Prof. Dr. Stefan Süß

Project Coordinator



Shaping the Digital Future in the Skilled Crafts Sector: Development, Testing and Implementation of a Corporate Action Concept


A holistic approach to Craft 4.0

The digitization of business processes in the plumbing, heating and air conditioning (HVAC) trade poses considerable challenges. From product configuration on the Internet to the online conclusion of maintenance contracts, the technical possibilities also bring changes to action routines, roles and task distribution as well as internal and external communication. For employees, this can result in excessive demands and work intensification. For this reason, digital work tools must be intuitive to use and facilitate the work process. One-size-fits-all solutions do not help the often family-run SHKs. Digitization concepts must be individually designed and adapted.

Aim of the research project

The aim of the DigiWerk research project is to digitize business processes in SHK SMEs. A modular industry software is being used and further developed that can map all business processes from capacity planning and document management to vehicle location. An application-oriented operational concept is being developed and tested for this purpose. It comprises a digitization guide including questionnaires and descriptions of solutions. In addition, digitization training will be provided, covering technical aspects as well as change and stress management.

Added value for society

The participating companies in the plumbing, heating and air-conditioning trade work together with the partners to develop an operational concept. This will be implemented as a prototype and tested in the companies. It will be scientifically evaluated and then optimized. The result is an innovative concept that enables the potential of digitization to be exploited while taking social and health-related constraints into account. The action concept will strengthen the technical and social innovation potential of the SHK trade, overcome hurdles in the implementation and use of digital technologies and implement new concepts of work design. At the end of the project, in addition to the holistic action concept, there will also be improved software that can be customized. Both are geared specifically to the needs of the SHK industries. Events and publications will disseminate the results and support Handwerk 4.0 in Germany.

All information on the project and the project partners can be found here!