Prof. (FH) DDr. Mario Situm, MBA, Studiengangsleiter Unternehmensführung mit Absolventin und Studienautorin Christina Michaela Noppinger, BA
FH Kufstein Tirol, Christina Göttges
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Digital transformation of SC in Austria not yet implemented

14.08.2018 | Research
This is the conclusion of a study by Christina Noppinger. In her bachelor thesis, the graduate of FH Kufstein Tirol examined the digitization of supply chains of Austrian companies and derived recommendations for action.

Christina Michaela Noppinger, BA, graduate of the bachelor degree program Business Management examined to what extent Austrian companies in the industry sectors “production of goods” and “trade” implemented the digitization of their supply chains (SC).

Analysis of 200 questionnaires from various companies

Within the context of her bachelor thesis, she analyzed whether and to what extent steps for the digital transformation of SC had been implemented and in what areas there is still potential for improvement. She evaluated almost 200 questionnaires, filled out by managing directors or employees in management positions with an average of more than 22 years of professional experience.

No measures thus far for a third of companies

“The results show that most companies recognize the increasing or absolute importance of digitization,” explained Director of Studies Prof. (FH) DDr. Mario Situm, MBA, who supervised the thesis. “However, a third of companies has not yet initiated any measures,” Situm stated further. A statistically significant difference between various company sizes did not exist. The conversion of IT systems, a lack of specialists, high investment and operating costs as well as the required adaptation of the organizational structure constitute the most important implementation hurdles. Here as well, a differentiation according to company sizes could not be determined.

SC digitization not yet common

An exact estimation of the consequences of successful digital transformation is not possible since there are no empirical experiential values, which is first and foremost due to the fact that SC digitization is not yet sufficiently common. There is still not a clear concept for integrating partner businesses in the digital concept. Apparently, a market trend as to which solutions optimally cover the challenges of digital transformation of SC is also not yet discernible.

The most common digitization technologies thus far are IT and data security, cloud-based software and SC visibility platforms. The examination necessitates the conclusion that digital transformation of SC has not been comprehensively implemented for Austrian companies. The full potential of digitization is not yet being utilized for the short and medium term.

Measures for successful transformation

The following recommendations for action have also been defined as further results of the study:

  • Development of a digitization strategy for one’s own company while integrating experienced experts
  • Incremental implementation of individual partial areas and incremental adaptation of resources and the organizational structure
  • Preliminary discussions with credit institutes for ensuring required investment endeavors
  • Discussions with important stakeholders for examining the strategy and integration
  • Training and further training of selected employees for accompanying, implementing and realizing digital transformation
  • Promotions as accompanying financing instruments

An excerpt of the results has already been presented at the event A21 DIGITAL INSIGHTS “Successful ‘Digital Transformers’” at the Tractor Innovation Center Tirol. The entire study will be published in spring of 2019 in the zfo – Zeitschrift Führung + Organisation.