The Bavarian family-owned enterprise PFAFF Werkzeug- und Formenbau looks back on a 60-year history of successfully manufacturing injection molds for sealing systems in the automotive industry and is one of the three most prominent global players in this niche market. However, this market has also changed significantly in recent years and demands a rethink of digital requirements. Like many family-run companies, PFAFF wanted to introduce new digital services but lacked the expertise to recognize potential and implement ideas.
Following the replacement of the management team three years ago, the journey could begin with Marc Mataix as Chief Digital Officer. He realized that their customers could not collect data about their production lines. "We had a lot of ideas, but we couldn't conceptualize them into a product," Mataix explains.
So, PFAFF docked with our FamilienUnternehmerTUM initiative, which helps companies stay innovative and competitive. "We created our own initiative, FamilienUnternehmerTUM, to look at and support this type of company separately," says Program Manager Dr. Leopold Schlenk-Barnsdorf. To get into action quickly, the first topic was tackled directly with the Digital Product School (DPS), a training program run by UnternehmerTUM in which digital products are developed within three months. The assignment: a software-as-a-service (SaaS) tool that helps customers capture production data. "We first did a preparatory workshop together with Pfaff and discussed together what challenge they had as a company," describes Brigitte Weber, Product Management Coach at DPS.
During the program, experts from product management, interaction design, and software engineering were guided through the various phases of product development in an iterative process, starting with developing a deep customer and user understanding up to a functional prototype.
In our video, we give you an idea of how we work and what a company's ideal experience in our programs can look like!
How the Family Business Pfaff is Driving its Digitalization with UnternehmerTUM I DPS I FUTUM