Adaptability is the key factor in the success of Germany’s global market leaders – Study

July 3, 2018 | News Germany

In these days of technological disruption, a willingness to change is vital to companies’ survival. This can be seen among Germany’s global market leaders, who attribute their success in part to their adaptability: 84% of these businesses have undergone a major change process within the past three years. Staufen, the corporate consultant, demonstrated this fact after surveying a total of 210 German companies that are global market leaders either in their industry or in their segment.

The main engine driving these changes forward is digital transformation, as discussed in the study “Best Strategy 2018: What German market leaders do better,” which was presented today in Darmstadt, Germany in the presence of 400 decision makers from the business world and the industry at BestPractice Day 2018. The study states that above all, these market leaders re-engineered their innovation strategy: eight in ten companies are now pursuing a different approach than they did in the past. “Companies have to respond to rapid-fire changes in the market. Goods are becoming more and more digital, and innovation cycles are growing shorter. Those who want to defend their top ranking will have to manage their company differently in the future to make sure it is more creative and agile,” explains Wilhelm Goschy, Member of the Management Board at Staufen.

When a company’s innovation strategy evolves, it has a corresponding effect on the product portfolio. 70% of global market leaders have drastically modified their offers in recent years. However, they have still more or less remained in familiar territory. “Comparatively few companies develop brand-new business models. Not even half of global market leaders take this step,” Goschy says. Furthermore, the rather self-explanatory tactic of expanding the current portfolio to include new digital services is something only 47% of companies have done so far.

In other words, this major step is something most of the companies surveyed still have to face. They are very aware of this situation. Industry 4.0 solutions are a critical factor when it comes to maintain their business success, according to study participants. For example, on an in-house basis this could entail further digitizing and automating processes and production procedures. 82% of market leaders are convinced of the merits of this approach. In this regard, there is little difference between industry leaders and the ones who rank at the top of individual industry segments.

There is a far greater difference when it comes to the way Industry 4.0 is a factor in the products and services of various industries. Here, 87% of the top companies within their industry believe that I4.0 plays a vital part in their future success, but only two-thirds of top-ranking companies within a given segment share this view. “Among the leading companies in individual industry segments, there are many suppliers who create comparatively simple parts,” says Wilhelm Goschy, Member of the Management Board at Staufen in explaining this discrepancy. “But other than the simplest of mechanical products, hardly a supplier will be able to hold out against Industry 4.0 over time. Even apparently simple systems can often be complemented by adding digital services. And the expectations that these solutions have to fulfill are increasing.”

Best Strategy 2018: What global market leaders in Germany do better

For the spring 2018 study entitled “Best Strategy 2018: What global market leaders in Germany do better,” the corporate consultant Staufen surveyed a total of 210 German companies that are global market leaders either in their industry or in their segment. 40% of the companies surveyed are global players with annual sales of over €500 million. Of those who took part in the study, 42% were owners, members of the board or CEOs of their respective businesses; another 38% were department heads. The companies predominantly represented the automotive industry, mechanical and plant engineering, and the electrical industry. A copy of the study is available by contacting Kathrin Kurz, 


Europe’s leading lean management conference

The rules of the game have changed.  Those who want to be or remain at the head of the pack have to keep moving. That is why BestPractice Day, which takes place on July 3-4, 2018 in Darmstadt, has the motto, “Learn. Lead. Design the change.” You can look forward to presentations held by management luminaries who actively and decisively shape the way their companies are changing. With over 350 participants every year, BestPractice Day has established itself as a platform where decision makers from the business world and research can meet.

Further information about the event is available at:

Stay up to date

Subscribe to our newsletter
Staufen Back To Top Button