German industry and especially mechanical engineering must establish themselves more globally in the future. It is also necessary for them to focus on the risks and opportunities of digitalisation and streamline their own processes in parallel. If you currently consider yourself safe thanks to past successes, you’re risking your own competitive ability and thus your future. This was the central message on “BestPractice Day 2015” of Staufen Management Consultancy. “We are living in the age of the data stream. The process of digital networking is so powerfully boosted by the consumer that industrial companies can no longer afford to leave it on the sidelines. Industry 4.0 is a much stronger part of society development than previously thought,” claimed blogger and Internet mastermind Sascha Lobo. He pointed out new, unpredictable players on the virtual front: “If Apple brought out the networking bin tomorrow, it would rip through the market of manufacturers completely. Your area of industry could be affected tomorrow, too,” he explained before approx. 250 attendees at this year’s BestPractice Day. “Even if certain scenarios rightly make us sit up and listen, it is still necessary not to lapse into blind, hasty action,” says Wilhelm Goschy, Executive Board member of Staufen AG. “In order to make use of the opportunities bound up with the new requirements, the increasingly broad firefighting mentality in companies should be transferred in a streamlined process-oriented problem-solving culture.” Stefan Klebert, CEO of Schuler AG, stated that German mechanical engineering was not active enough and that the export champion model was losing sustainability. New advertisers, high logistical costs and probably increasing tariffs require a settlement from sales and distribution and production but also from research and development on the Asian growth market, according to the Executive Board member of the press manufacturer. Experts were united on that fact that unified, streamlined processes were the fundamental requirement in order to be actively competitive in a variety of locations. Marquardt demonstrates how, via virtual Shop Floor Management, even 200 development projects, distributed over five international locations, can be efficiently managed. “The trend towards internationalisation is not just a topic for production but also for development,” said Dr Andreas Romberg, head of the Lean Development Business Unit at Staufen.