Key areas: ERP systems, machine learning, ﬂuid processes, business models, platforms, development processes, value networks, digital platforms, augmented reality
The emergence of ﬂuid processes
The added value in an organization is created by the respective process management. The classic cycle of survey, analysis, conception and implementation provides the decisive added value for the success of the company. The digital transformation provides both opportunities and challenges for conventional business processes in order to remain competitive in the manufacturing industry. The permanent and accelerated change requires not only a data-based integration of processes but also a high degree of ﬂexibility and self-adjustment. Against this background, we focus our research on so-called ﬂuid processes, which, starting from a higher degree of variability and agility, are able to adapt their own process ﬂow ad hoc using real-time data.
The engine: operational application systems
In companies and organizations of all types and sizes, business application systems such as ERP and MES systems play an important role in the value creation process. An essential feature of ERP systems or Enterprise Resource Planning systems is the integration of various functions, tasks and data into one information system. As the backbone of modern companies, they enable eﬃciency advantages through automation and analysis options. However, the Digital Processes research group is not limited exclusively to ERP systems but also deals with all systems used to support and optimize performance as well as their evaluation, introduction and maintenance.
ERP application: Development of maturity models
ERP implementations represent a major organizational and also cost-intensive challenge for medium-sized companies in particular. Developed ERP maturity models should therefore help to ensure the success of the project by deriving speciﬁc measures from the respective initial situation of the company. In this context, ERP maturity describes the degree of experience in the ﬁeld of company-wide business applications.
ERP functions, current trends and comparison
In order to investigate the use of application systems in real life, our ERP laboratory with currently 6 ERP systems including various industry specializations is available for diﬀerent company sizes. The systems are used to present practical processes from diﬀerent business areas and to focus on the selection, implementation and operation of these systems. In cooperation with research partners, we deal with the future of ERP systems in the area of mobile applications, cloud computing as well as the beneﬁts of integration approaches and the management of complex application landscapes.
The merging of real and virtual world: Meta organizations in the manufacturing industry
Digitisation is also turning the information technology networking of companies with their suppliers, customers and business partners into a decisive competitive factor. Value-added networks emerge from a multitude of economic partners who can communicate with each other and exchange data. One speaks of meta-organisations in which cooperative and competing decisions of diﬀerent partners are mutually dependent. Instead of classical organisational approaches from e.g. production, procurement or administration, the spectrum of decisions becomes blurred. Our research is designed to examine these coordination processes and the resulting new business models and to create methods and tools to shape them.
Digital platforms as a new regulatory framework for the digital economy
From online shopping, to the housing exchange, to the messenger service: digital platforms take over important functions in business and everyday life and oﬀer new forms of business models. A characteristic feature of digital platforms is their network structure, in which data is systematically collected and exploited. Here, too, one actor provides a service and thus structures the processes of other partners. Due to mutual interdependencies, process management cannot only refer to one's own organisation, but must also take interfaces and processes in other organisations into account. Our research focuses on the investigation of individual coordination processes and develops methods and tools to redesign them.
Modelling and control with augmented reality
Digitization not only leads to an increase in complexity within the process ﬂow, but also presents the Industry 4.0 environment with the challenge of non-intuitive production processes. Augmented Reality oﬀers a possibility to overcome the black box of the process by visualizing extended knowledge information, current production data or measured values. Due to the 3D immersion in the modelling process, a high knowledge transfer is created, which goes beyond the representation of 2D models. In addition, the localization of process activities in space creates a new modeling potential that was previously not available. Similarly, a knowledge transfer through Augmented Reality during the ongoing production process can be made visible for the human employee. Prototypes are developed and tested at the chair.