Digitisation as a drive behind expansion - DCC and Clarion initiate industry-wide discussion on electronic data dialogue

It was about a “win-win-win” situation that Dr Olaf Plümer, CEO of the Daten Competence Center e.V. (Herford), spoke at the start of the industry-wide discussion on the topic of ‘Digitisation, from Purchasing through to Sales’, initiated in conjunction with Clarion Events Deutschland (Bielefeld). One of the objectives of this discussion was to define IT deficits specific to the industry. A further objective was to support the significance of ZOW, the supplier fair, as a labour and communication platform for the value-added chain in the furniture industry, according to ZOW consultant Udo Traeger.

Plümer and Traeger presented the workshop held on 5 July at the offices of the Herford Furniture Associations, which was attended by numerous representatives of various software companies from all over Germany. The keen interest in the topic as well as in its presentation at the up-coming ZOW was reflected however not only quantitatively, but above all in the intensive, multifaceted exchange of opinions


Tremendous potentials currently unused
Basically, there was mutual agreement that the furniture industry is faced with tremendous challenges associated with digitisation and, unlike in the automobile or other branches of industry, there is a considerable need to catch up. Talk was of “several years” of distance away from data standardisation / communication by the DDC.

Specifically, it was the coming-together of over 20 experts at the event, which was designed as a brainstorming exercise, to discuss WiFi availability in commerce, multi-channel strategies, process design / supply chain management of supplier-manufacturer trade, with planning systems and visualisation options.

Important information isn’t reaching customers
The – relatively ‘spoilt’ final customer, including from an IT perspective – continually emerged as the crux off all efforts. Ultimately, according to the general consensus, it is the final customer who pays for all those involved in the processes and for whom all those involved, work. However, the furniture industry only has a few “successful experiences” to counteract the demanding wishes of consumers. Although a wall has been scaled in the form of prosperous online trade, it isn’t yet possible to transport to the customer the current range of offers pertaining to furnishing and interior design solutions.

Guests and organisers of this kick-off event on the topic of digitisation quickly agreed that an industry event such as the ZOW with its communication platform “ZOW update” offers the perfect opportunities for tackling the ‘digital’ deficits in the industry as quickly as possible. Thanks were continually heaped on the host, since it was the DCC and ZOW organiser Clarion that, ultimately, enabled this exchange.

IT offensive for the ZOW 2017
The representatives of the IT and software companies support the intention of focussing on the digitisation of the entire value-added chain of ‘furniture’ as the main topic at the up-coming ZOW to be held in Bad Salzuflen between 7 and 9 February 2017. To this end, the exhibiting companies wish to extend targeted invitations to the pertinent partners from the field of trade and industry. The majority clearly prefers a joint exhibition area whereby it is clearly and compactly conveyed that the topic of “digitisation” is being communicated.

If attendance at the ZOW can demonstrate intelligent ways of process optimisation and cost reductions in the furniture industry, summarised Udo Traeger, then today’s exchange has been the first success.


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