Publiceret: 29.09.2016Af Peter G. H. Madsen mail
Thousands of Danes have rented out their apartments on Airbnb. Yet more have earned money by offering a lift in their car on GoMore. But only very few businesses have shared their machinery with others.
But figures published by the Confederation of Danish Industry show that if businesses realised the full commercial potential of the sharing economy, they would be able to boost prosperity in Denmark by almost DKK 4 billion – while a partial and more realistic realisation of this potential may amount to something like DKK 1.7 billion.
One of the companies already in the thick of the sharing economy is Thermo Fisher Scientific in Roskilde.
The company produces disposable plastic products for the healthcare sector. These products need to be 100% sterile. To achieve this, the company uses a gamma ray irradiation facility to irradiate its plastic products.
Thermo Fisher Scientific started sharing the facility with other businesses about a year ago.
“In principle, other businesses’ need for gamma ray irradiation need not concern us. But by sharing our facilities, we help these other businesses, ourselves and society at large,” says Site Manager Torben R. Strand who believes that the advent of the sharing economy among consumers means that it is natural to extend it into the business community.
“But, of course, we don’t do it just to be nice. We have decided to expand our facility to allow us to double our irradiation capacity. This is something we have done because it makes good business sense.”
According to a survey of members of the Confederation of Danish Industry’s business panel, currently about 30% of businesses have a surplus capacity of machinery and buildings. But only 26% of this surplus capacity is shared with other businesses.
“That is why the potential for sharing even more among businesses is there,” believes Deputy Director Kent Damsgaard from the Confederation of Danish Industry.
“The sharing economy could become a good deal both for the business community and wider society – simply because more businesses and more employees gaining access to the latest and best equipment will provide customers with enhanced solutions. So it’s just a matter of getting it up and running,” he says.
Many of the businesses taking part in the Confederation of Danish Industry’s survey are calling for technology platforms to help them utilise the sharing economy in their businesses.
“A greater penetration of sharing economy platforms would also help to give things a kick-start. If it becomes easy for businesses to offer their machinery and hire other people’s, thinking like a sharing economy will become a great deal more attractive,” says Kent Damsgaard.