There is no secret that digitalisation can be the long-awaited answer to many of the questions that your company may be challenged with today. If questions like, “How can we create and monetize value faster?”, “Are we competitive enough to strive in today’s market?”, crossed your mind by now, then there’s no time like the present to start planning for a digital future in this industry.
In Germany, due to poor internet infrastructure, some digitalised solutions can hardly be implemented, even though the government is taking actions into addressing these issues. Nation-wide schemes such as “Digital Together” aim to help and encourage small and mid-sized firms to go digital.
Though Berlin’s start-up scene might be vibrant and forward-looking, in some other parts of the country, time often stood still in terms of technological and digital advancements. The justifications vary from fixed mindsets to staying up to date to the complexity and pace of tomorrow’s business environment. We’ve explored this subject regarding Germany’s receptiveness towards digitalised practices in the logistics industry here.
We’ve been working closely with companies from this industry for years now and we did encounter similar challenges and approaches that these professionals are facing each day, and summarised some of them below. Being part of the Bundesvereiningung Logistik (BVL), we’ve joined the major organisations in the logistics industry in Berlin, for the International Supply Chain Conference on October 23-25, 2019.
Inspire. Encourage. Act
This year’s International Supply Chain Conference gathered in Berlin over 3500 industry professionals during three intense days of plenary discussions about current and future trends, practices in the logistics sector.
The key message explored over those three days was innovation. From taking a stand and tackling different economy and industry-related issues, to having the courage to explore and embrace innovation, identifying trends and developing successful strategies.
Robert Blackburn, CEO of BVL, opened the conference with an inspiring note about self-confidence in a business environment. He gave a compelling example, analyzing the start-up scene in Asia, where, due to a courageous mindset, they seem to “ just do it”. Launch products, innovate and change easily different practices and are more inclined towards a digitalised way of doing business. Whereas, in Germany, the ever-challenging economic incentives and funding programs are taking a toll on the “just do it” attitude that usually leads to performance. The journey to success often starts with self-confidence and the courage to take the actions needed to get there, and it can only take an ascending route, in his opinion.
Another good example of courageous practices from inside the industry is Otto Group’s approach towards innovation and founding subsidiary brands like About You. The CEO, Alexander Birken, took the subject of courage even further, stating that it is the central success factor for anything. In their endeavours to stay ahead of the market, using innovative digital practices, they founded several individual businesses like the online fashion and technology company, About You, which differentiates itself from other retailers by customizing the shopping experience for each individual, based on their personal style.
Examples like this one that took a chance and succeeded in reaching the top of the market, really get us to think about the means that got them there. Talking about a digitalised service based in Hamburg, Germany, that is customer-centric and dared to rise above the fears and mindset challenges that stopped so many businesses grow and tackled a whole new ground, online.
Finding the First Steps toward a Digital Transformation
In the end, it really comes down to those companies who can best leverage the new technological practices and can remain up to date with the ever-changing trends. We’ve seen it many times in our work, even the most simple digital solutions can make a difference, especially in a competitive market.
The first step is to acknowledge that there’s a need for change in the current approach and that you are willing to take a step further and tackle these digital times we live in, with a growth mindset.
The second step is to diagnose and identify the challenges that face your company now, and after that, you can determine the most suitable solutions that can help you stay on top of the game.
Starting small is better than doing nothing at all, and this statement is suitable for all kinds of situations. Improving smaller projects and paths can do wonders for your fast-growing business. But it goes without saying that by doing so, you need a trusted technological partner that can support your transformation efforts and can deliver meaningful and precise digital solutions.
Start by addressing your needs first, and see how further will that take you. To help you out in this venture, we’ve assembled a guide that will answer some of your questions. Find it and download it here.