Learn more about the global crisis in automotive semiconductor supply and what near-, medium- and long-term actions Roland Berger recommends.
How new growth comes out of innovation and disruption
New technologies are the key to progress and rising prosperity. Innovations in the fundamental technologies like semiconductors , batteries, sensors, actuators and artificial intelligence (AI) are what made modern achievements such as smartphones, electric cars, robots and other autonomous systems possible in the first place. They also form the basis for new business models driven by data and software. But innovations are often accompanied by unexpected changes in value chains and massive disruption for entire sectors of the economy.
This is precisely where our advisory services come in. Our internationally experienced consultants support automotive, industrial and other technology companies around the world in achieving new growth through innovation and adapting their business model, organization and processes to the new demands they face. Working closely with an international network of experts, our consultants provide the tools, ideas and expertise businesses need.
Turning disruption into new growth
Innovations were mostly specific to a single industry in the past. Today, technological breakthroughs often trigger upheavals across entire sectors. Massively parallel processor arrays (GPUs, TPUs), for example, originated in the world of computer gaming. Yet now they are increasingly replacing industry-specific solutions for things like infotainment in vehicles. And motors and power electronics in electric cars are setting new standards for industrial applications, while low-cost sensors are generating the volumes of data needed for machine learning. The development of highly efficient energy storage systems is driven by the huge demand in the automotive industry, but it is also bringing costs down for other use cases, such as stationary applications or autonomous systems.
The advice we offer our clients therefore centers on identifying how new technologies are impacting business models, strategies and organizational structures. Leading companies in industries across the economy, from automotive and mechanical engineering to electronics and consumer goods to chemicals and metal processing, have successfully realigned their strategy, organization, processes or their entire business model with our support.
Our consulting portfolio focuses on areas like electronic hardware (particularly semiconductors, sensors/actuators and power electronics), embedded software, power generation and storage (especially modern battery technologies and other electrochemical methods), as well as next-gen tech such as quantum technology. We advise our clients on the challenges that these new technologies pose to their business model and on strategic issues around the massive rise in the amount of new tech on the market, as well as new business models.
Case study 1: Electronics and semiconductors
The vision of the cars of the future as data centers on wheels, connected through the cloud, is putting massive pressure on incumbent automakers . Advances in technology development bring new opportunities but can also create bottlenecks and insert new risks into the supply chain. This was demonstrated by the recent chip shortage in the consumer electronics industry and problems with the supply of semiconductors, batteries and raw materials in the automotive industry.
Computer on Wheels: A new role for Tier 1 suppliers
Learn more about how software platforms are disrupting the automotive industry, especially Tier 1 suppliers, and how this affects the automotive value chain.
Case study 2: Lithium-Ion batteries and materials - Critical for energy transition and e-mobility
Lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells for distributed power storage and generation, zero-emission and autonomous systems are unthinkable without solutions for the economical energy storage and generation of power.
Lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells play a key role in distributed power storage and generation.
Growing demand and evolving markets present opportunities and risks for the users and adopters of such systems, and signal the need to build up new competencies and partnerships in order to best utilize, develop and deliver the systems, and to take a strong position in the evolving value chains. Bottlenecks we have seen in technologies and raw materials demonstrate that a cross-sectoral perspective coupled with a deep understanding of the technology is needed in order to understand both the demand and the supply side of the equation.
Energy storage enters adolescence
Energy storage is set to experience a growth spurt over the coming years. But fundamental questions remain for developers, utilities, suppliers and investors.
Case study 3: New business models enabled by quantum technology
New technologies such as quantum technology have the potential to revolutionize our economy and society at large. Quantum computers, for example, can model the chemical processes taking place inside batteries or pharmaceutical event chains and thus indicate starting points for the development of more efficient solutions.
While it is currently impossible to estimate when the technology will be ready for practical application, the majority of companies fully expect ultra-fast quantum computers to have a growing influence on their business models and bring significant changes within the coming decade.
Businesses and their management would therefore do well to keep an eye on developments here and to apply scenario planning techniques to model the potential impacts on their business models and supply chains.
Quantum technology: The next big disruption?
Quantum technology has the potential to transform the economy and civil society.
Reboot: Preparing for the new normal in technology-based industries – A summary
Scenarios on economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis and perseverance of free trade to help technology-based industries prepare for the new normal
We offer a bespoke portfolio of solutions
Technological innovation forms the basis of many of the world's leading businesses. As a global consultancy, Roland Berger has an international network of consultants spread across regional markets, covering the full range of business, strategic, regulatory and technological expertise. We also support companies and their management with the implementation and delivery of end-to-end solutions.
Many of our projects start by identifying the best organizational framework for the company concerned. The right organization is essential to be able to deal with technology driven disruptions and helps translate innovative ideas into profits and growth. Often, a business will need to undergo company-wide transformation before new business models can be introduced, and we have the change management experts to support this process.
Roland Berger also provides advisory services for investors. In particular, we offer commercial and vendor due diligence, acquisition target search and screening, and support during the M&A process. These projects often require market and technology driven valuations of startups, highly innovative niche players or other companies with new business models and disruptive technologies, which our experts conduct with their specialized skillset.
Reach out to our global experts for more information on our specific solutions and consulting services.