Digitizing craftsmanship: how do you do it?

Across Western Europe, we have an aging population. Family businesses and companies that have been in business for decades notice the problem the most:

  • The current staff is getting older and struggling to keep up with IT.
  • Young people are stepping into engineering less and less often, and when they do, they study longer and more focused on management. So fewer new inflows.

The result: growth is hampered by a lack of well-trained staff.

So, how do you capture the knowledge and experience of professionals who know how to go through sometimes 30+ process steps to arrive at a final product?

The answer is simple, but not easy: simplify processes.

Only then can you start thinking about automating and applying algorithms.

But that’s not all – for both problems mentioned above, there are two more answers.

  • To get current employees to go along with IT, you have to make the system more user-friendly. Fewer clicks, fewer actions and easier workflows. No long spreadsheets, but simple tablet apps etc. For example, through modern shopfloor control.
  • Attract younger employees: make your company more modern, offer better work arrangements, give more freedom to experiment and offer prospects for several years of development to that management level.

The point is:

Craftsmanship is the core of your business, but it must become modern and digital.

And to digitize something, you first have to streamline workflows. A bad analog process becomes a bad digital process if you don’t redesign it. A flashy website does not replace a culture change. And you don’t arrange a culture change on Friday afternoon.

In short, effective digital transformation changes the core of the business and is more than just going from paper to digital.

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