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Declining demand in key sales markets is particularly affecting the export-oriented German industry. In August 2019, the German Institute for Economic Research’s economic barometer fell to 89.3 points, the worst value since the end of 2012. According to an intra-industry survey , consulting firms recommend building up digital management skills to counteract this trend. “They are the key to a future increase in value and performance in companies,” says Ralf Strehlau, President of the Federal Association of German Management Consultants (BDU). “New, agile management styles are playing an increasingly important role in this.”

The consultants cite big data, artificial intelligence, and the networking of machine production as decisive future growth factors. In view of the shortage of IT specialists , their successful implementation requires new personnel management-specific strategies, such as consistent further training of the workforce in digitalization.