Digitization as a megatrend continues to shape economic and social coexistence enormously and is increasingly found in almost all areas of a company (Kreutzer and Land 2013). In short, digitization is understood to mean the implementation of business models, from products and services to processes, to computer-based formats, which can then be further processed with computers (Kreutzer and Land 2013). This development results in new or at least changed business models for almost all branches of industry and company sizes (Bengler and Schmauder 2016).

Medium-sized companies on the advance

Management consulting is one of the industries that benefits greatly from digitization. Admittedly, management consulting is to be seen as one of the industries that sets up, directs and is involved in implementing a large number of projects for the digitization of companies from a wide variety of industries (Werth et al. 2016). But what potential does the consulting industry itself have? Greff and Werth says again: Rather, the industry is facing a change that will transform and attack established consulting processes (Werth and Greff 2016). One potential could be to advise the undeveloped group of German medium-sized companies according to the motto “Mittelstand advises medium-sized companies”.

Drivers: Consulting 4.0

The challenge for medium-sized companies is that they have demonstrably a significantly lower R&D budget compared to large companies and that without economies of scale it is difficult to bear the costs of the traditional consulting required. A trend like Consulting 4.0 could help here (Werth and Greff 2016). Brand also thinks one thing is addressing the topic of Consulting 4.0 and says: Since big names in the management consulting industry with well-known representatives such as Accenture GmbH or Capgemini GmbH are usually financially unsustainable for SMEs due to high hourly rates, a beneficial partnership was rarely an option. However, the latest studies and publications on the topic of Consulting 4.0 give new hope for consulting for medium-sized companies (Brand Eins Thema 2016). You are also welcome to read mine Article on Consulting 4.0 .

Expert interviews and case studies

During the interviews, there was a tendency towards two types of advisory service provision. On the one hand there are those consultants who were mostly on site during the project (consultants 2 and 3) and those who tended to act remotely (consultants 1 and 4). The decision about the procedure was dependent on the respective requirements and decisions of the client and was not least influenced by the client’s financial aspects.

mittelbstand beraet mittelstand
Key points of the study (own presentation)

Reading tip: More articles on Mittelstand 4.0

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Image-Source Titlepicture: Fotolia.de 2016 – buyed License

Dr. Dominic Lindner
Author

I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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