Two future models compared
Dr. Diana Kisro-Warnecke
The world is ready for the future. At least make us believe the two competing models for the future; both Made in China 2025 as well as (German) Industry 4.0 call a revolution, which has been designed by top government agency . In China, this presents every five years a normal situation; but for affected industries in Germany, this is a sensation. The models provide explosives to blow up all economic structures sustainably and circulate companies completely – and they provide two countries with the chance to catapult themselves to the top of the economic world.
While Industry 4.0 aims at intelligent production and the clever combination of IT and production – and thus deriving especially efficiency, innovation, resource and cost savings in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) – Made in China 2025 is mainly due to ten concretized fields – within the borders of China. Looking at the public discussion in the light of its time line, it stronly looks like Made in China 2025 is based on Industry 4.0. Duplication of targets and target fields are therefore certainly not accidental.
For both models for the future is true: both – in China as in Germany – urgently need exculpatory and highly technical solutions for an aging population, due to the demographic development. And there are increasingly qualified people who want to be deployed accordingly. The loss of low-skilled jobs in favor of a higher industrialized and developed society is accompanied by the onset of just peoples migration to Europe and the influx of the rural population in the Chinese cities. They all require precisely those mainly “simple jobs”. These are jobs for integration; but especially, these are jobs for social peacekeeping. Reasons enough for the German and Chinese government to intensify cooperation in this area; but also reasons enough to delay the improvement of the conditions for low-skilled job holders? At least, it might prevent also the development of an competitive econonmy. Certainly less, because the development of the economy ensures the future of both Industry sites, in China and in Germany. A successful economy guarantees financial flexibility in order to finance and generate community involvement in these days.
In the case of China, first of all the continuous industrialization 2.0 and 3.0 must be finished whithin the country before the lofty goal Made in China can be implemented completely until 2025. For Industry 4.0, the expansion of lead means to merger the economic sectors II + III. The concept Industry 4.0 attracts, consequently, a business reorganization with it: reviewing the delimitation and redesign of courses in university or the solid implementation of interfaces managers use are only two of many examples. The rate of changes is likely to increase in the coming years additionally, to keep step in a globalized world. The affinity for innovations and speed of absorption of technical products of many Chinese compatriots provides a valuable exchange approach here. Far-sighted companies will therefore have to take stronger advantage of change managers and generalists as bridge builders within their companies, teams, partnerships or relationships within the business context in general. Both species – change managers and generalists – are overcoming the interface problem, which arises due to the implementation of both models for the future and by networking an increasingly digitized economy.
Where trustful cooperation within the framework of a necessary common database and the integration of different, important systems is essential, the careful selection of business partners is key to success. Technical and interpersonal safety aspects dominate the business. The completely new complexity in general provides the increased need for reliable systems, values and trust of people. A positive reputation, compliance and implementation of corporate or family history are the assets to be recommended as a suitable partner. Negative examples of this can be found in the press of both sides; however, positive examples are few known by German SMEs and create a high demand for information in selecting Chinese partners. And it may just be the ability to network that the German side can learn from many Chinese partners; and there is even more: goal-oriented and focused cooperation for the benefit of a common goal is daily practiced, omnipresent reality in the Chinese economy and in Chinese culture. Above all, however, is the need to take greater account of emotional intelligence, – the the called West will soon see another priority ahead of this topic. Without customer focus and relationship management – the basis of Guanxi and Industry 4.0 – is hardly possible; a field in which many Chinese people succeed in business. In return, European contact persons are certainly destined to make individualism as a basis for tailor-made products according to customer requirements in the Chinese business world more understandable.
However, does not already the name of the program Made in China 2025 consider a successful trustful cooperation critically? While industry 4.0 detects all sectors, Made in China 2025 is to be seen as a protectionistic approach with local focus. Once again the question arises as to what extent this local focus is at all meaningful in the context of a global community; especially if IT, networking, innovation and sustainability are at the forefront conceptually. Economic development could never be completely held consistently only in the country’s borders today. Spill-over effects can be discovered everywhere in networked worlds . Especially in the age of the Internet and the Internet of things one will have to adapt to modern trends – one can hardly prevent the connection to the world without loosing economical development or endanger the loss of governmental power. China knows both scenarios from its history and will surely have learnt its lesson well..
So – whoever wins the race for the intelligent model for the future ? Already Sunzi said 2,000 years ago :
„Anyone who knows the enemy and yourself, will remain victorious in a hundred battles. “
There are therefore smart companies that configure the advantages of both concepts to balance the existing disadvantages. However, those will only succeed in perfect knowledge of both – economic systems and economic actors.