Mustering the courage to digitalize
Chinese executives learned about innovative solutions via digitalization at the consulting and software company develogment in Kempen.
The word ‘digitalization’ leaves some people unsettled and others downright afraid. What’s happening there? Is technology replacing my job? How is digitalization changing my life? Sven Vogel, managing director of develogment GmbH & Co. KG, headquartered at the Industriering Ost in Kempen is well acquainted with this “Fear 4.0”. Yet he is convinced that companies with the courage to digitalize will be much more successful.
The fact that we have begun questioning the work of the future on a global scale became clear during a visit from our guests from China. As part of an alumni program run by the German Association for International Cooperation (GIZ), nine executives from Jiangsu, the North Rhine-Westphalian partner province, came to the Lower Rhine to learn about innovative solutions through digitalization.
According to Sven Vogel’s advice we need to “muster the courage to digitalize”. The world is changing – and companies need to adapt to it. This change process offers entrepreneurs and employees many opportunities. It speeds up work processes and saves costs. When invoices or freight documents come in, they can immediately be digitally recorded and automatically processed. Pending transports to China, for example, can be systematically checked for all necessary freight and customs documents as soon as the order is received by the logistics company. By analyzing social media platforms like Facebook, it is possible to check, while transport planning, whether a strike might take place at an intermediate port in three days. Then the transport routes are proactively optimized in real-time, Vogel told the audience. Digitalization gives you a head start.
Companies only become more successful when they open up and actively promote cooperation along the entire value chain. Yes, robots and artificial intelligence mean that quite a few jobs will be redundantly or drastically changed, according to Sven Vogel. “But robots and artificial intelligence will not completely replace us. Instead we will learn to work with them. New professional fields will emerge, which we cannot even fathom today.” We encourage and expect lifelong learning from every employee; rigid corporate hierarchies are counterproductive and paralyze digitalization. Profound discussions were held with the Chinese professionals about these necessary changes in corporate culture.
Sven Vogel is convinced that the era of large, monolithic software solutions is coming to an end. Instead, in the future many systems will be working together in a service-oriented manner, as companies become increasingly connected, so that all parties benefit from it. The company develogment is playing its part. In the spring of 2017, the company was launched in the Lower Rhine Technology and Startup Centre and has been growing ever since. Both the executive directors, Sven Vogel and Jens Kokon, as well as their co-workers, have many years of experience in IT and Logistics. They support medium-sized companies on the path of digitalization but are also an excellent partner for large companies. Logistics is the core of the service portfolio. In addition to Germany, the company also focuses on the Benelux countries.
The logistics consulting and software company develogment GmbH & Co. KG offers its customers assessments, consulting services and project management with a focus on digitalization and logistics optimization. In addition, develogment supports its customers in the technical realization of digitalization projects. Our own innovative software solutions such as crossdoxx or crosslinxx help to handle business procedures without media disruption in a highly automated and integrative manner. develogment is also strongly situated within the “managed analytics” sector. Its goal is to make large amounts of data intuitive and actively accessible to the customer.
With the objective of contributing to the development of sustainable cooperation and economic relations between North Rhine-Westphalia and Jiangsu, the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) implements a practice-oriented networking program that contributes to exchange-based knowledge transfer and mutually beneficial perspectives. The areas of digitalization, Industry 4.0, innovations and startups are key thematic tenets. The program is sponsored and funded by the Ministry of Economics, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and by the Ministry of Commerce of Jiangsu Province, China.