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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.

Themenfeldgrafik Management und Business Strategien

Aus unseren Inhalten

Aus unseren Inhalten
ERFA Controlling: Risks always under control

Controlling and sustainability experts from VDMA member companies met in Salzburg at the end of April 2023 for the ERFA Controlling of VDMA Austria and VDMA Bavaria.

Challenges with large and heavy transports

Manufacturers of large and heavy goods are increasingly faced with increasing requirements to obtain special permits to use certain routes.

Launch of the "Managing Sustainable Innovations" survey

The VDMA is a partner in a newly launched consortium benchmarking study by the Machine Tool Laboratory WZL at RWTH Aachen University and Complexity Management Academy GmbH, which is looking for success factors for sustainable product development. Interested companies can participate in a survey until June 30, 2023. In addition to benchmarking their own status quo, there is also the opportunity to be recognized as a "Successful Practice Company" yourself.

Development of alternative control procedures

As of July 1, 2019, air cargo may no longer be made secure via the special screening procedure "Explosive Trace Detection." Until then, this ETD procedure was approved by the German Federal Aviation Authority if it was not possible to check the cargo using X-rays.

VDMA QuickCheck revised

In a company it is part of the daily work to identify optimization needs via benchmarking, to monitor successful processes and to visualize targets. A popular tool here is comparison. The VDMA QuickCheck enables this - similar to a balanced scorecard - via four perspectives.

Calculation scheme for non-wage labor costs 2023

The calculation schema for non-wage labor costs is a model calculation for determining the imputed surcharge for direct and indirect wage-dependent costs. Here you will find the current version, as of March of the current year.

The search for New Work approaches to production

The production sector is usually neglected in New Work. New Work is more than home office and free processes and therefore there are also different starting points in production.

Expert discussion on the intercompany comparison

The first episode of the new podcast series "Nachgehakt - vergleichen, verstehen, verändern" is online! In this format, we talk to experts and go into the essential points of the intercompany comparison. In the first part, we welcomed Prof. Stefan Mayr from the University of Linz.

Accounting 2021/2022

After the first test, the number of benchmarks in the inter-company comparison could now be brought back to the known size.

Where do companies stand in implementing ESG requirements?

VDMA surveyed the ESG implementation status in summer 2022. Now the final survey results are available.

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.

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.

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.

Key figures in Product management

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

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.

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.

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.

Confidential documents: What auditors are allowed to demand

Whether it's evidence management, rights and obligations to provide information, or the protection of confidential information and sensitive data: There is a lot to consider when it comes to audits. Our recommendations.

Digital marketing - how now?

More leads, new business potential: digital marketing can achieve a lot. But to do so, customers' information needs must first be understood and properly served.

It all began with the food processor

A project map as a fence-building aid to change. Axel Weidner, managing partner of Mankenberg in Lübeck, talks about this, the 80 percent principle and the playful desire for robotization in this interview.

Error culture - How to start in the middle class

Uta Schmidt from MESTO shows paradoxes in dealing with errors depending on the context. A positive error culture requires discussion and a common understanding, self-reflection, role models and tools.

Mechanical engineering and its customers benefit from funding

The successful Federal Support Programme for Energy Efficiency in Industry has been fundamentally amended as of 1 November 2021. The funding programme has been expanded to include a subsidy for resource efficiency in module 4 and the funding programme will also subsidise transformation concepts (module 5). The mechanical engineering sector and its customer industries can also benefit from this.

Home office survey autumn 2021 - what do 400 companies say?

The current survey on the topic of home office as of the end of October is available here. Topics include: planned days of home office "according to Corona", productivity and assessment of opportunities and risks.

Supply bottlenecks and cost increases in purchasing

Full order books and ongoing friction in the supply chain - purchasing is facing major challenges. But there are design options.

German services are top again!

What is important to service customers in the most important sales countries of the mechanical engineering industry, and what is not? The Global Service study helps to identify regional preferences and to adapt services locally.

Strategic personnel planning made easy with PYTHIA Automotive

The future is uncertain? The future personnel requirements in the company do not have to be. The new IT tool PYTHIA Automotive supports small and medium-sized companies and is also suitable for planning novices.

Tight or slack - sailing successfully through crises

A crisis shows which companies are capable of finding answers to difficult challenges. The means of leadership to choose from are: stringent instructions from individuals or the power of self-organised teams.

VDMA Benchmarks Customer Service

The VDMA benchmarks prove that service contributes to success with a multiple of the average company revenue. Services make a significant contribution of almost 20 percent to revenue.

Abandoned at the bus stop

In the context of change, there is often talk of "picking people up" and "taking them along". But it would be important to "involve" everyone. With Lean Management, change can be even more successful.

Women in leadership positions

When discussing the topic of women in executive positions, female/male characteristics are always an issue. It is undisputed that, on average, there are certain differences in personality. However, with every statement about a trait you inevitably come up with counter-examples. For this reason, one should always keep in mind the image of the perception of gender stereotypes, which is illustrated in the figure below.

What do companies say about continuing to work from home*?

Here you will find the VDMA surveys on mobile working. Please note the results of the survey completed at the end of October on the current mood towards home office / mobile working.

Channels in personnel recruitment

Digitization and changing market conditions are causing recruitment channels to change. In this article you will find some highlights from theory and practice.

Key points of an employer branding process

Employer branding has an internal and external impact. Developing values and culture is therefore doubly useful. 5 questions and answers about employer branding can be found here.

Purchasing in the project

Material shortages are a well-known phenomenon that can be observed in economic upswings after a severe slump. For 2021, this effect is stronger - compared to previous crises overcome.

Personas in theory and practice

On June 11, 2021, the online event "New Work - Personas in Theory and Practice" illustrated the usability of personas in innovation and HR processes.

ISO 9001:2015 goes into extension

Most ISO member countries and the feedback from the User Survey 2020 have voted to confirm ISO 9001:2015 as it is. Thus, ISO 9001 will not be changed for the time being and will remain valid in its current 2015 version.

Management evaluation - the unloved compulsory exercise

Management evaluation assesses the management system and its rules of the game rather than the achievement of objectives. It is used by management to assess whether the system is suitable to support the individual objectives of the organization.

Effects of the crisis on accreditation and certification

In the current situation, on-site assessments are being cancelled or replaced by remote audits where possible. Since May, DAkkS has again been carrying out limited on-site assessments for initial accreditations and major extensions.

Is quality in danger in the crisis?

If, in times of crisis, expenditures to ensure the quality of products are cut across the board, there is a danger that the quality level will drop significantly and that the damage to the company will be much greater than the supposed savings.

The six monkeys of professional life

Say nothing, see nothing, hear nothing - we are all familiar with this image of the three wise monkeys. This phenomenon can be observed among all groups of people, even in companies. Since there is usually also a hierarchical order in companies, however, additional "monkeys" can be observed here. Lean Management helps to work together effectively and efficiently in spite of this.

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.

New Work: Arbeit 4.0

Changes in the world of work as a result of digitalization are summarized under the buzzword "New Work". Associated with this is the topic of "agility".

Working World 4.0: 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.

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.

Sick leave in mechanical engineering

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

Wichtige Fragen zum Themenfeld

Our expert and focus topics

Our expert and focus topics
Benchmarking is an instrument of controlling and corporate management for the analysis of processes, corporate success and developments.
Climate-Neutral Production
Sustainability and resource-conserving business practices remain a long-term challenge for companies. Customers, investors, employees and other stakeholders are increasingly sensitized and recognize or demand the importance of a credible contribution in the form of effective climate management by companies.
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.
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.
Standort Deutschland
Many medium-sized mechanical engineering companies have regional roots and are highly competitive internationally from their home region. To ensure that this remains the case, excellent site conditions and a good industrial policy are absolutely essential.

Level 1 Themenwolke


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

Unsere Leistungen

Unsere Leistungen
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

3,600 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 machinery and equipment manufacturing 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.