Craft and artificial Intelligence or digitalization act at first like a contradiction. But they can complement each other perfectly.

design crafts

Craft businesses: High demand despite AI and digitalization

In the digital era, more and more things are being regulated People their affairs about that Internet. Retail, among other things, is constantly losing market share to digital competition in the form of Online-Shops. Traditional craft businesses can still enjoy high demand for craft services.

One reason for this is that direct customer contact enables a high degree of customization that many people want in their own four walls. The direct one Contact ensures that craftsmen work precisely on the specific ones needs of the respective customers and can offer him a service tailored to his needs. In many industries that have been revolutionized as part of digitalization, there is little or no personal touch anymore. But that's exactly what it provides Company, in which this personal approach is still present, have a very special position in the market. This particularly includes small and medium-sized craft businesses.

How craft businesses can use digitalization for themselves

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This may be surprising in times of digitalization and AI, but craft businesses still play an important role as a niche industry. Although digitalization is also having an impact on the craft industry, it still cannot replace craftsmen. Accordingly, the Foundation a craft business is an interesting career option.

Ambitious master craftsmen should therefore definitely take a closer look at setting up a craft business. This business model is so promising not only because it can generate high demand despite increasing digitalization, but also because of the opportunities that arise from digitalization and automation. With the help of modern technologies, craft businesses can optimize their internal company processes and thus achieve greater efficiency. Accordingly, setting up a craft business is one of the particularly interesting ones Career paths.

University meets crafts: pioneers in changing the world of work

I came across a great example of how craft businesses can use digitalization for their benefit some time ago in Dublin Design tower. It combines historical traditions and digital modernity like no other building - and at the same time shows how ours Working world changed significantly.

The design tower is located on the Trinity Technology and Enterprise Campus, right next to digital giants like Google and Facebook. The building itself is one of Dublin's most famous University, the Trinity College, which offers small craft studios here for comparatively moderate rents Business to exercise. In return, the craftsmen also giveCourses at universities or otherwise exchange ideas with them.

Such a cooperation between universities and trades would be almost unthinkable in Germany and the connection is also almost in Ireland unique – the connection with the ITlocation makes the project almost an ingenious pioneer in the change from the industrialized to the digitalized world of work.

How 3D printing is changing crafts

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During my visit I met the two goldsmiths Lee Harding and Seamus O'Donaghue, on the top floor of the design tower, where their studio was. The two designed their jewelry on the computer and can then directly produce wax molds or metal blanks themselves. In this way, the two can produce faster and easier and offer their jewelry cheaper.

AnxietyEven back then, the two of them had no idea that digitalization could take away their work because potential customers would print out their own jewelry in much larger quantities - on the contrary: they saw great opportunities in it. The most important for the craftsmen Innovation there: 3D printing. This is how Seamus O'Donaghue explained to me:

“3D printing has significantly simplified our production conditions. We used to have to put in a lot of effort to produce them, but 3D printing has made this process much easier and cheaper. As a small company, we now have the opportunity to respond to customer requests much more flexibly. At the same time, digitalization helps us to offer individual products at a reasonable price. A small shop doesn’t need many customers, just 150 are enough to survive.”

Craftsmanship quality instead of industrial mass production

The two already have customers in over 20 countries on all continents - an international distribution that was previously only reserved for large companies and, thanks to the Internet, is now also possible for one-man companies - that is the most important difference in the change from industrialized to digitalized Working world. The two therefore see themselves as far removed from industrial mass production. The two see their advantage more in individual advice and the production of products that are precisely tailored to the needs and budget of the customer. Lee Harding adds:

“Industrialization has led to products being made according to a certain Vorlage had to be manufactured and sold in large numbers. There was no room for individual customer requests. The 3DTechnology will probably lead to people making all sorts of plastic stuff themselves. Due to this weariness, the need for quality will continue to grow. Quality lies primarily in design and our specialist knowledge. The material also makes a big difference. "The Future “It will be something like a retailer in Australia takes measurements, sends us those measurements, we design the jewelry and it is made locally – a kind of global design group.”

Attention to bureaucracy: What digital orientation means for chamber membership

However, anyone planning a corresponding realignment of their company must also keep an eye on the bureaucratic hurdles. A good example of this is chamber membership: craft businesses are generally required to be a member of the Chamber of Crafts (HWK). If a craft business then opens up additional business areas that, for example, increasingly include industrial manufacturing, trade or services, then this is a so-called mixed commercial activity:

It may then be that the craft business becomes a member of one instead of being a member of the craft association like other commercial companies Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK). The distinction is not always easy. In the case of partnerships, the distinction is completely avoided. You are therefore completely exempt from the obligation to pay the IHK. The situation is different for craft businesses that are registered in the commercial register, where they take a closer look. The HWK and IHK do this together: it is checked how large the respective share of the income is and on this basis the contributions are determined as a percentage. It can also happen that the entire company is assigned to one chamber or another.

5 tips: This is how craft businesses can use digitalization for themselves

However, the biggest challenge for many smaller craft businesses is to optimally integrate digital processes and AI applications into their processes. 5 tips on what this can look like.

1. Digital order management

An important aspect for every craft business is this efficient Management and processing of orders. Order management can be optimized using digital order management systems. The optimization covers the entire process, so that both offers and invoices can be processed within the framework of such systems draw up to let.

This significantly reduces the amount of manual work. There Employees Being able to view relevant information in real time also improves Communication and the lead times are also shorter. This creates a great advantage for the customer, as a faster response to customer inquiries is possible.

2. Product development using CAD software

In many commercial companies, such as metal processing or carpentry, product development is particularly important Significance to. This process can also be improved through digitalization.

Companies can access so-called Computer-aided design (CAD) software To fall back on. This software makes it possible to create virtual models and subject them to testing before actual production begins. This allows craft businesses to identify errors early on and avoid them during actual production. This approach can reduce both the time required and the material costs.

3. Automated warehouse management systems

Managing inventory as efficiently as possible is an important task for craft businesses. As part of digital warehouse management systems, inventories can be monitored precisely and in real time.

Another advantage of these systems is automated ordering processes, which enable storage costs to be optimized and material shortages to be avoided. In this way, not only are resources used more efficiently, the ability to deliver also improves.

4. Optimization of communication processes

Craft businesses must communicate regularly with customers or suppliers. Internal communication between team members is also necessary. This results in a not insignificant amount of time and effort. The automation of communication processes can help here by using chatbots and customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

This leads to employees becoming less repetitive Tasks have to carry out so that they can focus on more important activities. Among other things, notifications, inquiries and emails can be automated.

5. Implementation of IoT

The use of IoT (Internet of Things) is particularly recommended in the areas of maintenance and service. This is because networked devices can communicate with each other, which brings corresponding advantages. Sensors can be on facilities and machines are attached.

These collect data in real time, enabling preventative maintenance. The reason for this is that potential Problems can be detected early through this approach. This avoids unforeseen downtime, reducing maintenance costs while increasing productivity.

This is how AI and digitalization are changing the craft businesses of the future

Many job profiles will no longer exist in the future because digitalization is revolutionizing entire industries. It is to be expected that more and more people will have to change jobs in the future. However, this does not apply to the craft industry. Despite increasing digitalization, the demand for craft products and services is not decreasing. On the contrary, digitalization leads to many advantages within the craft industry, as many processes can be automated. Accordingly, starting a craft business represents an interesting and promising career path.

In times of AI and digitalization, the future of craft businesses will be through the combination of specialist knowledge and the most modern Technology embossed. Automation and AI-powered processes will make routine tasks easier, giving craftsmen more time for complex tasks and creativity Solutions have. The use of techniques such as CAD, 3D printing or augmented reality can also make the work possible Team facilitate and enable tradesmen to work remotely and solve problems in real time. In addition, customer interaction is intensified through digital platforms and personalized services. Only craft businesses that do this change adapting and using technology to support their craftsmanship will thrive in these dynamic markets of the future.


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