Data keeps companies competitive: If used correctly, it makes processes more efficient, opens up opportunities for flexibility and speed, and supports companies in transforming traditional underlying business models.
If analyzed and interpreted correctly, data can be turned into key figures that can be used not only to control company processes better and then to continue to optimize them systematically, but these numbers and this information can also be comprehensively turned into new business models. This is an effect that will continue to grow in times of increased digitization and automation.
Which data is the right data? Which processes can be made more efficient with data and key figures? What kind of new business models result? What prerequisites are needed, what technical infrastructure, which type of company organization? And, what can we do today, and what is worth doing?
Many companies have not yet been able to develop any solutions or strategies in this area. There are, however, certainly some interesting approaches as to how data and key figures can be used, with or without the support of technology, to improve processes and thus increase value creation.
Collecting, analyzing, and optimizing – and then evaluating – data from processes is the core business of our center for applied research. That is why, for this issue of SCS Special, we have decided to pursue these questions with some of our partners from practice, while being well aware how complex, networked, and diverse the world of corporate data already is. For a clearer overview, the ideas and projects presented here are oriented towards the elementary stages of the value-creation process, from production and warehouse, transport, and distribution activities to the customer’s door. The articles are marked accordingly.
We hope to be able to offer you not only some interesting reading, but also a clear way of shining some light on the question of how today’s technologies and methods can be used to produce data and key figures that will improve your company’s efficiency and turnover tomorrow.
Prof. Dr. Alexander Pflaum
Head of Fraunhofer Center for Applied Research on Supply Chain Services SCS
Dr.-Ing. Roland Fischer
Managing Director of Fraunhofer Center for Applied Research onSupply Chain Services SCS