MAN Truck & Bus

Digital transformation begins in the mind

Niklaus H. Waser is consistently advancing digitisation at MAN. It is by no means just about technologies, but about new ways of working on many levels and involves customer-oriented thinking.

Niklaus H. Waser ist Senior Vice President Digital Transformation & Business Models bei MAN

Digital transformation begins in the mind

Niklaus H. Waser is consistently advancing digitisation at MAN. It is by no means just about technologies, but about new ways of working on many levels and involves customer-oriented thinking.

16/03/2020

TRANSFORMER

Niklaus H. Waser is an expert on digitisation and new business models. As Senior Vice President Digital Transformation & Business Models, he is driving MAN's development into being a provider of end-to-end transport solutions.

Herr Waser, wer über die Zukunft von Logistik und Transport spricht, kommt um das Stichwort „Digitale Transformation“ kaum herum. Was leiten Sie daraus für MAN ab?

N. H. WASER Our entire industry is experiencing a tremendous disruption. The technologies, the players, our customers' requirements: everything is changing rapidly. It is no longer sufficient to simply sell a vehicle. We must instead offer our customers holistic solutions and become part of their value chain. Digitisation provides the tools for this transformation.

What exactly does that mean?

N. H. WASER  It's certainly not enough to simply develop arbitrary digital products. This transformation must start in the mind. It takes curiosity and the willingness to experiment with new working models, to take new paths and leave one's comfort zone at times. A transformation involves you embarking jointly with your customers on a journey that never ends and in which the objective is continuous improvement of your own services for these customers.

So technology is not at the heart of the process?

N. H. WASER We need both: an open mindset and digital tools. Only when body and mind interact can we make progress. Transformation doesn't just mean digitisation, but a broad change, pluralism, inclusion, new methods and processes. Because the thinking patterns of the past will certainly not enable us to find the solutions of the future for our customers.

What do such new approaches look like in practice?

N. H. WASER Most recently, for example, we organised a hackathon. More than 100 participants spent two and a half days working in cross-functional teams to turn data into solutions for our customers.

What came out of it?

N. H. WASER The winning team had the idea of using the anonymised data from our trucks to forecast the ideal time for servicing these trucks. When the driver has to take a break anyway, for example. Or if the truck's going to be in one place for a long time in any case. This is how operating times can be optimised. A real customer benefit has thus been created from data, algorithms and an open mindset.

Will such data also benefit the new truck?

N. H. WASER  Of course. It's setting new market standards for us in terms of digitisation. The entire vehicle is state of the art as a digital platform, so we can permanently develop and offer new and individually adapted solutions for our customers over its lifetime.

Photos Konstantin Eckert (Header)

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