on encouraging its workforce to embrace Power BI, a powerful business intelligence tool, as a central platform for data visualisation and analysis. By utilising Power BI, employees can access up-to-date information in real-time, ensuring they have the latest insights necessary for informed decision-making.
Shifting from a culture of file ownership to embracing cloud-based solutions comes with its challenges. Kymera acknowledges the initial hesitation and concerns around trusting data stored in the cloud. To address this, the company is actively working to build trust in the technology by emphasising its reliability, security and convenience.
“The goal,” says Szentivanyi, “is to create a seamless and secure connection experience, whether employees are working from the office, a coffee shop, or even while enjoying personal activities”.
“Kymera is determined to ensure that its workforce has constant access to business-critical information through a variety of devices, be it a computer, tablet or a mobile phone.”
Kymera’s unified digital infrastructure
Another key aspect of Kymera's digital transformation is the establishment of a unified digital infrastructure. Prior to this transformation, Kymera operated with diverse computing and collaboration platforms due to various acquisitions. Szentivanyi identified the need to consolidate these platforms into a single, reliable and globally accessible solution.
“This unification enables enhanced collaboration, seamless communication and elevated levels of cybersecurity,” he says. “Kymera selected its most suitable networking and remote access solution to provide secure connections for its employees, regardless of their location, ensuring data privacy and protection.”
Kymera is committed to fostering a healthy work-life balance for its employees. The digital workplace initiatives, driven by Szentivanyi, not only aim to improve productivity, but also prioritise the wellbeing of the workforce by enabling hybrid working. The company provides the necessary tools and technologies that allow employees to connect and work efficiently from anywhere, without sacrificing security or incurring additional costs.
Kymera’s cybersecurity training, AI and ML
Moreover, Kymera invests in continuous cybersecurity training for its employees, raising awareness about the importance of cybersecurity both inside and outside the office. By creating a secure and flexible work environment, the company ensures its employees can focus on their responsibilities both professionally and privately, as they are equipped with the necessary cybersecurity competency.
The adoption of cloud-based data warehousing serves as a foundation for Kymera's future growth and innovation.
“By centralising and consolidating data in the cloud, Kymera creates a unified repository that facilitates more effective data analysis and enables the application of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning,” says Szentivanyi. “The integration of AI algorithms with historical data empowers employees – particularly the sales team – to make accurate and reliable forecasts. Combining human expertise with AI-generated insights, Kymera strives to achieve more precise sales forecasting, contributing to overall business success.”
Manufacturing challenges, partner ecosystems and future plans
Szentivanyi highlights that, as a manufacturing company, Kymera faces unique challenges in adopting new technologies due to its preference for solid, cost-effective solutions with clear return on investment.
“Manufacturing has often been considered a late adopter of technology,” he continues, “but recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and cybersecurity threats have shifted perspectives. The integration of IT and manufacturing is crucial, presenting numerous opportunities for automation and value creation. By combining expertise in technology, data and manufacturing processes, I believe that significant improvements can be achieved, significant enough to transform the manufacturing industry.”
Discussing Kymera's partnership with Converge Technology Solutions Corp, Szentivanyi commends the company's diverse expertise and its approach based on trust. He says the long-standing relationship between Kymera and Converge has yielded successful results, particularly in the development of a complex data warehouse solution. Szentivanyi highlights Converge's guidance and ability to future-proof the solution, providing Kymera with the necessary technology infrastructure to implement artificial intelligence and automated forecasting.
“The partnership has enabled us to exceed our IT commitments and support continuous improvement and growth,” he adds. “Blueshift is our important partner in cybersecurity. Their approach to ensuring the security of our IT systems instils confidence in our cybersecurity measures.”
The next 12 to 18 months
Looking ahead, Kymera International anticipates further acquisitions, adding new companies and thus additional potentially different ERP solutions to the mix. These new acquisitions can rapidly connect to the data warehouse and add to the overall information package. The company aims to maximise the utilisation of its data warehouse and Power BI dashboarding automation, transitioning from traditional spreadsheets to comprehensive global insights.
“Improving or replacing certain ERPs to capture relevant, currently non-existing, but much needed data and enhance data governance is also going to be important,” Szentivanyi concludes.
“Kymera aims to address the emerging challenges of data governance and master data management through a collaborative and non-intrusive approach, striving for a global solution that meets local requirements in all of our operating locations.”