Editorial

Dear reader,

Digitization of the field of operations represents a revolution in the engine room of value creation. New tools and solutions in this area – from predictive analytics to supply chain integration – are opening up extensive potential. Digital technologies are creating consistently transparent value chains that can be managed with a forward-looking approach, and which are consequently optimizing companies’ cost bases and ranges of services alike. Organizations with automated operations divisions are becoming more agile, working more quickly and focusing more closely on their customers, gaining competitive advantages that are particularly crucial to success in highly contested markets.

This issue of Horváth Directions highlights the special role that process excellence and business-driven planning will play in Operations in future, in light of the fact that companies can only expect long-term success if they have a process environment that is continuously reviewed and improved. The success of digitization also depends on having excellent business processes; integrated planning that covers the areas of sales, operations and finance is in turn the prerequisite for holistic and predictive corporate management.

We examine these aspects, as well as other facets of digital Operations, in a number of background articles and best-practice case studies. For example, you can find out how ZF Friedrichshafen is strengthening its supply chain using Supply Chain Risk Management. The TRUMPF Group ranks among the pioneers of digitization in the field of mechanical engineering. In our interview with Dr.-Ing. Mathias Kammüller, Chief Digital Officer and member of the Group Management Board at TRUMPF, you can read about how the company is involving its employees in this transformation. Thomas Kriechbaum, Head of IT and Chief Process Officer at Swiss technology company HOERBIGER explains the factors for success in the standardization of processes within the introduction of SAP S/4HANA.

Happy reading!
Best regards,

Dr. Michael Kieninger
CEO, Horváth AG

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