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Digitization & Innovation

Manuals digitization

Characteristic of craftsmanship in Austria is the living, the dynamic, the forward-looking. Nowadays, it is a matter of combining this tradition with the opportunities offered by digitization.

Digitization is changing the entire economic fabric and thus the immediate economic environment of every single business in the skilled crafts and trades. New business fields, new sales channels, changed supply relationships, new marketing concepts, new products, manufacturing processes, customer needs and desires - everything is developing along the new, digital possibilities.

Ultimately, these opportunities are nothing more than instruments and tools that can be used to expand one's own scope for action and creativity as a self-employed person. Thus, it is important for every single entrepreneur in the skilled crafts and trades to position themselves optimally in these times of change in order to lead their business into a successful future.

For this reason, the Institute for Applied Research on Skilled Crafts and Trades, as part of the initiative of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and in cooperation with the respective federal guilds, has created industry-specific digitization manuals to make the opportunities of digitization available to businesses in the skilled crafts and trades.

In the course of a large number of individual interviews, through research work and visits to trade fairs and industry-specific events, industry-relevant data was collected. Extensive expert discussions were held with entrepreneurs of the respective occupation, with representatives from vocational training, with experts from science and research and also with representatives from industry and trade.

Based on the data obtained from this, an overall picture of the respective trade was drawn that depicts the current status quo of the industry and its future possibilities through digitization. In this way, the manuals have always emphasized the fact that upcoming changes due to digitization are not discussed in general terms, but rather focus precisely on a particular trade.

These manuals are characterized in particular by the fact that the focus is not on disruptive, global, high-tech and academic-research-driven digitization processes, but rather on action-oriented solutions and strategies at the company level for small and medium-sized enterprises. Best case examples from entrepreneurs and for entrepreneurs will be used to illustrate the paths to digitization from the perspective of self-employed persons in Austrias skilled crafts and trades.

Thus, the focus of these manuals is on how digitization and the associated innovation can be successfully integrated into the framework of an existing business model and how entrepreneurs can achieve the optimal fit between their business and its opportunities on the one hand and the new requirements on the other.

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The manuals can be downloaded from the WKO website for download.