IMG 5744
10 December 2020
Family Businesses & SMEs

In 2019, our Digital Business Lab together with the medium-sized HÖRMANN Group implemented a joint project for the first time, which developed quite differently than originally planned. What happened and what did the participants learn from it? A review.

As a development laboratory for digital business models, the Digital Business Lab of UnternehmerTUM has set itself the task of supporting medium-sized companies in their digitalization efforts. When Anna Hörmann was introduced to the family business shortly after her studies, it was a great opportunity for the graduate to try out something new in the company. Her wish was to support individual divisions with digital services. DBL was a particularly exciting contact point for this, as the strengths of the interdisciplinary team lie in the immediate and agile implementation.

The goal of the joint initiative was to use predictive maintenance to better protect fully automated warehouses from operational failures - and to provide faster solutions in case of an emergency. System failures can sometimes affect the entire warehouse and can cause immense costs for example in refrigerated warehouses if they take hours or even days to resolve. Up to now, the people who look after the systems on site have first contacted customer service in cases problems occurred and solutions have been sought by verbal descriptions. Too lengthy and too expensive.

The DBL team - made up of six international students and alumni under the guidance of UnternehmerTUM professionals - has taken up the issue and examined the processes in the company on site. The first conclusion: There was still a long way to go before enough data was collected to be able to exploit the possibilities of predictive maintenance. How was it still possible to achieve greater efficiency in these processes? The DBL team quickly developed a directly usable ticket system into which errors can be fed using the existing data. Based on successful past solutions, the customer service department is provided with suitable suggestions for solutions. After only a few minutes, the technical support calls back with the possible options for action. Just six months after the project, the tool was integrated into the processes and collects data for future predictive maintenance services, and downtimes in the warehouses were considerably reduced.

Don't go to DBL if you know exactly what you want and want to control every decision yourself. But if you have a complex problem without a suitable solution, DBL is the right choice. DBL will surprise you. Not only with an innovative solution but also with the access to young and motivated talents. If this is what you are looking for, there is no better place than the Digital Business Lab.

Anna Hörmann

The project was a success for both sides and this is once again the appeal to medium-sized companies: Don't shy away from digital projects and simply take the first steps! Anna Hörmann also confirms this and explicitly encourages companies to embark on the adventure and open up to the creative ideas of young talents.

Further projects are planned for 2021 with the HÖRMANN Group, e.g. together with the UnternehmerTUM Business Creators.

Anna Hörmann was also a guest in our U Talk series. See here what she has to say about digitization in medium-sized businesses!

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U Talk #13: How Can You Contribute to the Digital Future of German Mittelstand

You also want to implement an innovation project in your company with our DBL team? The batches always start in January, May and September. Find out more on the website!

Or would you like professional advice for your medium-sized company? The UnternehmerTUM Business Creators will be happy to help you.

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