Ref: IMD-7-2021

Case study

Reference: IMD-7-2021

Order this case study

Bossard Fasteners (B): Developing A Digital Strategy By Refusing A Digital Transformation

Back in 2014, Bossard’s growth had been driven largely by an excellent executive management board, led by CEO David Dean, a long-time Bossard leader, who focused on three strategic pillars: product solutions, engineering and logistics. While enjoying the success of the company, the CEO and the Chairman started a process to focus on new technologies that will impact the industrial fastener market and the production of their main customers, i.e. OEM manufacturers. 3D-Printing, for example, will not replace the manufacturing of industrial fasteners in the near future. However, if more industrial parts are 3-printed and not assembled, there is no need for fasteners. On the logistics and production front, the Internet-of-Things (IoT), Industry 4.0, and Robotics will change the factory of the future. Big Data, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence will also open new frontiers in manufacturing, and finally, “smart screws” have the potential to serve as sensors for collecting relevant data. Despite all these new technology, Bossard decided that it does not need a “Digital Transformation”, but realized that it had no shared vision for the company’s digital future.

Learning Objective

  1. How to identify opportunities and threaths from new technology, both for the focal company’s own business model, but more importantly, for the business models of its customers.
  2. How to distinguish a “digital transformation” from a “digital strategy”.
  3. How to create a roadmap for developing and implementing a digital strategy without weakening the established and successful business model.
Keywords Business to Business, Differentiation, Digital Transformation, Digitalization, Strategy
Settings Global
Bossard Holding
Type Field Research
Copyright ©2018
Language English
Order this case study

Reference: IMD-7-2021

IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre, UK Office

Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Fax +44 (0)1234 751125
Email [email protected]

The Case Centre, US office

Babson College

Babson Park, Wellesley MA 02457, USA
Tel +1 781 239 5884
Fax +1 781 239 5885
Email [email protected]

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email [email protected]

Asia Pacific Case Center

NUCB Business School

1-3-1 Nishiki Naka
Nagoya Aichi, Japan 460-0003
Tel +81 52 20 38 111
Email [email protected]

Copyright information

IMD retains all proprietary interests in its case studies and notes. Without prior written permission, IMD cases and notes may not be reproduced, used, translated, included in books or other publications, distributed in any form or by any means, stored in a database or in other retrieval systems. For additional copyright information related to case studies, please contact Case Services.


Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Case study

Reference: IMD-7-2021

Order this case study

Other case study in this series

Bossard Fasteners (A): Fighting B2B commoditization

Looking for something specific?

Keep reading