Edgar Reh (on the left) with Mark van Nispen at HESTOCON’s premises

Today we are joined by Mark van Nispen, manager at the Dutch company HESTOCON, and by Edgar Reh, a German Digital Enabler who is visiting HESTOCON to provide his advice on how the company can best undergo digital transformation to provide better and more competitive services to its clients.

They have agreed to join us for an interview at the start of their matching to tell us about their expectations of and experience with DigitaliseSME.

Dear Edgar, Dear Mark, thank you for joining us. Tell us, how did you come to know about DigitaliseSME?

E.: I received an informative newsletter from the project’s German partner BVMW in September/August 2018. It mentioned the project and the fact that they were looking for digitalisation experts to become Digital Enablers and I found the idea interesting, so I registered on the website. Then in December, Anna from PhotonDelta, the Dutch project partner, got in touch with me and proposed me to start a match.

M.: I read about the project in “Vraag en Aanbod”, a Dutch weekly industrial magazine aimed at the manufacturing industry, and it really made me think about our digitalisation needs. I searched for your website and I registered. I exchanged e-mails with Anna for more information and then we were contacted by her as she had found a suitable Digital Enabler for a matching.

What was your objective for joining a match? What did you want to get out of it?

E.: I wanted to know more about what are the main digitalisation problems outside of Germany. I wanted to open out of my national sphere and get to know more about international environments and see what challenges in digitalisation are being faced by other parts of Europe. I believe the Netherlands might be ahead of Germany and I wanted to learn about their idea of development and their progress.

M.: Our company guides manufacturers of vehicles to get European approval for their vehicles to allow them to be used on the road. Manufacturers need technical help and we support them to create all the necessary documentation. Until now it has mostly been a manual job and we have a lot to gain from digitalising: gathering info, speeding up processes, using databases with info of components. We felt a Digital Enabler would support us by making our processes more efficient. After this experience, we believe that, besides companies, both customers and public authorities would also benefit from digitalisation.

You just started your match. What are your impressions so far?

E.: It’s very fitting to my expectations. The needs of HESTOCON match in a very good way my skills. I can surely help them step up their productivity. I am already very inspired after a few hours of work, which will surely translate in practical ideas, and I am very happy Mark prepared properly for this, providing an excellent starting point.

M.: I would say this feels exactly like what I was looking for. I know what the system needs to do but I need to see how to translate this into a framework that would give us the competitive advantage we need, and Edgar seems to have the proper experience to guide us through that process.

Do you have any final comments? Any suggestions or wishes for the project and/or it participants?

E.: The personal support of project partners was essential to start our match. It is a new project so, at the beginning, I was not very sure about the procedures, but things became clearer when working with the partner in person. It is very good that we could rely on them during the application process and I am sure other Digital Enablers and Companies would appreciate the tailored support.

M.: Companies should of course be very aware of opportunities that digitalisation might provide. I think it’s very important that they look at the future and make the most of every opportunity they have, including of course DigitaliseSME. Though I expect most of them to need to break the match in multiple visits, as a straight month might be too taxing for both the Company’s staff and the Digital Enabler, and it is good that this is allowed by the project’s rules.

If you also wish to benefit from DigitaliseSME Matching program, you can register here.