Executive workshop on business models for digitalization

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Professor Kai Hoberg and his colleague Professor Wolfgang Kersten from the Technical University Hamburg-Harburg conducted a very well perceived executive workshop that discussed business models for digitalization in production and logistics with 25 participants.

The workshop on July 14, 2016 outlined that new digital technologies enable a multitude of innovative opportunities for production and logistics: 3D printing allows the tailor-made production of a single product in serial quality; smart sensors constantly monitor inventories and facilitate automated replenishments; big data supports companies in navigating their trucks through traffic in order to deliver the goods on time when the customer is actually home. To ensure that digital technologies do not only capture efficiency opportunities, a business model is needed to stimulate new demand, develop new products and services or even access entirely new markets.

During the workshop, the participants discussed how companies across all industries identify the opportunities of digitalization in its entirety and which chances the new technologies offer to extend existing or discover new business models. In the first part of the workshop, technologies and business models were introduced by the organizers and speakers from companies such as Infineon, Airbus and 365FarmNet/Claas. The second part of the workshop was dedicated to case studies in which the participants interactively discussed digital opportunities based on fictitious companies. Different groups worked on business model innovation for a crane service company, a manufacturer of household appliances and a shipping company. The results indicated that many avenues are possible to trigger growth from digitalization. The participants included senior managers firms like Jungheinrich, Hapag-Lloyd, Eurogate, ContiTech or ASM.

Professor Hoberg summarized the event as follows: “I am glad that we delivered such a well-perceived workshop on this important topic. Everybody hears of potentially disruptive, digital technologies, but only few firms so far know how to leverage these technologies successfully to improve their business models. We had great speakers and very engaged participants that used the input to develop distinguished business model ideas.”

KLU PhD student Jakob Heinen, working on supply chain operating models for disruptive technologies, added: “It was fascinating to see that similar business ideas can be adapted to companies across diverse industries. The underlying technologies as well as their use case are in most cases very alike and generally applicable.”

Finally, Professor Hoberg highlights how the topic relates to KLU’s new Key Competence Areas (KCAs) “This topic really connects two of our Key Competence Areas. We address how Digital Transformation can be leveraged to enable Value Creation.”

More information about Professor Kai Hoberg.