Industry 4.0 describes the informatisation of supply chains, structures and processes within the German economy. Regarding the shortened innovation cycles as well as the increasing complexity of products and production processes Industry 4.0 plays a central role in the competitiveness of German companies, especially referred to the manufacturing “German Mittelstand” which can be considered as the core part of the German economy.
To guarantee its international competiveness, an identification of potentials concerning the realization of Industry 4.0 is desirable and inevitable in the long-term.
Nevertheless, some mid-sized companies are still hesitating due to the fact that they do not know how to approach the subject effectively. This paper aims at the development of a concept that can be used to identify potentials of Industry 4.0 concerning specific internal and external characteristics of mid-sized companies with focus on production.
The paper illustrates central potentials and their determinants and provides some practical examples based on the results of a primarily qualitative expert survey. It develops a conceptual framework that shows an approach to a company-focused analysis of potentials for mid-sized firms.
The model can be developed and extended to other departments.