In the crafts industry, digitalization is slowly making an impact. Only half of the craft businesses have a website or offer online services to their customers. As a result, customers have limited opportunities to communicate their wishes regarding material variations or technical details. Within craft businesses, information flow is often disrupted. The communication between customers and craftsmen, within craft companies, or between different firms is traditionally based on personal conversations, especially for larger customer projects involving collaboration. However, new possibilities for flexible, information-rich, and error-free coordination are rarely utilized.
In collaboration with the crafts industry, digital service platforms were developed in various research projects, and the use of chatbots and augmented reality was adapted for the crafts sector. These applications are suitable for construction sites and can be easily implemented.
- Use of mobile devices
- Digitalization assessment
- Application of AI and augmented reality in crafts
- Digital Craft Campus
- Digital order, tool, and material planning
The listed services are based on the extensive experience of the Fraunhofer IML in collaboration with small and medium-sized enterprises. They have already been implemented in various areas, such as painting and interior design, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), and electrics:
- Independent and neutral digitalization assessment for craft businesses
- Integration of craft organizations and businesses in research projects
- Planning and dimensioning of digital craft campuses
- Conceptualization of AI applications (specifically chatbots)
- Conceptualization of augmented reality applications
- Optimizing materials management, for example by the use of efficient storage technology and resource management
- The use of modern technology can counteract the skilled labor shortage and creates a positive professional image.
- Highly advanced and efficient execution of craft services leads to time and cost savings in the business.
- Improved collaboration with other craft businesses results in shorter construction times and reduces time and coordination failures.
- Many businesses face a space shortage: using space-saving technology in storage and materials management addresses this issue.