The digital transformation

The digital transformation does not stop at your business models. Rising and highly dynamic customer requirements are forcing companies to accelerate their business models, change value chains, and use innovative technologies to become profitable quicker than ever. However, the data exchange associated with the digital networking of companies and customers also opens up new business opportunities for you. That is, as long as the data is processed intelligently.

Does digital transformation affect every business model?

It looks like it. Your business operates in a digital environment that has an increasing impact on how an organization can compete in the marketplace. The degree of the necessary digital transformation can range from a minor adjustment of your existing business model to a fundamental change in which products, services, and revenue models need to be completely turned upside down and reinvented. How much transformation is appropriate depends on your customers' needs. In the end, it's about turning a satisfied customer into an enthusiastic customer. After all, satisfied customers decrease earnings, according to a series of studies. Turning customers into fans remains a fundamental goal formula for successful business models, even in the digital age. Only that now, with digitalization, it goes much faster. 

Digital enablers, or the technologies that enable the transformation process, are: 



They have long been used in the corporate environment. They enable you to be close to the customer, to understand them better, and to give them a unique shopping experience anywhere and anytime.

What does a successful digital business model look like?

Digitalization has long influenced how a company generates profits. Already in 2001, Apple launched a portable media player: the iPod. The corresponding iTunes software made data exchange between an iPod and a computer and the shopping and downloading of content, especially music, in the Apple App Store possible. This combination of device, software, and online store turned the entire music industry upside down. Although Apple was not the first provider of portable players, the company gained market dominance while competitors such as Diamond Multimedia with its Rio abruptly lost market share. 

The example shows the immense potential of a new business model. Apple gave customers a new buyer and user experience, built their position as a market innovator, and quickly made big profits. Most of its music-related revenue was generated by the sale of iPods while integration of its online music business provided protection against the competition. 

Will everything be digital in the future or is it all about having the right mix?

Not only digitally but also offline, new business models can be developed. Pay-Per-Use business models allow you to increase the attractiveness of your products. The customer no longer has to buy, but remunerates according to usage. In machine and plant construction, for example, the maintenance and operational risk remains with the supplier. 

What does a model like pay-per-use have to offer? A whole lot! And even more, if one uses the possibilities of digitalization. A company can bring manufacturer knowledge into the process at any time since they know the best about efficient machine use. The firm can gain information from the operation of several machines for product improvements or product innovations. It can respond in real time to pathological machine data and establish predictive maintenance. Downtimes are thus avoided, more annealed operating hours achieved. The better customer understanding resulting from the business model also enables the firm to maximize profit through individual compensation models. Smart Contracts or distributed ledger technology allow transparent, forgery-proof documentation of machine operation and real-time performance compensation. The cost transparency of the pay-per-use approach is also a decisive advantage for the customer. The customer pays exactly the incurred operating hours and can calculate accurately. 


In addition to the pay-per-use concept, many other analogous business models benefit from the combination with the digital world: 

  • Freemium (free base product-, but a chargeable premium service)
  • Direct Selling (without a middleman)
  • Add-on (separate payment for extras)
  • Mass Customization (individuality off the shelf)
  • Self Service (the working customer)
  • Solution Provider (all-in-one provider)

How do you find the right business model?

By asking the right questions with regard to the customers, their problems, the value proposition, the value chain, and the yield mechanics:

  • The Customer: Who are your target customers and need groups? 
  • Their Problem: What questions does the customer have? What challenges face them? 
  • The Value Proposition: What do you offer your customer?
  • The Value Chain: How do you perform? 
  • The Yield Mechanics: How are value and income generated? 


"No matter what the business model looks like, it does not matter what anybody thinks of it, if customers do not like it." The motto of Paul Gratton, CEO of Internet Bank Egg, illustrates that the customer is the linchpin of any business model. Only by accurately defining, knowing, and understanding your customer segments and groups can you develop a value proposition that is simple, clear, powerful, and unique. Afterwards, it's about how the benefits can be generated. Concentrate on your core competencies and rely on partnerships, cooperations, and collaboration along the value chain, resulting in high speed and high cost efficiency. When looking at yield mechanics, it's ultimately about whether your planned business model is profitable. Calculate, taking into account all the costs that would be incurred in the execution of the business model, what in the end remains for the company. 

Digitalization will change the world quickly, fundamentally, and completely. Just watch us at Müller - Die Lila Logistik. That's why our Lila Consulting and Lila Operating experts are already working with digital innovation researchers to help shape the business models of tomorrow. We always use our generated knowledge to increase the benefits and earnings of our customers, and we do not stop at our company's borders. Throughout the entire order fulfillment process, we advise our customers on the implementation of their business models that are optimal in terms of value creation and support them in realizing their potential. That's what Müller - Die Lila Logistik stands for: advice and implementation from a single source. 

To get an idea of how our business world will change in the coming years, we asked experts from business, science, politics, and society to shed light on the future from different perspectives and we used that knowledge to publish a book, "VORDENKEN". One of the highlighted topics is the logistics of tomorrow. The link below will give you insight into the change facing an entire industry.


You have any questions? We're looking forward to hearing from you.