The post was written by Robert Leitner, Sales Director Austria
Austria is a nation of small and medium-sized enterprises. This is often the response when local politicians are asked about the matter. Strengthening and relieving the burden on SMEs are just some of the arguments most frequently mentioned. But is Austria really a nation of SMEs?
The figures show this is clearly the case. A modest number of large companies are successful on the market, but the majority of Austrian companies are small and medium-sized. Still in private ownership, many of them have developed into highly specialized and efficient operations in niche markets, successfully mastering the challenges facing them over the past decades.
Austria recognizes the opportunities
One important factor was making the most of the political and economic opening of Austria’s neighbors in Eastern Europe. In the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary in particular, Austrian companies were among the first to make extensive investments. Later, it was the turn of the Balkan countries of Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia where once again it was the Austrians who were the first to recognize the opportunities presented by these new markets.
At the same time, many companies have leveraged the potential offered by globalization, with SMEs enjoying a growing international presence. In recent years, subsidiaries have been established around the world – not only as part of a sales and distribution network, but increasingly also as production locations. China, Mexico, Brazil, and countless other countries have been and continue to be home to investment and production.
Austria’s SMEs are competitive
More and more Austrian products are appearing in the supermarkets of neighboring countries. Austrian cable cars are used to ascend mountains all over the world – then Austrian skis are used to come back down again. A growing number of parts for the automotive industry, such as tanks, speedometers and diesel engines, are being exported from Austria. Alongside their more high-profile counterparts, many successful Austrian producers are using the good economic climate, the excellent training and qualifications enjoyed by skilled workers and the political stability in Austriato reinforce their competitive position globally.
As a result of this process, the challenges in terms of information technology have become increasingly pronounced. Multilingual systems, different statutory requirements, new technologies and the need to replace existing isolated solutions and in-house developments are forcing many Austrian SMEs to consider a new, integrated ERP solution. Many of them have decided to implement SAP in order to meet their current needs while allowing them to successfully realize further growth and continued international expansion.
‘Made in Austria’ guarantees excellent products and innovations. At itelligence, we are helping a large number of companies to achieve sustained success.