Mr. Schneck, would you say that your focus on sustainable digitalization is a prerequisite for offering your customers optimal support?
An unequivocal “yes”. To some extent, our customers already have these expectations today. I believe that today, no business can risk not having these topics on its radar screen.
Increasingly, businesses find themselves confronted with issues like resource shortages, supply chain disruptions and political upheavals. As I mentioned, reactivity plays an important role in this regard, as of course it does in adapting to ever shorter market cycles.
On top of that, business has to deal with more and more regulation – think of the prospective supply chain legislation and its ESG implications. Or take the electronics industry, which now has to take products back at the end of their lifecycle and ensure proper recycling. If you have ready access to all the data from your product generation and can identify precisely what resources were used how throughout the process, then you can easily arrange a recycling scheme and reintroduce your materials into the value chain – a closed cycle in which digitalization serves conservation interests. That would indeed be the ideal situation – but we’re not really there yet.
Looking at your competitors, how would you say you are doing in terms of your increased focus on sustainable digitalization?
At this point, I’d say that we are one of the pioneers. But there are some sharp, smaller-scale competitors who are right on our heels.
Still, we at CENIT are definitely unique in the consistency and continuity of digitalization across all of our five business units and the way in which this connects everyone to our process knowledge. In this, we will remain unique for quite a while. Being able to offer our clients sustainable digitalization across all our solutions, from early-stage simulation to document processing and archiving – that’s a true USP, one that no other business on the market can offer today.
Does a digitalization approach that focuses on sustainability actually offer businesses competitive benefits? If so, how do you arrive at that conclusion?
And in that arena, the technology goal is to interconnect all the information and data generated from product inception to recycling, thereby optimizing added value – and to plan that process throughout an organization. Doing that successfully gives you best-possible resource use and high profitability.
This means that those of us who are involved in this dimension of sustainability are involved in questions of strategic orientation for the coming years. How can I merge the information available to me today in a meaningful way, one that lets me optimize my resource allocation? How do I cut costs? How do I hone my competitive edge? Or, more comprehensively: How do I produce the best possible product at minimum cost and maximum quality while simultaneously eliminating/minimizing risks, securing jobs and bringing my business forward?
In sum, the classic elements of a business strategy. Thus, at the end of the day sustainability is a strategy for best-possible forward motion – also with a view to aspects like sales and EBIT.