Industrie 4.0: New Business Models – Mission Possible!

At the VDMA General Assembly Meeting in Berlin on 10 and 11 November 2016, Workshop 3 will focus on new I4.0-based business models.

The vertical digitisation is mandatory, the horizontal is indispensable

The internet of things and digitisation are prescribing industrial production a pioneering digital transformation. Within this process, the German mechanical engineering industry is playing a crucial role. The 2016 Hanover Trade Fair has shown that I4.0 has arrived in the width of mechanical engineering. The digitisation of the production processes (vertical integration) and the products has made great progress in the business in the last three years. Thus, the basis is laid for the next step: The horizontal integration of value chain partners and customers through opportunities offered by the internet.

The potential of new digital business models is currently being intensively discussed. The banished word of the disruption does the rounds. Deals like Uber, Spotify or AirBnB might be cited as examples of how quick new digital services may arise and threaten traditional supplier industries. What kind of expectations does the mechanical engineering sector set in new business models in the manufacturing industry? Will in the future parts of the added value be processed via online platforms and will the mechanical engineering industry be challenged by an “Amazon of Production” coming in between the companies and their clients?

Generating digital mindsets

Clearly, disruption does not happen by digitising an analogue technology 1 to 1, but through creativity and new thinking, based on the opportunities offered by digitisation. A digital mindshift in companies is needed - particularly in the management - because digitisation begins there. In many places, it can be observed that the boundaries in the direct market environment between producers, service providers, suppliers and customers already start to shift or to dissolve. The Industrie 4.0 pioneers closely link in-house processes with processes within the direct market environment. Through sensors data is collected from customers and processed into new services. Today no one can predict the final state of this development and no one can either close his eyes any longer to the upcoming changes. Various studies show that the capital expenditure for digitisation is considerable. But it is offset by great expectations for revenue growth, efficiency gains and resource savings.

What is in it for you?

Many mechanical engineering companies, especially the small and medium-sized enterprises, are still struggling to define their own approaches to this new world. At the forthcoming VDMA General Assembly Meeting in Berlin the working group „Industrie 4.0: New Business Models – Mission Possible!“ shall provide guidance. It will be held on 11 November 2016, 09:00 – 12:30 hrs.

The workshop will provide an overview on the state of I4.0 business model development and shall motivate further discussions. In the first part, industry leaders will inform on the progress of the “Plattform Industrie 4.0” - a joint initiative of the federal government, industry and trade associations.

What do other industries do? In the consumer industry digital business models are already on the market. The workshop will present an example from the fashion industry to show the roadmap and implementation steps to market success.

In the second part of the event three companies from different sectors of mechanical engineering will report on their experiences in implementing new digital business models. Two TED surveys will allow participants to bring in their assessment on the subject and focus the plenary discussion on specific issues.

 

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Dietmar Goericke
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