Leistungen // Laterales Management

Digital specialists for the automotive industry

At the same time, the workforce is changing dramatically with the establishment within the company of Porsche DIGITAL GmbH. The reasons driving this are to be found in “Laterales Management. Das Erfolgsprinzip für Unternehmen im digitalen Zeitalter" (Lateral management. The formula for success for companies in the digital era.

The buzzwords “Industry 4.0” and the “Internet of Things” are omnipresent

However, digital technology is also changing production in particular: robots work more quickly, commit fewer errors, are not exhausted by working round-the-clock and are not unionised. This automated, industrial production process is undergoing another sea-change through the Internet, mobile computers and cloud computing. Networked, computerised robots also communicate with each other independently in ordering stock, in warehouses, in transport systems and in quality assurance.

Autonomous systems of this kind are initially expensive to implement but the advantages they offer are obvious: they reduce production costs long-term, since they allow various orders to be combined while mass customisation means that customers’ requirements can be met individually and production and delivery times planned precisely.

Robots are taking on more and more tasks – and not just the most basic ones

There will be six times as many IT specialists working in the automotive industry in 2020 as there are today. The number of traditional engineers will fall sharply. This means that robots will take on more and more tasks in future – and not just the most basic ones. “It is not a question of whether it should be done, but who will be the first to do so”, says Till Reuter, CEO of the robot manufacturer KUKA (Jung 2014).

Almost every company is affected by Industry 4.0 – even SMEs. “Time is running out: we shall see the first fully-digitalised factory in five years”, forecasts Mathias Kammüller, CEO of machine tool manufacturer Trumpf.

Culturally-speaking, engineers will share knowledge with IT specialists

Porsche’s HR Director Andreas Haffner expects the proportion of IT experts among the engineers to increase from the current 5 percent to 30 percent within a few years. This means that only one in four employees at Porsche will be an engineer in 2020. Car manufacture will require a mastery of software then. The era in which cars were manufactured using 20th century methods will finally be over then. Culturally-speaking, traditional engineers will share their knowledge with IT specialists then.