The digital revolution offers one key point of differentiation, as the lead article highlights. Smart remote solutions are helping companies to successfully transform from machinery manufacturers to solution providers. Another key topic is the expanding and increasingly complex world of globalization. Our experts discuss whether Western European plant and mechanical engineering companies have actually mastered the transition from export world champions to global players.
Other topics explored in this year’s issue include a framework for operations flexibility, untapped values in sourcing, an approach to improving profitability and recent developments in the private equity business. We also discuss the implications of new banking regulations and how IT can become a change agent in engineering.
THE EVOLUTIONARY STAGES OF DIGITAL SERVICE 2.0
The evolution of digital communications has given life to a whole new category of challenges that companies have had to scramble to meet. To fend off their competitors, companies must seize these digital opportunities and recast their products, services, and business models. Smart remote solutions are the approach of choice, helping to cut costs and take advantage of extra sales potential with new business models. To reap these benefits, the profit generator of service will have to be rethought from top to bottom.
Many plant and mechanical engineering companies just aren’t ready to face the new market conditions provided by the digital revolution. The transformation that will convert such companies as well as the commercial vehicles industry into service providers can be loosely broken down into four evolutionary stages:
1How is the Manufacturing Industry doing?
Our industry is doing quite well. Most companies are thriving, and stock prices have climbed to record highs, even without a major boost from external growth. It is the perfect time for companies to reflect on growth strategies and ways to fundamentally improve their efficiency over the long term.
2What are the topics of this issue of Perspectives On Manufacturing Industries?
This year’s cover story highlights the digital revolution in the industry and outlines how plant and mechanical engineering companies can effectively employ smart remote solutions. Other topics include globalization, operations flexibility, untapped values in sourcing, an approach to improve profitability, specialization and investors in private equity, consequences of bank regulation and the new role of IT in engineering.
3What future trends can be recognized?
The evolution of digital communication has led to a digital revolution in the industry and has given life to a whole new category of challenges that companies have had to scramble to meet. To fend off their competitors, companies must seize these digital opportunities and recast their products, services and business models. Smart remote solutions are the approach of choice.
4What other challenges and opportunities do you see for German plant and mechanical engineering companies?
Globalization will remain a top priority. During the past ten years, globalization has been very good to Germany’s plant and mechanical engineering companies, enabling the sector to bolster its position as the world’s top exporter. But only a few companies have been able to shed their Germany-centric export business models and become truly global players. As the pull of the traditional Triad markets wanes, this transformation remains a key strategic challenge.