Due to the effects of the corona pandemic, the digital association Bitkom is calling on the economy to adopt a new stance.
Globalization has been one of the significant issues in the last few decades. To reduce costs, companies distributed value chains across the planet. Goods – from T-shirts to automobiles – became globetrotters before they ended up with domestic customers. A network of producers, suppliers, distributors and logistics companies emerged. A development that has ensured good profits and low prices for a long time. And a product that is slowly reaching its limits and should therefore be replaced by digitization.
Digitization: Recognize Weaknesses In The System
Because even before the current crisis showed us the system’s weaknesses, it was clear that the term “cost advantages” conceals – not always, but all too often – low wages, poor working conditions or lax environmental standards. Resistance to this way of dealing with people and resources was already formed before Corona. There is a growing awareness that a purchase decision is also about how people on the other side of the globe live and work.
Then came the Corona outbreak. Individuals affected and society as a whole suffer from the consequences. The global economy came to a screeching halt – and many a supply chain was torn apart. The current shock is causing those responsible for rethinking processes and their networks. Many companies are just noticing how poor the robustness of these carefully thought-out processes is. With small storage capacities and limited time windows, very little can go wrong. The virus made almost everything go wrong.
Establishment Of Resilient Production Processes
What happens after the first acute phase? Will companies have to choose cheap on the one hand and robust on the other? One extreme is going back to globalization as ever. Those responsible continue to consciously accept the lack of resilience in their production processes to benefit from the cost advantages. Depending on the industry, they also run the risk of alienating customers in this way. Customers for whom standards for the environment and employees are essential.
Don’t just make purchasing decisions based on price. On the other hand, striving for maximum robustness – in the sense of highly local production – possibly leads to niche markets. The costs of a complete on-site production according to old school are not enforceable for mass markets.
The other big topic of the last decades offers a way out of digitization. Modern systems and applications help companies set up stable, local processes – and keep costs under control. Whether IT-supported automation, artificial intelligence in warehousing, highly personalized production: all of this is already possible today.
Digitization Is The Key To Corporate Success
Digitization is not limited to video conferences and the collaborative editing of documents. It is the key to corporate success in the post-corona period. It opens up a third, smart way between “low costs, but high risk” and “low risk, but high costs”. Those responsible in companies should use the forced upheaval that Corona triggers to prepare this path for their company.
After the pandemic, we need more digitization skills and less cost control. More consistent business processes and fewer media breaks. More focus on values and less just on company results. I am convinced that companies will devote themselves to these issues vigorously. At least those companies will not be caught unprepared for the next crisis.