The digital revolution is changing our living and working world at an unprecedented, exponential rate, which of course does not remain without consequences for the electrical wholesale trade. The greatest influences on future business in the context of digitalisation include big data applications and new possibilities for automating processes directly relevant to business. Augmented reality, individualisation and personalisation will ensure a new product and customer experience which will be served through omnichannel strategies and rapid delivery logistics; smart homes and changes in the energy sector (storage, decentralised production) will provide significant new opportunities for the entire electrical sector.
It is clear that the future business operations must be proactive and characterised by maximised efficiency in order to be able to operate successfully in economic terms, also in transparent markets with asymmetric competitors and a possible extended customer focus. For manufacturers, subcontractors, suppliers and customers, this means that business must be characterised by outstanding simplicity, expertise and personal methods of address. For this purpose, it is therefore necessary to operate data-driven business using excellent analysis tools.
Exactly at this point, consideration is given to setting up an e-ThinkTank MITEGRO for the electrical sector. Sound methodology and interdisciplinary engagement with trends, developments and specific questions regarding the future are to characterise this ‘think tank’. In this way, the potentials of diverse developments and technologies for the existing business and for new business opportunities should be promptly assessed and implemented in appropriate actions. This not only applies to the direct business of the MITEGRO shareholders, but also expressly involves up- and downstream levels of trade.
Firstly, the e-ThinkTank MITEGRO hereby acts on the basis of a vision jointly developed by MITEGRO and the 2b AHEAD ThinkTank. The focus of this work is therefore fields of action and initiatives which have been prioritised by the MITEGRO wholesalers within the scope of a strategy development: further development of article master data, augmented/virtual/mixed reality, big data, artificial intelligence and blockchain. A later adaptation of this vision and expansion of the topical spectrum has been incorporated into the logic and operation of the e-ThinkTank MITEGRO.
The MITEGRO Management Board bears responsibility for the organisation and management of the e-ThinkTank MITEGRO. The manager thereof is supported in his work by selected employees as well as by a project team of the MITEGRO shareholding company set up for strategic development (in total 21 representatives of the shareholders). As a strategic partner, 2b AHEAD ThinkTank contributes methodology, experience and its network, and further external service providers are called upon, in particular for technical concepts. And of course, last but not least, the e-ThinkTank MITEGRO is meanwhile supported by specialists from more than 110 manufacturing companies who have already assured their participation. In principle, extending the initially-defined circle of participants to include representatives of associations, customers, research institutes, start-ups etc. is possible, and the setting-up of an advisory board is intended.
Communication with and between members is enabled through the setting-up of a forum which is made accessible to the participants through the operative start of this e-ThinktTank MITEGRO. For each defined strategic initiative, a subforum is created as a location for specific information and discussions regarding a topic. Each of these subforums is supported by a facilitator, who provides impetus, organises procedures and controls, supervises and documents the discussions and working progress. Supplementary to this, a speaker can be appointed for each subforum, who, amongst other things, represents the group and undertakes the presentation of their results.
The start of developing a knowledge database is going to coincide with setting up the forum. Significant trends, technologies, business models etc. in connection with the sector are to be explained within this database. Trend news in brief provides repeated impetus for discussion. Excerpts from the current studies and reports, as well as the significant figures, data and facts arising from them are available in an edited form. In addition, best practices for trade-relevant applications and lists of providers are made available which verifiably have solutions and implementation competences in corresponding areas.
As a basic service, membership of the e-ThinkTank MITEGRO also includes participation in an annual meeting in which pressing questions regarding the sector are addressed, previous results are presented, and innovative and unusual concepts, projects, people and companies are presented. Furthermore, each participant is given the opportunity to meet in working groups for special topics or presentations/discussions. Additional benefits include, for example, attending events of 2b AHEAD Academy at concessionary rates, carrying out individual research or studies and participating in inspiring curated trips.
In this way, the e-ThinkTank MITEGRO facilitates a new quality of exchange amongst high performers from the sector and experts and service providers. A leading network for knowledge transfer and the joint development of digital projects in the electrical sector is created here.
For further Information, download the free e-ThinkTank Manifest in a shortend version here.