Resilience in mechanical and plant engineering

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Matthias Riemann
Melissa Motyka
05 / 2023

Study: Resilience in mechanical and plant engineering

For the study “Mechanical Engineering between Crisis and New Beginnings”, Munich Strategy has examined how machinery and plant manufacturers have responded to past crises. Based on that, we have derived strategic recommendations for their future crisis preparation.

How can companies align their business models in a way that not only strengthens their crisis resilience but also enables them to emerge as winners from crises? To answer this question, an expert team from Munich Strategy classified the business models of companies based on five dimensions and examined to what extent these companies were affected by crises and how they could respond. The insights are based on a comprehensive survey conducted in January 2023, involving over 500 machinery and plant manufacturers.

Supply chain issues are the biggest challenge in mechanical engineering.

Maintaining their supply chains is currently the most significant challenge for the surveyed machinery manufacturers. Each of the companies experiences restrictions due to supply chain disruptions, with nearly half of them being moderately to heavily affected.

Compared to plant engineering, machinery manufacturers tend to have a higher crisis resilience.

Plant engineers have struggled slightly more with the crises of recent years compared to pure machinery manufacturers. In their self-assessment, the surveyed plant engineers generally perceive their business model as less crisis-resilient. This is evident in a significantly greater impact on plant engineers in terms of supply chain disruptions, as well as restricted availability of raw materials and components.

Distributed value chains are more vulnerable to disruptions.

Companies that distribute their production processes globally tend to be more affected by crises, primarily due to increased vulnerability to supply chain issues. However, companies with a centralized production also experience significant disruptions in their supply chains due to a strong dependence on developments in the production country.

No distribution model is inherently more crisis-resilient than others.

Business models with predominantly direct sales were partly more affected by crises, especially regarding the loss of distribution channels or markets. Companies with primarily indirect sales perceive their own crisis resilience as higher compared to those with other distribution models. However, when considering the overall analysis, the three models show relatively similar levels of crisis impact. The type of distribution is not only heavily influenced by the company’s orientation and size but also by the significance and size of the respective market, as well as the level of consultation required for the product.

Future winning companies respond with specific adjustments to their business models.

Munich Strategy recommends scrutinizing and, if necessary, making adjustments to the areas of value creation, regional dependence, market approach, and service models within the business model. This proactive approach aims to ensure the resilience and adaptability of the companies in the face of future challenges.

Inhalte der Studie (Auszug)

    • Relevance of the crises in the last three years
    • Survey: Specific impacts of the crises on companies
    • Survey on crisis resilience: General categorization
    • Survey on crisis resilience: Position in the value chain
    • Survey on crisis resilience: Strategic positioning
    • Survey on crisis resilience: Value creation
    • Survey on crisis resilience: Distribution model
    • Munich Strategy’s recommendation for adjustments in the business model
    • Extent: 20 pages

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Fee: € 299.00 plus VAT.
If you would like to order the study, please send us an email with your billing address. You will receive the study as a PDF via email.

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Munich Strategy GmbH & Co. KG
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80333 München
t +49 – 89 – 1250 1590