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Management & Business Strategies
The digital world is changing the rules of the market and confronts mechanical and plant engineering with the task of actively shaping the dynamic change. Business Strategies helps - with information on all business issues, current management trends, and by providing support in day-to-day operations and strategic planning.

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From our Articles
Making digital meetings and channels more efficient

Meeting efficiency is even more important in today's digital communications. In the download you will find tips, tools and checklists for meetings and for structuring the different communication channels.

Quality Management

The quality of products and services is the basis for success in the German mechanical and plant engineering industry. Every company, whether certified to ISO 9001:2015 or not, has a functioning quality management system. However, there are major differences in its effectiveness.

Experiences of producing in a pandemic

The VDMA has compiled advice and experience from various companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector on how to maintain production despite a pandemic.

New Work - Kill a stupid rule - Simplify work processes

Companies that want to become more agile, faster and more innovative subject their regulations and processes to a regular garbage collection.

New options for pre-insolvency proceedings since January 2021

The political establishment has agreed on further facilitations for company rescues. Since 01.01.2021, facilitated restructuring procedures can be applied under certain conditions.

Recommendations for action in mechanical and plant engineering

For most machine and plant manufacturers, the product development process is probably the most important part of their value chain. The engineering often makes the difference to the competition - especially when individual customer requirements are taken into account.

Hotspots of contract review

This year's exchange of experience in the Claims Management series of topics provided concrete tips for contract drafting and contract review.

Purchasing and Materials Management

Material costs account for the largest share of total costs in mechanical and plant engineering. At the same time, the trouble-free supply of materials is a prerequisite for on-time deliveries. The optimal organization of purchasing and materials management therefore has a decisive influence on competitiveness.

Between efficiency and complexity

The triad between market intelligence, product development and product life cycle

Lean Management

Lean management is a corporate philosophy that has been tried and tested for decades. Machine and plant manufacturers can also use the method to expand their problem-solving competence and benefit from continuous improvement processes - not only in production.

Success factor AI - machine builders and startups find each other

42 percent of AI startups for mechanical engineering come from Europe. Process optimization, visual quality control and predictive maintenance as key innovation fields. Financing is lacking in Europe.

Startups and mechanical engineering: How the cooperation succeeds

There is great potential in the cooperation between startups and mechanical engineering. The prerequisite is that both parties find each other and master the challenges of cooperation. VDMA Startup-Machine helps companies to get started.

Cooperating with startups: Opportunity for mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineering and startups are working together more and more frequently - and with success: Three out of five startup cooperations in mechanical engineering have been a lasting success. But this does not mean that all potentials have been exhausted.

VDMA R+A and "GO2automation" agree on strategic partnership

New network of industrial excellence - AI supports solution-oriented access to automation - Strengthening the competitiveness of SMEs

Opportunities of digitalization and automation

International study on digitalisation and automation in manufacturing companies, Fraunhofer IML/TU Dortmund

RPA bots for quality assurance

In the corporate world, software robots have the potential to take over administrative tasks, reduce the workload of employees and increase efficiency.

Machinery and plant engineering industry regains tailwind

The business climate in the mechanical engineering sector in Germany recently grew for the seventh time in succession, with a balance of +34.0 in May. The business situation made a further upward leap (+41.2) and business expectations are also at a high level (+27.0).

Business initiation trip to Brazil: Logistics industry & e-commerce

Virtual business initiation for German companies for IT and mechanical engineering solutions for the logistics industry, e-commerce and warehouse technology, 13 - 17 September 2021

The monthly "International Bulletin"

Industry is on the upswing worldwide. Tight supply chains are a concern for industrial companies worldwide and are leading to rising input prices.

Drones for intralogistic applications

This whitepaper gives first insights into technical details, possibilities and general conditions of an intralogistics drone application.

Working groups: Everything you need to know at a glance

The VDMA East working groups provide important impulses for your daily work. They show best practice examples, provide valuable suggestions and promote contacts among members - currently also in web meetings.

Machinery engineering industry raises 2021 production forecast to plus 10 percent

A strongly rising order intake, better capacity utilization and a real production increase of 6.0 percent in the first four months of the current year: The economic momentum in the mechanical engineering industry is increasingly gaining momentum.

Company master data register simplifies bureaucracy

The Bundestag is currently debating the government's draft for a company master data register and the introduction of a uniform national business number for companies.

Mechanical engineering NRW: Strong recovery in April

In terms of incoming orders in April 2021, mechanical and plant engineering companies in NRW recorded a year-on-year increase of 83 percent.

Startup solutions for mechanical engineering

Bringing startups and mechanical engineering together - with a focus on problems and topics. This is the objective of the web seminar series "Startup solutions for mechanical engineering" by ProduktionNRW and Startup-Machine.

Study: New competence requirements due to digital transformation

Your support is needed: On behalf of the VDMA, the Kienbaum Institute @ ISM is conducting a study aimed at identifying the new competence requirements resulting from the digital transformation in our member companies.

Facts and figures: Education and workforce in mechanical engineering

In our theme publications, you will find facts, figures and data related to vocational training, engineering courses, skilled workers, mechanical engineers and women in mechanical engineering.

New Work: How can companies get started?

New Work and corporate agility are among the megatrends in society and business. The transformation is happening slowly, but inexorably. The reason for this is not only the changing expectations of employees and social changes, but above all the rapidly changing framework conditions of business due to digitalization, among other things. The mechanical and plant engineering sector must increase its speed of innovation and reaction. Classic management principles are increasingly reaching their limits here. With this series of events, the VDMA offers you the opportunity to drill deep into various aspects of New Work and Agility. In addition to a brief input, workshops will focus on the transfer into practice. Due to the modular structure, you have the option of booking individual topics or the entire series. Of course we are also available for consultation afterwards.

Intelligently securing production locations

In view of the increasing number of crises and disruptions, intelligent production planning is more important than ever. At the same time, a survey significantly supported by the WGP (Scientific Society for Production Engineering) has shown that two thirds of companies are not satisfied with their production planning.

New R&D survey

In April, the "Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft" started its new survey on research and development (R&D) in the industry in 2020. The results are highly significant.

Working World 4.0: Practical Examples and Guidelines

Companies face the challenge of equipping themselves for rapid change in terms of organization, leadership and collaboration. Three guides/studies can provide support.

Facts and figures: Research and innovation in mechanical engineering

In our theme publication you will find facts and figures on research and development, innovations and patents in mechanical engineering.

Recording warehouse stock with the help of drones

Digitalization is also advancing rapidly in warehousing. Drones make it possible to record inventory in the warehouse even in hard-to-reach places with relatively little effort.

Open source entry into the VDA 5050

The VDA 5050 communication interface has a special role to play in the "Flow-Pro" research project: as part of a transaction platform, it is intended to help the ground- and air-bound transport units of the logistics network organize themselves.

Capital spending recovers

The EU Commission forecasts 9 percent price-adjusted growth in investment in machinery and equipment in 2021 and another 7 percent in 2022.

VDMA-Benchmarks Costs

The structure of the participating companies has changed significantly in some cases.

Innovation & quality are two sides of the same coin

The current CMI study investigates the influence of innovation and quality performance on corporate success and how these are influenced by the topics of strategy, organization, management and culture.

Controlling engineering departments with key performance indicators

In engineering and design departments, significantly fewer key figures are generally used to control processes than in production, for example. The VDMA Central Working Group Engineering has compiled an overview of key figures with this focus.

Controlling production with key performance indicators

Key figures are of essential importance for production processes and have been present in manufacturing and assembly for a long time. The Zentraler Arbeitskreis Produktion (Central Working Group for Production) of VDMA has therefore intensively dealt with what a lowest common denominator of important key figures could look like for the control of production areas in mechanical and plant engineering. The primary goal was to define internal indicators that would help the management of production areas to control those successfully. The focus was therefore not on the collection of benchmarks to compare a production area with others within or outside the company.

Ways to a crisis-proof industry

WGP develops assistance for more resilient production. The term resilience has been on everyone's lips since the pandemic at the latest - especially with regard to the future design of industry.

Sick leave in mechanical engineering

A frequently sought-after key figure in personnel management is the sickness rate. Here you can find industry averages.

Worker assistance systems

The goal is the continuous support of production processes in order to assist workers with detailed instructions and to increase quality and productivity.

Figure of the week

42% of mechanical engineering companies in Germany reported production constraints due to a shortage of materials in April - Highest value since 1991.

Transferring trend personnel topics into practice

The central working group on personnel takes up current topics of personnel work and makes them transferable for the practice of our members.

Corona virus: Specific offers of the East German federal states

From contact persons to support programmes: In connection with the corona virus, the federal states have compiled regionally specific information and assistance for companies.

"Capture data - design services"

Data and algorithms are central building blocks of digital transformation, innovative business models and new services in an increasingly complex market environment. Especially the mechanical and plant engineering industry, which generates enormous amounts of data with sensors installed in machines, can secure decisive added value and competitive advantages through the targeted analysis of data.

Research & development remain strong pillars in mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineering in Germany spent a total of €8.2 billion on research and development in 2019.

"Speed is part of innovation"

Gordon Riske, Chairman of the Board of the VDMA Materials Handling and Intralogistics Association, explains what intralogistics manufacturers should improve, the role start-ups play in the industry and how the IFOY AWARD has developed.

Investment controlling in difficult times

Especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, i.e. SMEs, and classic medium-sized companies, a step into unknown territory in the form of a new subsidiary, a joint venture or another participation is a difficult challenge - especially the first time and under current circumstances. There are a number of aspects to consider, such as organisational aspects, liability issues, reporting content and the appropriate risk assessment.

Foreign Trade Newsletter on Russia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe

Current information, analyses and events on the Russian market as well as the markets of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. A service of the VDMA Foreign Trade.

To the point

To the point

Auf den Punkt Zitat Business Strategies


"Digitalization is an important building block for the mechanical engineering industry in establishing resilience against crises."

Prof. Claus Oetter, Deputy Chairman VDMA Software and Digitalization

Auf den Punkt Zahl Business Strategies


percent of German companies

see a significant need for improvement in their current status of digitization activities.

Source: VDMA Studie „Führung und Innovation in Zeiten der Digitalisierung“

Auf den Punkt Zusammenfassung Business Strategien

3 Operational categories in marketing controlling
  • Effectiveness: Indicator of success that records new and existing customers reached by all marketing campaigns.
  • Efficiency: helps evaluate what reach is achievable with which financial marketing resources
  • Customer satisfaction & comparative analysis: evaluating customer loyalty and market presence compared to competitors

VDMA Focus-Topic

VDMA Focus-Topic

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Climate-Neutral Production

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Europe and China

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Other VDMA Services
Job description made easy
Job description, classification, career and competencies made easy - access HR Online Manager for 4 weeks free of charge.


VDMA Excel calculation for forecasting life cycle costs
Life cycle costing (LCC) is very much in vogue, because it allows us to assess the value of "Made in Germany" in monetary terms. For this reason, more and more mechanical engineering customers are inquiring with their suppliers about the follow-up costs of their investment.
Checklist Safety for Service Missions during the Pandemic
Our checklist will help you increase the safety of service staff during urgently needed field work assignments. It provides references to useful sources of information and offers a basis for WEB experience exchanges among VDMA divisions.
Fitness check - where does your company stand compared to the best in the industry?
Do you know how well your company compares to the best in the industry? Find out: on our "Fitness Checks" platform, you can use the online assessment tool to measure and compare your performance currently in the areas of service, quality management and innovation & quality using topic-specific success criteria.
Incoterms 2020
In September 2019, the new Incoterms 2020 were published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). The 11 trade clauses govern the transfer of risks and costs in sales contracts.
Investment calculator 4.0
The model-based online tool "Investment Calculator 4.0" and the accompanying guide offer you valuable support in the economic evaluation of digitization projects.
Salary survey
The VDMA salary study shows what engineers and IT specialists earn in a medium-sized company and provides, among other things, approaches for company-specific salary benchmarking.


Overview Liquidity Support
In challenging times, companies rely on sufficient liquidity. In our overview, we have compiled various instruments, programs and information for you.
Startup Radar Dashboard - Find startups for mechanical engineering online
Discover startup contacts and trends for mechanical engineering worldwide?! The new digital startup search platform helps to find suitable partners.
Peacoq trend radar platform - exploring trends for mechanical engineering online
The VDMA Future Business Trendradar has reached the next level: All content is now digital - making it more accessible for research, display and customization.


Management & Business Strategies Committee
Ausschuss Betriebswirtschaft und Unternehmensführung
In the Business Administration and Management Committee, the managing directors and entrepreneurs from the member companies meet to deal with business administration issues and tasks in the field of business management. The committee meets twice a year and focuses on topics relating to corporate management and organisation, strategic corporate planning and development, corporate finance and employer/employee relations.


Kai Neubauer

HSM GmbH & Co. KG


Illner, Bianca

Management & Business Strategies Committee
Ausschuss Einkauf und Materialwirtschaft
The VDMA's Purchasing and Materials Management Committee deals with technical issues in the fields of purchasing, materials management and logistics. The committee's work serves the exchange of experience among members, the evaluation of current trends and developments, and the development of common standards and concepts.


Andreas Roj

LMT Finance & Shared Services


Illner, Bianca

Management & Business Strategies Committee
Ausschuss Marketing
As the central organ of the VDMA, the committee is to identify, discuss and evaluate developments and trends in the marketing of capital goods.


Illner, Bianca

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Benefits for you as a member

Largest industry network in Europe

Around 3,300 primarily medium-sized member companies in the capital goods industry make the VDMA the largest industrial association in Europe and the most important network organization in the industry.

Strong representation of interests

The VDMA is the most important voice of the mechanical and plant engineering industry. It represents the common economic, technical and scientific interests of the industry in Germany and around the world.

A wide range of services

More than 500 VDMA employees worldwide support you with practical services to make the right decisions in your company - along the entire value chain.