Business Model Innovation in the German Industry: Case Studies from the Railway, Manufacturing and Construction Sectors

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Johannes Winter

Abstract

For a long time, the business activities of industrial companies in mechanical engineering, plant construction or the automotive industry focused on products and product-related services. Digital pioneers have refined these products such as machinery, equipment, and devices with data-driven services, which they make available worldwide via digital platforms. This emerging trend influences existing and future business models of all companies. This transition from product-related, single-sided markets to platform markets is characteristic of the digital age. The speed at which business models must change continues to be underestimated by many market participants, especially when order books are well filled and the pressure to change appears to be low. Industrial and service companies need to adapt to the changes induced by new market players to secure future business success and remain competitive in the digital age. The aim of this article is to intensify the debate on digital business models in the industry by providing practical examples of business model innovations in three industries.

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