Digital transformation does not happen overnight. However, long-term planning is worthwhile for standards and interfaces and many other positive aspects of digitalisation, says Tobias Sattler, Board of neubau kompass AG, in an interview.
Could you please give us a brief introduction to your company, neubau kompass?
neubau kompass operates an online portal for newly constructed properties. In addition to its successful online business, the company also offers a printed market overview for various metropolitan regions in Germany in the form of a real estate and lifestyle magazine.
Which digitalisation topics are particularly important to you?
Our top priority is to gain knowledge through the collection, processing and evaluation of data. In this context, collaboration both within the company and externally with our customers and partners is crucial for us. This enables us to exchange information quickly and in a targeted manner. Only through close exchange with our customers and the corresponding data can we better understand the users’ needs and constantly improve and roll out our offer for them.
What are the special challenges in your industry at the moment and how are you working on them?
Some studies show that small and medium-sized enterprises in particular have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to digitalisation. Accordingly, the challenges are similar in many sectors. First and foremost, there needs to be an awareness of the importance of digital transformation, as this will determine competitiveness. In fact, it is not only products and work processes that are changing, but entire markets are at times being redefined. Therefore, companies should be flexible in order to be able to react to changes.
A further challenge is to understand digitalisation as a big picture, i.e. the value chain, processes, collaboration and communication intertwine and form the foundation for delivering digital transformation. It is important to recognise that transformation does not happen overnight, but that it is a long-term project required in order to be able to celebrate sustainable successes. Aside from strategy, staff and time are the most important factors in my view.
We maintain a lively exchange with our customers and partners, both internally and externally, in order to investigate and understand their needs in more detail. In order to improve and roll out our offer, it is important for us to take small iterative steps and provide regular feedback.
How do you expect your membership in the eco Association to support you in this regard?
As an association of the Internet industry, eco represents a broad picture of the business landscape in Germany. We are looking forward to having an active interaction with other members and the opportunity to learn from each other. Open standards and interfaces are an essential topic for us and we see further potential for expansion, especially in cooperation with state partners.
What opportunities does digitalisation offer us in the future?
Many discussions on the topic of digitalisation give the impression that digitalisation is just one of numerous projects that will be completed at some point. Framework conditions change, companies change, employees and managers change. From my point of view, digitalisation is never really over.
Companies should see digitalisation as an opportunity instead of a cost driver. Increased efficiency through automation, improved process control and flexible working conditions are just a few positive aspects of increasing digitalisation.
Mr Sattler, thank you very much for the interview!