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IBH-Lab KMUdigital: Project «DigiNav» (Digitalisierungsnavigator, digitization navigator)

Digitalisation has an impact on organisational areas such as strategy, products and services, investment volumes, personnel qualification, the recruitment of specialists and organisational structures, as well as on the corporate environment such as political, legal, infrastructural and competence-enhancing framework conditions. The project DigiNav developed a procedure for the systematic collection, analysis, prioritisation and implementation of digitisation potential in SMEs. The focus is on the economic benefit as well as the holistic contribution to business success.

The navigator can be downloaded here:

Growing importance of services

The expert group «Smart Services» member ZHAW actively participated in this project by contributing chapter 3 «Service Transformation and Service Engineering». The economic importance of services is increasing. This is reflected in the continuous growth of the service sector (so-called tertiary sector), which accounts for a substantial share of economic performance and employment. The shift to services is being driven by saturated markets and intense competition. A need for service benefits can also be identified on the customer side: customer demand is developing in the direction of service agreements and output guarantees. Shifting the focus from products to services is therefore of central importance for manufacturing companies. With services, the locus of value creation shifts from the factory to the customer interaction, the design of which gains significantly more importance.

For manufacturing companies, the potential for additional sales exists on the basis of services. Suppliers are expanding their product business to include higher-margin services, which will also increase customer loyalty and loyalty. In addition, services based on the installed base generate more stable cash flows than new sales. In this chapter, we discuss this development and show concrete tools suitable for SMEs with which the transformation from product to service provider can be tackled.