Is a Homepage Crucial? – Digitalization in the German Mittelstand

Apropos digitalization: today I tried to visit a website of a Mittelstand business in Germany. You know what the homepage told me: “Is a homepage crucial?” with the contact details below. No information about their products, no information on their philosophy, nothing. I was shocked.

Nobody will disagree when I say that the digitalization is an ongoing revolution. The digitalization changes entire business models. Instead of products, companies who successfully digitalized their products offer now all-in-one solutions. One example is Babolat, once a pure manufacturer of tennis rackets offers now tennis rackets with an included training program. Another example is the company All Traffic Solutions. All Traffic Solutions was once a manufacturer of road signs. Today they offer entire traffic management systems to their customers.

The digitalization is a race. Anyone who comes late will lose.

Unfortunately, most German companies sink their digitalization efforts in a sea of bureaucracy. While 91 percent of all polled executives agree that digitalization is a top priority, only 28 percent are satisfied with the speed of digitalization in their organization.

To bring the digitalization back to the priority list, the executive should pay attention that:
– the entire executive and management team understands why and how the digitalization is jeopardizing the current business model,
– all employees can actively participate in the digitalization process (e.g., by providing ideas),
– digitalization becomes a top priority by abandoning unimportant side projects,
– the customer value increases with newly introduced innovative business solutions and products.

Despite the assumption of many executives, digitalization is not limited to the products side. It is an entire transformation of the entire company and industry. Processes in sales, marketing, logistics, and manufacturing require a bold rethinking.

I hope executives will catch up or Germany will be in a horrible situation 10 years from today.

Info: The next days I will follow up with an in detail essay about digitalization which will hopefully help SME in Germany.

Photo by Christian Salow on Unsplash

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