Digitalization: Practical advice for SMEs
An innovative series of discussions on one of the most important challenges of the next decades: “Every company is a digital company”.
HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management sheds light on why digitalization is an imperative and how hands-on implementation can look like, especially in SMEs. In six interactive events, we at HHL together with experts from SME companies will discuss various aspects of digitalization. They will focus on the original expectations and then accumulated everyday experiences of the guest’s company and will form the basis for an open exchange with the audience. The format opens up the opportunity for conversations, questions and suggestions, and is thus intended to help advance the topic of “digital transformation and innovation” in companies.
Customer centricity – How can digitalization put the customer first
Digitalization creates new opportunities for companies to improve their interaction with existing customers as well as finding new ones. In our second event, we will look at how companies should approach their most valuable stakeholder – their customer – which technologies can help them and how customer centricity will lead to changes in processes and culture within an organization.
Lars Ax, long-time expert and consultant for customer-centric digitalization in SMEs, and Valentin Sauer, Head of E-Commerce and Digital Marketing at Zarges GmbH, will talk to Dana Prahl (HHL) about their wide-ranging experiences.
Lars Ax has more than 15 years of experience in business and technology (as entrepreneur, managing director, consultant, project manager). He advises small and medium-sized companies during the introduction and expansion of their digital platforms, with the aim of securing quantifiable corporate success through the targeted use of technology – especially at the interface to the customer. From manufacturer to retailer – he has supported many hidden champions from a wide range of industries in the German Mittelstand. He designed and implemented digital strategies (e.g. introduction of e-commerce platforms, international rollouts, digitalization of processes, team building).
His stations include Study of computer science (Master) TU Darmstadt, 15 years as managing partner of digital agency Sitewards, General Management Program at HHL (Executive Education), Co-Founder and board member at Y1 Digital AG. Since leaving Y1, Mr Ax has been active as a freelance consultant on the topics of digitalization/digital transformation. He studies music part-time at Berklee College of Music in Boston and lives with his family in Leipzig.
Valentin Sauer is Head of E-Commerce and Digital Marketing at ZARGES GmbH, which as part of Werner Co., is the world market leader in ladders and access technology. In this position, he is responsible for implementing customer-centric digitalization projects such as B2B and B2C web shops as well as digital customer services and applications. As an e-commerce expert, Valentin Sauer has more than 10 years of management and consulting experience with fast-growing online pure players, medium-sized companies and listed corporations. He is also a regular founder and CTO of start-ups
Dana Prahl graduated at Leipzig University in 2000 with a business degree. She worked in Germany and abroad in strategy, project and product management roles, with companies ranging from large corporations to medium-sized ones to her own start-up. Dana Prahl joined HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management in 2020 and since has been overseeing corporate relations, at HHL and the Institute for Family Business & Entrepreneurial Succession (IFU). She initiated this series of events and is in charge of selecting the topics and guest speakers.
Join us and enjoy an inspirational exchange.
The event language is German. The event is organized by the HHL Institute for Family Businesses and Entrepreneurial Succession (IFU).
The Institute for Family Businesses and Entrepreneurial Succession (IFU)
The IFU at the Leipzig Graduate School of Management (HHL) supports SMEs on the topics of succession and digital transformation, both of which are important elements in the future viability of SMEs.
The institute offers an ideal platform. It brings entrepreneurs and potential successors together and accompanies the succession process. In addition, the IFU helps SMEs in their digitalization processes; with its experts, it creates conversations on the topic of digitalization and is a reliable partner in the area of competence building. hhl.de/ifu