Increasingly, the international language of home improvement has a strong digital accent. At the upcoming International Hardware Fair Cologne, slated for March 4-7 in Germany, two of the themes to play out on the show floor will be online marketing and the optimization of all things digital.
Organizers of “Eisenwarenmesse” – the German language equivalent of “hardware fair” – recognize that much has changed in the digital realm since the last fair two years ago.
“In order to be able to survive in the future against the Internet giants, the stationary trade will have to emphasize its strengths, i.e. the service offer and added value, more strongly than ever before,” said Enrico Laskowski, executive director of Grenzland Baugeräte Handelsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG from Hückelhoven. “We are convinced that we will receive valuable stimuli for our business at the coming Eisenwarenmesse - International Hardware Fair Cologne."
But the communication of the dealer with his customers is only one side of the digital world. In the future, more and more processes have to be carried out on a digital basis in the dialogue with the suppliers and other partners.
According to Koelnmesse, “Intelligent networking” is the magic word of the digital age. In the automated factory, machines, components, tools as well as transport and conveying equipment are equipped with sensors and communication systems – and are therefore able to exchange and evaluate enormous amounts of data in real time to produce goods at unprecedented speed and efficiency. The flow of information and data is not limited to production: Trade, logistics, service and even customers become part of the process chain.
This development requires intelligent technology: from complex control and monitoring solutions to tools. An example: Integration-ready torque wrenches with radio modules and sensor technology.
In the course of digitalization, the Smart Home area is also gaining in importance. Studies indicate that this market will reach a volume of around 4.3 billion euros ($5.27 billion) by 2022. The intelligent networking of various house functions such as heating, air-conditioning and lighting calls for increasingly powerful, compact and convenient electronic components. How far technology has already been developed in the meantime is demonstrated, for example, by radio switches with self-learning coding, which are increasingly adapting to the individual needs of users.