Digital transformation in German industry: significant progress in the last four years
Digital transformation is no longer a future scenario. It has now reached industrial companies in all sectors - especially in the last four years. This is shown by several cases - for example, from the automotive industry and also from medium-sized mechanical engineering companies. What has changed since 2017, which drivers led to this, and what benefits does digital transformation already bring?
The benefits that digital transformation offers industrial companies are well known - and the list is long. It starts with greater customer orientation. After all, in intelligent, flexibly designed factories, individual customer wishes can be implemented much better. After-sales service can also be significantly improved with digital solutions. Remote maintenance of products is just one example.
In the area of production processes, digital technologies are increasingly becoming a tool for optimizing and automating workflows. This increases efficiency. At the same time, processing times and thus delivery times are reduced. Furthermore, product quality can be improved. Connected components - which are the basis of the digital factory - enable significantly optimized maintenance of systems and machines. The keyword here is "predictive maintenance" - data-based, anticipatory and needs-based maintenance.
Furthermore, the digital transformation has advantages in collaboration. This does not only apply internally. Rather, far-reaching interconnection of all players along the value chain is feasible. Particularly in the case of complex, international supply chains, collaboration can be significantly improved as a result. The companies involved can react more quickly to disruptions.
The connectivity of products and plants is generating more and more data. This can be used not only to improve service. It makes it possible, for example, to develop value-added apps for customers. Currently, especially the digital transformation of business models can be observed. This opens most of the time access to new market segments for companies and new potentials.
A look at recent developments shows that German industry is clearly gaining momentum in terms of digital transformation. The sooner companies get on board, the greater their successes will be in the future. Fortunately, as the examples from this article show, this path has not to be taken alone. Rather, there are industry-related collaborations and initiatives that support the digital transformation. And it is precisely this "coopetition" that is likely to make a significant contribution to further transformation progress in the coming years.