Digital Transformation in Serbian Automotive Industry - Follow-Up


A follow-up of the conference, held in Kragujevac on February 6, 2018

Through a support by GIZ, Serbian Automotive Cluster and ICT Cluster of Central Serbia organized a Conference that gathered experts from the automotive and ICT sector with an aim to introduce domestic automotive industry to the digitalization process.

The advance of digitalization in the automotive industry is expected to provide a time reduce, decrease in expense and in scrap production as well as faster communication with customers. In this way, our companies that cooperate with foreign clients could become their suppliers, while those that are implementing digitalization may become new suppliers of international companies. Experts stress that, in opposition to its critics, digitalization does not close, but opens new working positions with just changing the description of assignments. That will lead to people investing in personal advancement training and companies will implement professional retraining of their personnel.   

When we talk about digitalization in automotive industry, we think about electric and smart automobiles that communicate with each other as well as “car sharing”. “Car sharing” represents a system in which people would not be the owners of cars, but the city or a company, while citizens would be able to use them when needed. 

In general, digitalization is a process that, willing or not, we have to join. It is called 4. Industrial revolution – says Igor Vijatov, manager of Automotive Cluster Serbia.

Frank Schlehuber, CLEPA representative (European Association of Automotive Suppliers), voiced encouraging messages that we should keep up with these trends and explained that the future would bring absolutely autonomous automobiles communicating among themselves. He points out that suppliers in a modern world must communicate with potential customers and that it is important to have defined standards in electronic communication.

Small and medium sized companies in Serbia must introduce digital solutions if they wish to be a part of suppliers’ chain in the automotive industry, speaks Igor Vijatov. He also ads that a research study on digitalization in our industry that was conducted in last months shows that our companies are currently not using suitable software solutions and are not having an idea on how to get involved in the digitalization process.

Serbian small and medium sized companies will not get a chance to become a part of suppliers’ value chains if they do not follow global trends or at least engage a minimum of efforts in introducing digital solutions, for example in communication with customers. We know that today digital solutions are already being applied in the quality management – explained Igor Vijatov.

He stressed that it is difficult to recommend the first step in the digitalization process because it should be different for each single company.

During a discussion with start-up companies, producers should define first steps and go for the implementation of a digital solution. We shall solve the problems as they emerge, starting, for example, with something as basic as the web presentation of a manufacturer - says Vijatov, adding that such a process will continue for years.

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