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The industry must assert its role as a worldwide supplier of technological industrial solutions, says IG Metall board member Wolfgang Lemb . IT corporations are already set to “wedge their way in between the machine construction industry and its customers” with their platforms. It is therefore essential to take a strategic approach to the platform economy and cooperate more extensively. “A good culture of co-determination and a strong works council are an important prerequisite for this”, Lemb continues. In the trade union study “Digital Transformation in Machine and System Construction” , the social scientist Dr. Jürgen Dispan recommends that employers adapt their strategies to take account of internal digital networking of business processes and involve their employees. New digital opportunities will allow employment in the industry to “remain steady or grow” over the next few years.

The German Engineering Federation (VDMA) has also commissioned research intothe effects of the platform economy in the machine construction industry . The authors recommend offering digital services and apps, among other things. Like IG Metall, the VDMA sees entering into cooperation agreements as the key to success.