Category: Corporate & Business Development

What should your company look like in the future and how do you ensure its competitiveness? With active corporate development, you systematically address these questions about the future.

incontext.technology GmbH from Heidelberg and THE MAK’ED TEAM GmbH & Co. KG, with locations in Nuremberg and Karlsruhe, have agreed to cooperate. With this step, both companies are extending their value chain in all relevant questions of digitalisation and digital transformation in medium-sized companies. The synergy of management and process consulting on the side of THE MAK’ED TEAM and innovative technology on the side of INCTEC, as incontext.technology is called, leads to tailor-made concepts for the requirements of our two client companies. These can be realised with future-proof technology in almost all functional areas of medium-sized companies.

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An essential backbone of manufacturing SMEs are production employees who are proficient in the applications and have the relevant experience. These employees are crucial for the innovation and competitiveness of the company. In order to keep pace with the many changes and transformation processes in the competitive environment and to fully exploit the innovative capacity of the company, it is important to promote and permanently develop the competences of the employees in production. This can be implemented in a focused manner with strategic competence management. Read more

Companies that exploit the full potential of digitalisation can increase their efficiency and optimise their processes. So far – so good! But: Where is digitalisation potential in the company? When we work with SMEs on their digital transformation, the first step is to analyse the processes. This usually gives us specific process patterns: Are there processes that have a media break? For example, is an automated process interrupted because manual intervention is necessary? Are there particularly complicated processes that need a lot of accompanying attention or that have not yet been digitalised because of their complexity? Are there processes in the company that take a particularly long time to process? Are there processes in which errors frequently occur and which therefore require repeated interventions? Or are there processes that cause high process costs?

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A frequent experience in our customer projects is that our medium-sized customers react to the topic of compliance with the critical question: “And who is going to do that? Of course, a medium-sized company does not have the same resources as a group of companies, where a compliance department with several members deals with the topic. Nevertheless, the same legal framework conditions apply to SMEs and group companies.

Multiple crises, international interdependencies, challenging political developments. The risks for companies tend to increase.  The business world is increasingly difficult to assess, more dynamic and more complex. Compliance has become an important basis for SMEs to safeguard the company, protect it from potential risks and thus create a foundation for the long-term success of the company. Good compliance can protect the company in the best possible way and indicate emerging crises and problems at an early stage. For effective implementation of compliance management, it is particularly important in medium-sized companies to use resources wisely and to sensitise everyone in the company to the issue. All too often, compliance is still perceived as a secondary task and the risks that actually exist are massively underestimated.

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Competence management is important in a company to ensure that employee resources are used optimally. Through competence management, the skills and competences of employees can be developed and used in a focused way. Competence management is a demanding task. How does the company know what competencies a person has outside their field of work? And how can these competences be used professionally?

In order to solve these and many other challenges in competence management without spending a lot of time and personnel, the use of skill management tools can be a useful method: The right tools ensure that skills management can be implemented efficiently. Digital tools can be used for every step along the employee life cycle and significantly improve the results. The tools start at different points along the employee’s career path. Which tool or mix of tools a company needs depends entirely on individual needs. All-in-one solutions are often very powerful for SMEs. The key question in the selection process is: What requirements should be met by the competence management system?

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Change management means planning changes in an organisation and implementing them in a structured process. Selected measures are defined to transform departments or even the entire organisation from an initial state to a defined target state. And this is particularly important in the case of digitalisation. Many companies focus on digitisation projects. But they can introduce the best systems: If the employees are not involved in the change processes at an early stage and thus acceptance for the planned transformation is not promoted from the beginning, the system will not work in everyday life.

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Public funding supports small and medium-sized enterprises in their development. But which funding programmes are suitable for your own company? And how can the right funding be identified, or several funding programmes be combined? Entrepreneurs who deal with this topic quickly realise that getting an overview and making the right choice for their own company is a task that cannot be accomplished in passing. Finding one’s way through the funding jungle is not always easy.

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Without compliance with ESG criteria, it is becoming increasingly difficult for medium-sized companies to attract customers, investors and new employees and to convince banks. However, many questions arise when it comes to the concrete fulfilment of ESG factors. The overarching issue is to take the right approach to ensure that the ESG criteria are optimally integrated into one’s own business strategy and play their part in ensuring that the company acts responsibly and thus remains viable and competitive in the future.

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Comply with regulations, implement ethical standards: Compliance is crucial for SMEs in the highly competitive business environment. Medium-sized companies that decide to professionalise their compliance can make their compliance management processes lean, efficient and transparent on the basis of certification standards. Once a solid compliance basis has been developed according to certification standards, the company is optimally equipped for active compliance management.

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The African continent is in a constant economic upswing and digitisation is advancing in leaps and bounds. This can be a real springboard for small and medium-sized enterprises that are thinking about internationalising their business, further developing their international locations and expanding their networks. In our guest article, which appeared in the 1/2023 issue of the BVMW foreign trade magazine “AfrikaContact”, we discuss the various aspects, advantages and opportunities that Africa’s digital transformation offers German SMEs. Be it online trade, supply chain management or the qualification and further training of skilled workers – the conditions for SMEs have improved significantly in recent years and are better today than ever before. We are convinced that now is the right time for many SMEs pursuing internationalisation plans to look into Africa. Read more