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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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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.

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.

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.

IMPULS study on products for price-sensitive customers

Tailor-made solutions for customers mean serving their needs perfectly from a technical point of view, while at the same time keeping product costs within exactly the right range. This could enable European mechanical and plant engineering to tap into completely new market potential, even - or especially - in times of crisis. This is the focus of a recent survey commissioned by the IMPULS Foundation.

Cost development 2023

VDMA estimate of cost development and cost trends in 2023.

Machinery production: growth in the 1st half of 2022

According to the German Federal Statistical Office, German machinery production in the food processing and packaging machinery sector increased by 4 percent in H1 2022.

Hannover Messe 2023 - Joint stand software and digitalization

From April 17 to April 21, 2023, the world's leading trade fair for industry will take place in Hannover.

IoT- platforms for the Internet of Production

Successfully implementing an IoT platform in your own company is an important building block for the future and plays a critical role in the implementation of Industrie 4.0.

Economic bulletin international

In August and September, machinery manufacturers in many countries reported robust growth figures.

Risks in day-to-day business: How purchasing can arm itself

Even in turbulent times, purchasing must ensure on-time deliveries and limit price risks. In order to achieve this, companies should question their current procedures.

Storytelling at the Mechanical Engineering Summit: This is what "Future Services" in mechanical engineering look like

The VDMA future study "Future Services 2025" was also presented at the Mechanical Engineering Summit 2022. 3 speakers told their respective service stories.

The future of digital recruiting measures for training

Recruiting young apprentices has adapted to the digital world. But which measures will have a future when Corona restrictions are largely eliminated?

Making the difference with Next Generation Manufacturing

In the joint study "Next Generation Manufacturing", management consultants Roland Berger and the VDMA highlight important levers for the successful production of tomorrow. The focus is on the six global trends of sustainability, digitalization, location matters, individualization, populism and industry disruption.

Business Transformation - The Opportunity for Machinery and Plant Engineering

The publication provides industrial SMEs with practical guidance for the successful development of an individual strategy and roadmap for holistic digitization.

Future Services 2035

Services in mechanical engineering: The focus is already on people, digitization and sustainability. Will everything be new, will everything be different in the next decade? Four scenarios in the 8th study of the future.

Die Produktion attraktiv machen, zwei Welten vermeiden


New Work - What is the goal and how to get there?

Many companies are working toward the goal of becoming more agile and innovative. The opportunities for change are favorable right now due to the shared experience of breaking down the familiar.

Digital spare parts management in practice

Efficient spare parts management is an important building block in the after-sales business. After-sales-applications ensure the availability of spare parts at agricultural machinery manufacturer Claas.

Stagnation - a possible scenario for world machinery turnover in 2023

If things go well, turnover in the world machinery sector is likely to increase by 2 percent in 2023, adjusted for prices. However, lower growth is not unrealistic.

Portfolio vitality above all else, or why key performance indicators from other departments are only partially suitable for adjusting product market success.

With the attached guideline, a very lean and coherent KPI model has now been created, which specifically references the PM's perspective, but can certainly also be applied in other departments due to the matrix function of product management.

8th Future Business Summit - Results

Services in mechanical engineering: The focus is already on people, digitization and sustainability. Will everything be new, will everything be different in the next decade? Around 120 guests discussed future scenarios and received new impetus on applications, training and new business models at Campus Buschhütten.

Ensuring business success with market intelligence

Anyone who wants to work the markets of the future needs sound market information - but how can market intelligence be used strategically? Answers to this question will be provided at the 13th German Mechanical Engineering Summit.

Mitigate recruitment problems, create conditions

The shortage of skilled workers is coming to a head, the labor market has turned. Demographics, digitalization, democratization and decentralization also pose challenges for companies in this area.

Recruitment from abroad for Germany

There is a shortage of skilled workers. This is also bringing foreign talent back into focus. You will find practical experiences and a collection of support services in the download.

"Future Services 2035" in mechanical engineering

What role will services play in mechanical engineering in the future? The VDMA scenario study "Future Services 2035" will be presented. Impulses, controversies and recommendations for action from experts.

Help for CE marking of AGVs

A new VDMA brochure provides important information on placing automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and transport systems on the market in accordance with the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC (CE marking).

More transparency for AGV projects

A new brochure is designed to give manufacturers, dealers and operators more certainty about placing automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and transport systems on the market and the associated responsibilities.

Price development: Keep an overview!

The situation in most mechanical engineering companies is currently characterized by the tense situation with materials and preliminary products. Not only disrupted supply chains are causing problems, but also the sharp rise in prices.

Material Hub - Research engineering materials effortlessly

Developers and designers have long wanted a material research tool that allows them to search across suppliers using customizable technical criteria. Now it's here.

Part-time Master Programs Industry 4.0

Digitalization poses many a challenge to mechanical engineering. Upskilling your own employees in the area of Industrie 4.0 can be a solution to bring specialized knowledge on board. We have provided you with a list of advanced degree programs.

Between flexibility and stable processes: How it works

Adaptability and flexibility are more in demand than ever. But despite permanent change, processes must remain stable. What this means for management, work and production organization.

Lean Management: Achieve surprising effects!

The Lean Assessments of the VDMA East regularly provide new impulses for hosts and participants. For example, FläktGroup provided exciting insights into methods, milestones and successes.

Economic bulletin international

At the start of the third quarter, sentiment among companies in many countries deteriorated. Supply-side bottlenecks have so far predominated, but now demand-side pressures have been added.

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.

Allow recruitment of foreign skilled workers through recruiters

The VDMA is calling on politicians to also allow recruitment agencies to bring foreign skilled workers to Germany. Every possibility must now be seriously considered to get the skilled labor problem under control.

In choppy waters

Global turnover growth in the machinery industry is expected to reach 4 percent in real terms in 2022. In the coming year, 5 percent could be achieved. However, downside risks currently predominate.

CCC certification obligation for control cabinets?

VDMA white paper provides practical assistance in assessing the CCC certification obligation for control cabinets

Continuous increase in own terminations

How are the pandemic, demographics and more affecting employee retention in our industry? What are suspected causes?

Situation on the procurement markets and dealing with price increases

Ongoing supply problems are challenging purchasing in the mechanical and plant engineering sector, yet there are approaches to dealing with supplier demands.

Digitization is feasible even with limited resources!

Whether invoices are to be posted or reports created: Digitized, automated processes can also save a lot of time in commercial processes. In addition, transparency increases.

Staff turnover: How can employee retention be strengthened?

If the self-termination rate of employees in mechanical and plant engineering has increased - what approaches remain for the industry to improve employee retention?

Securing the markets of the future with Market Intelligence?

Market Intelligence - is market data the key to keeping an eye on developments in mechanical engineering and making better strategic decisions? A VDMA-wide survey reveals.

8th Future Business Summit "Future Services 2035" - Register now!

From upgrades of classic services to new business models through digitalization, sustainability and changed, partly disruptive framework conditions: What does the future of service business and service processes look like in the next decade? Experience it on 06-07.09.2022 at the Campus Buschhütten, Germany!

VDMA flash survey on material bottlenecks

The situation in the supply chains has once again worsened. Hardly any companies in the machinery and plant engineering sector expect the situation to ease any time soon. More and more companies are changing their procurement strategies and placing a stronger focus on security of supply.

Topic radars for drone technologies

1st edition of topic radars for drone technologies in last-mile logistics and for industrial applications, research and technology in general.

Future Business Summit at CERN: "The largest machine in the world"

The exclusive follow-up event to our sixth Future Business Summit took place live in Geneva and brought the future to life. Photos, video interviews and presentations are available now.

Mechanical engineering: Number of job advertisements at record level

The mechanical engineering industry is looking for employees. In fact, the number of job ads is now at record levels. The indicators all speak the same language and the shortages are getting worse.

How to anchor sustainability with foresight and in the long run

A successful event: on May 11, 2022, 60 participants exchanged views on top issues ranging from sustainability management and climate neutrality to "zero impact" in raw materials at the Corporate Foresight spring conference. Exciting presentations, interesting discussions and inspiring networking.

Increasing requirements in controlling and accounting

Sustainability requirements and the Ukraine war are having an impact on mechanical and plant engineering in NRW as well - the event addressed the role of controlling and accounting.


Benchmarking is an instrument of controlling and corporate management for the analysis of processes, corporate success and developments.
Business Development
The permanent establishment is a tax fiction that can quickly become complex in its handling. Despite the fact that it is not legally independent, it triggers registration and tax declaration obligations in the source country, for example. The various information is intended to provide a practical, clear introduction to this complex topic.
Finance & Controlling
Globalization, digital transformation and the associated dynamics have substantial effects on Finance and Controlling. To ensure that the sector can continue to set the pace for value-added innovation in the future, new processes and competencies are required that enable secure, data-driven decisions based on resilient analyses and real-time forecasts.
Purchasing and Materials Management
On average, material costs in the mechanical and plant engineering sector account for about 50 per cent of the company's total costs. At the same time, the trouble-free supply of materials is an indispensable prerequisite for functioning production and thus for the timely fulfilment of orders.
Product development is where most of the course for a company's success is set. You will find valuable impulses for the complex requirements on these pages.
In manufacturing and assembly outstanding machines and plants become reality. This is where information and material flow together, not always according to plan. However it is important to meet the high demands in terms of quality, time and costs every day.
Lean Management
All companies solve problems for their customers every day. The tasks are often familiar, but they are also often new. Lean management is an approach that has been tried and tested for decades and can also be used by machine and plant manufacturers to make themselves fit for a successful future.
Human Resources Management
Human resources management in companies has received a significant upgrade since the early 1990s. The ability to stand out in the market depends not least on the qualified people in the company.
Quality Management
The quality of products and services is an essential 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.
Risk Management
Risk management does not mean ruling out risks from the outset, but weighing up and factoring in possible disruptions. In doing so, the entire company with all its departments and areas must be taken into account in order to identify and eliminate risks that could jeopardize the company's existence at an early stage.
Marketing Communication is nowadays a part of the sales process. It´s not reduced on graphical outcome an should qualify permanently Leads. How you can proceed on this, is explained on the following page.
Organization and Culture
Both organisation and culture are what make up the company "inside". Both have far-reaching effects on the outside, on customers and their needs and on other external partners. Thus, both are a question of successful cooperation inside and outside.
Future Business
Trendscouting - Foresight - Startups: We are tracking the future of mechanical engineering. Well structured and across all sectors within VDMA, in the almost infinite variety of complex topics for the next 10-15 years. Our goal: to identify trends and disruptions relevant to machine makers at an early stage and make them usable, to point out new business opportunities and to build networks.
Startups transform trending topics into new technologies and products that will be of importance in the future of mechanical engineering. Startups employ novel work practices which mechanical engineers should be aware of.
Plant Engineering
Mechanical and plant engineering companies from all over Europe are involved in the VDMA. Mechanical engineering is a familiar term to many, but what characterizes plant engineering?
Personnel Marketing & Recruitment
The shortage of skilled workers has arrived in the present. The labour market has turned and companies are receiving a decreasing number of applications. Demography, digitalisation, democratisation and decentralisation pose major challenges for the economy. Personnel recruitment must now take new paths.

To the point

To the point

Auf den Punkt Zitat Business Strategies


"Measurability in product management - oha, very difficult.... Nice that there is now the guide and a super overview of KPIs in product management."

Bianca Illner, Managing Director Business Advisory

Auf den Punkt Zahl Business Strategies


Future scenarios

The "Future Services 2035" study paints four pictures of the future, showing the different development paths that services can take for mechanical and plant engineering in the next decade.

Source: VDMA Study Future Services 2035

Auf den Punkt Zusammenfassung Business Strategien

Digital spare parts management: success factors from practice
  • A well-organized and efficient spare parts management
  • Establishment of a dealer network for better supply of spare parts
  • Standardization and automation of services

VDMA Focus-Topic

VDMA Focus-Topic

Fokus-Themen Teaser

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Climate-Neutral Production

Our topics slider 1

Europe and China

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Further 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.



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Benefits for you as a member

Largest industry network in Europe

Around 3,500 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.