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The race to catch up has begun 

Ever since the coronavirus pandemic, it has been clear that Swabian SMEs need digital solutions to remain competitive. Modern software can do much more than just optimize business processes: It creates completely new products and services.

There is a lot of catching up to do

The major car manufacturers and their suppliers in particular know that software plays a decisive role in the attractiveness of their products and services. But many other industries have some catching up to do: “There is an optimization backlog of one to two years in this country,” estimates Managing Director Volker Rath. Progress needs to be made quickly and is absolutely necessary to keep up with international competition: “The coronavirus crisis has shown what digitalization can do – and that it could have been done earlier.”

Like a six in the lottery

But even if all business processes are digitized, there is still plenty of room for improvement. “Together with our customers, we are increasingly discovering completely new products or services,” says Volker Rath. For the companies, this often comes as a complete surprise, like winning the lottery. However, this supposed coincidence is the result of a structured creative process: “Our team is like an innovation driver that can tell companies what they will need in the future using modern methods and technological expertise.”

Workshops for brainstorming

The first step is usually a workshop in which interdisciplinary teams use the design thinking method to come up with ideas – and the adjustments that need to be made. For example, artiso solved the communication problems between self-driving transporters and digitally organized shelves for warehouse logistics provider Kardex. “Thanks to modern software, warehouse racks and autonomous vehicles now speak the same language, meaning that manual checks and reworking are no longer necessary,” explains Volker Rath.

When, if not now

In the search for innovative solutions, it is not only smart glasses that help, but also AI, augmented reality and many other techniques and methods that have long been commonplace in software development. Companies should open up to this today rather than tomorrow, says Rath: “For many companies, 2022 will be the year of decision. Those who have not done their homework by then and set off for new shores will be left behind. And depending on the size and complexity of a company, it may take some lead time, for example for financing.”

On the winning side

Save time, reduce costs, conserve resources: There are many reasons for digitalization. This is shown not least by corona: “There are many losers in the pandemic, but also many winners,” says Volker Rath. “And the winners are usually those who have managed to digitalize their business processes.”