Covid-19: Behind the mask

by | May 26, 2020 | Data Assets, Supply Chain

Nothing new came forth but it would have enhanced prior knowledge if considered before.

A few weeks after the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic, it makes sense to draw a first conclusion of what we’ve seen and heard from industry players and we tried to summarize some of our core findings. Basically, nothing new popped up and everything was already part of previously published research and findings. However, the last few weeks and months demonstrated the difference in launching (digital) initiatives without clear purpose or because you really want to drive change in order to manage operations, build resilience to survive or even accelerate business.

Cross-company perspective

The past few months have shown us the benefits of digitization on the shop floor and how relevant it is, when trying to keep everything up and running in challenging times. For example, a high level of  automation on the shop floor helped to keep the production up and running with minimum or even without employees necessary on site. Accessing assembly lines in remote locations from your headquarter or from home did provide additional benefits for enterprises and supported resiliency

However, the crisis also showed us the limitations of today’s approaches – that the strength of a value or supply chain is not only dependent on the grade of digitization of one member but on the whole chain. Therefore, in future it will be necessary to think across the pond when digitally transforming businesses or value chains and include suppliers, partners and customers in your thinking and projects.

Establish & accelerate your data-driven business

Offering value-adding services to your products or even establishing new business models helps to diversify your business. For example, platform or subscription-based data services can decrease the volatility of a company’s revenue.
One especially interesting example in these challenging times is the Pay-per-Use approach. It can help a manufacturer to establish an additional sales channel, which does not impose a high investment barrier from a customer. On the other side the customer gets maximum flexibility, when scaling production up and down according to the volatile demand.

According to a Forbes study, 89% of the interviewed CIOs expect to have revenue-generating responsibilities and 2/3 of the CIOs in the manufacturing sector expect to head a profit center by 2025 and create new products/services contributing to the bottom line.

However, establishing and accelerating your data-driven business in a scalable and global way comes with several challenges that we, at Tributech, aim to address. I would like to highlight two of them which will increase in importance. The first is the so called “willingness to share” which is necessary when scaling your data-driven service or business model across your customer base. The other one is the trust in shared data from sensor to consumer for being able to rely on shared data which will be one of the key requirements for data-driven services and business models – no matter if the data is used for decision-making, documentation, triggering payments or referenced in legal agreements.

Managing data like corporate assets

As data is the necessary foundation for all of these mentioned learnings, companies need to derive a “data asset strategy” from their general company’s strategy in order to align management and handling of data with the future value creation process. This derived strategy will also help companies to better define data security & sharing policies, allocate data-related budgets and investments based on the strategy and it also assists in  demonstrating a true transformation to a data-driven future for all involved stakeholders.

At Tributech, we believe that a company’s strategy depends more and more on deriving value from data. The management, the board and also the investors should (and will) keep an eye on a new asset class – the data portfolio of the company.

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