“Industrie 4.0” is the name of both the digital industrial age and of Germany’s national strategy to retain its international competitiveness in the future, with 2025 as the starting point. The focus is on the importance of digitalisation. Currently the strategy is being implemented under the concept “Plattform Industrie 4.0”.
“In Germany digitalisation has already begun and the risk is that Sweden will lag behind if you don’t get involved now,” Kabus said. “Don’t plan for 2025 because then you will have to catch up with the German market – plan for right here and now.”
“Industrie 4.0” and digitalisation are seen as the absolute largest trend within German industry at present. It is also a trend that in the longer term can meet the demands for innovative solutions, low prices and fast deliveries that industry demands. In this way digitalisation also means local competitiveness will increase. Kabus addressed Swedish suppliers directly when he said:
“ You don’t always have to find your new markets in places like Asia. There are nearby markets that you must absolutely not forget. The step to new opportunities doesn’t always have to be very far.”
In return, Swedish companies are very much appreciated in Germany. Kabus singled out Swedish innovative strength and entrepreneurial spirit as positive features. German companies like to use Swedish suppliers to find solutions they can’t find at home.
“There is an incredibly large number of small companies in Sweden and to maintain your competitiveness you have no other choice than to find flexible solutions. I am always impressed at the solutions that you can provide German companies.”
At the same time, competitiveness in Germany is extremely tough and to succeed in the market every company must come very well prepared.
“Try to apply a German mindset – we always start from the worst possible scenario and act accordingly,” Kabus advised.