What does the Head of Digital Transformation actually do?
CREMER Magazine: Philipp, you are Head of Digital Transformation at CREMER. What role does digitization play at CREMER?
Digitalization will definitely not be a short-term phenomenon and will continuously change the way how we are operating on a “day to day” basis and consequently how we are competing with other businesses.
We live in a world of technological transformation, barriers of traditional industries are conquered faster than ever before, which ultimately results in potential threats but also opportunities for enhancing existing business models. There certainly is a need for action right now! And this is why CREMER has established a new role, “Head of Digital Transformation”, to ensure a holistic and systematic approach of digitalization across all CREMER business units with the purpose of exploiting the utilization of technology in our processes and business models.
CREMER Magazine: What do you have to look out for in the digital transformation and fundamentally in the procedure at CREMER?
Exponential technology-driven developments cause digital disruption and therefore necessitate a more proactive approach to digitalization. We as CREMER are now able to exploit digital transformation and strengthen our processes, operating- and business models and consequently our competitive advantage. Therefore, we see the digital transformation as a massive chance.
During our analysis in the next month, we will:
- Identify potential to improve and digitize our processes
- Define digital solutions to increase customer satisfaction
- Increase transparency to exploit the utilization of business data
- Understand existing threats within our business models due to technology developments
- and identify potential revenue streams with new digital services/ solutions
In general, all digitalization activities should ultimately contribute to one of the three goals below:
- Increase our process efficiency
- Enhance customer satisfaction and consequently boost customer loyalty
- Increase growth by new digitized products and services (business models)
Transformations as such will only be successful if we ensure permanent “customer centricity” in all our digitalization considerations. Customer requirements predominantly drive all our optimization initiatives and are consequently a central part of our approach.
However, it is also critical that we all get activated and constantly question the way we are working and providing services to our customers. Innovation can only be released, if everybody is encouraged for constructively questioning the status quo and. Within most organizations, this is a major cultural change and therefore needs to be actively accompanied during the entire transformation.
Transformations as such will only be successful if we ensure permanent “customer centricity” in all our digitalization considerations.
CREMER Magazine: In your opinion, what are currently the most exciting digitization projects at CREMER?
Since February 2021, CREMER started identifying “digital light houses”, which are currently being tested and implemented. There are already many promising digitalization projects across all business units. Some are concentrated on introducing new e-commerce sales channels, others with improving operations by digitizing and automating repetitive processes. Additionally, there are also projects that create a new digital approach for developing future business models.
Summarized, there is already a high variety of promising digitalization projects. Many of them might even be scalable from one business unit to another. Therefore, I see significant advantages in cross-business-unit collaboration during the digital transformation. However, these digital initiatives are just a start. We will expand the digital transformation to more business units at the end of 2021.
CREMER Magazine: What are your most important tasks in this context?
My most important tasks and objectives are the cross-business unit coordination of the digitalization program. Enabling program participants and hands on support in the projects where necessary. We need to ensure frequent best practice sharing, quick testing and continuous improvement of MVPs.
This will be the foundation of a fast scalability of ideas across the business units. Beside these more operational tasks, I will also strongly focus on more strategic objectives, e.g., assessing the digital maturity level of each business unit, developing, and anchoring a digital strategy in the individual business units, together with the senior management. And of course, developing a long-term digital agenda with the digital project teams. As you can see, a digital transformation is not a sprint, it is certainly a marathon.
A digital transformation is not a sprint, it is certainly a marathon.
CREMER Magazine: How did you come to CREMER? What stations have you had on your career path so far?
Before I started at CREMER in July 2021, I spent 4 years in the inhouse consultancy of Commerzbank, where I was concentrated primarily on solving corporate challenges by developing new divisional strategies and supporting post-merger integration activities of Dresdner Bank and Commerzbank.
Afterwards, I joined Porsche Consulting and focused heavily on advising corporates by optimizing their operating models, processes and additionally managing corporate wide efficiency programs. In recent years, digital transformations became more and more a key aspect in my project portfolio at Porsche Consulting. I had the opportunity to manage several large digital transformations in different industries and finally decided to get out of the consultancy world to provide my experience and knowledge exclusively to CREMER.
This enables me to accompany and support the transformation more sustainably from beginning to the end. As consultants, we often used to support projects only to the early stage of implementation. However, the critical implementation activities are usually not supported by consultants, which I desired to change by moving in-house to CREMER.
CREMER Magazine: What part of the job do you like the most?
Constantly solving challenging problems with the support of motivated and innovative teams. Making a difference, by actively shaping CREMER’s digital future together with the help of the entire digitalization project team. Furthermore, I like the diversity of CREMER by having so many different organizations in their portfolio.
CREMER Magazine: What should someone bring for a job like yours?
Passion for innovation and organizational change. Fun with working in creative project teams and patience if things not immediately turn out as they supposed to be. It is important to have a long breath if it comes to integrating digital solutions. Designing robust solutions is very important, but continuous attention on a consequent implementation until the very end makes the real difference in all transformations.