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Traditional business models are declining in importance in many places, as the representative study by Bitkom of 555 German industrial companies with 100 employees or more reveals. In one in five companies, products that are no longer contemporary are being taken off the market. Instead companies are opting increasingly frequently for platform-based business models. 83% are developing new digital platforms or continuing to work on existing ones, 43% have introduced pay-per-use models that make it possible for them to charge for the use of a machine as a service, for example – an accounting basis that is equally advantageous for manufacturers and users.

The compressor manufacturer Kaeser from Coburg, for example, launched “air as a service” a good two years ago. Sensors in the manufacturer’s systems measure not only air consumption, but also other relevant operating and environmental parameters. The information goes into a central computer, where it is compared with a database and processed. In this way, problems can be identified at an early stage and maintenance of customer systems can be planned in advance. This has two advantages, namely shorter downtimes and lower maintenance costs.