Speaking to a group of industry executives at the 2017 Annual Hose Conference, Andreas Gerstenberger, Continental’s executive vice president of industrial fluid solutions, said there are megatrends developing in the automotive and industrial hose businesses and those developments are not threats but opportunities.
Gerstenberger said, “In a constantly changing world of climate, technology, data, digitalization and even politics, new business models must keep pace with these elements if they are going to succeed – not just today, but into the future as well.” The business model that he discussed included a focus on less hierarchy, more agility, flexibility and diversity in the workforce. “In order to grow and stay ahead of the competition, businesses must capitalize on these valuable assets.”
Using his own business unit’s mantra of “Smart Solutions Beyond Rubber,” Gerstenberger said, “There is a definitive path to a successful future, and that path includes a solution-based focus on services, systems and products. We at Continental believe that the business model that has focused on value creation with mechanical solutions will become less important in the next decade. In its place we believe that the new business model focuses on mobility services and smart mobility technologies, adding further value with sensor technology, electronics, software and digitalization.”
In order to stay ahead of the changes, Gerstenberger’s Industrial Fluid Solutions business created two new functions. “We have a well-organized team that provides innovation and digitalization strategies and they work in tandem with our business development group,” he said. “The implementation of the subsequent strategies is then promoted by all business units and the regions, thus empowering an efficient way of working that is ready for the future.”