Paths to the Future at Leop. Siegle: From Process Improvement to Cultural Change

The Co-Innovation Lab supports Leop. Siegle GmbH & Co. KG in Augsburg in optimizing its internal processes and lays the foundation for further digitization activities.

Virtual final presentation: The project team Martin Flöß (1st from top), Benedikt Fischer (3rd from top) and Anara Abylova (5th from top) present the results of the project to Prof. Holger Günzel (2nd from top), Christian Ultsch and Christopher Ultsch (3rd from top).

With several thousand different products, the company Leop. Siegle GmbH & Co.KG, as a medium-sized technical wholesaler in the field of rubber, plastics, industrial safety and environmental protection, has a very large stock. Numerous packages enter and leave the company every day. To improve internal logistics, companies often use warehouse management systems. Efficient use is only possible if existing processes have been analyzed and optimized in advance.

Leop. Siegle GmbH & Co. KG expects great added value in the digitalization of its logistics processes and the warehouse management system derived from them. For this reason, Anara Abylova, Benedikt Fischer and Martin Flöß, three students at Munich University of Applied Sciences and part of the Co-Innovation Lab, worked on optimizing the goods processes with coaching from Prof. Holger Günzel. It quickly became clear that long-term change management would be necessary to enable the cultural change that comes with digitization.

The team’s proposed solutions were well received by Leop. Siegle. “The consulting team did an excellent job. Thanks to the team’s work, we now have not only short-term “hands-on” solutions, but also a long-term solution that will definitely help us move forward,” Christian Ultsch, member of the management board, is enthusiastic. With their project, the consulting team has created a basis on which Leop. Siegle can build in the future. Christopher Ultsch, assistant to the management, is also satisfied with the result: “Optimizing deliveries to our customers, that was our goal! We are highly satisfied with the work of the team. We had a very good collaboration and will be happy to draw on the expertise of the Co-Innovation Lab in the future as well.”

Promoting digital skills in the social sector

The Co-Innovation Lab is developing an innovative competency model for measuring and expanding employees’ digital competencies for Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn gGmbH.


Presentation of the project results by the Co-Innovation Lab consulting team to the client Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn in December 2020. Participants from top left to bottom right: Miriam von Meyeren (HM), Prof. Dr. Holger Günzel (HM), Johannes Bahl (Head of Education and Consulting, Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn), Julian Speidel (HM), Sandra Pavleka (HM) and Thomas Raudzus (Head of Organizational Development and ICT Services, Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn) Photographer: Miriam von Meyeren

The change processes triggered by digital technologies offer companies in all sectors a wide range of optimization opportunities. The expansion of digital solution approaches represents great potential for more effective use of the limited time resources of personnel, especially in the social sector. The digital skills of employees play a decisive role in the successful implementation of digital solution concepts. The social enterprise Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn gGmbH would like to expand precisely these competencies within its organization with a digital competence model and an associated innovative training concept and has commissioned the consulting team of the Co-Innovation Lab to develop the concept.

Digitization of administrative processes as a strategy for the future   
Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn is a non-profit institution for living, learning and working for people with intellectual disabilities. Since its founding in 1861 by Viktoria von Butler, the mission of the sisters, caregivers and employees working there has been to provide an inclusive and barrier-free social space for people with disabilities. The organization’s strategic goals for the future include the digitization of administrative processes through the use of digital applications, such as an electronic documentation system in care and administration. This is intended to relieve employees in their day-to-day work and increase time capacities for the facility’s residents. From the client’s point of view, this initially requires the acquisition and expansion of digital competencies of the employees through a creative training concept that is based on the blended learning concept.

Using an agile creative process to create a customized competency model to promote digital skills among employees
The team of consultants consisting of Julian Speidel (project manager), Sandra Pavleka (consultant) and Miriam von Meyeren (consultant) received approval for the project assignment from the clients of Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn Thomas Raudzus (head of organizational development and ICT services) and Johannes Bahl (head of education and consulting). Based on the initial situation, the Co-Innovation Lab consultants presented a concept idea to the client. “Due to the pandemic, our collaboration was appropriate to the topic, purely digital (web conferences, digital project room), highly effective and yet always personally approached” explains Mr. Thomas Raudzus from Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn.

The three-month project resulted in a digital competence model tailored to Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn, which consists of seven dimensions and four degrees of competence. Based on the competency model, the consulting team developed a questionnaire that the client can use to determine the competency levels of employees in the sense of a location assessment. In order to expand the digital competencies, additional requirement profiles were created to define target values. In the future, the client will be able to use a developed tool to independently perform variance analyses of employee digital competencies in order to use these as a starting point for determining employee learning paths. With the training concept developed and the forms of training it contains, which are differentiated according to competence levels and stages, Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn can promote the development of digital competencies among its employees on an individual basis.

Satisfaction with the project results delivered can be described in the words of Mr. Thomas Raudzus as follows: “Our co-innovation team delivered custom-fit concepts, tools, and valuable impetus for planning and implementing a “digital competencies” PE concept for our company in the field of integration assistance. We will benefit greatly from this.” As a thank you to the consulting team, Wichtel clay figures handmade by residents in the Schönbrunn workshop were handed over.

 
Wichtel clay figures of the Franziskuswerk Schönbrunn. Photographer: Sandra Pavleka

Automatically clean!

In collaboration with the Abfallwirtschaftsbetrieb München (AWM), students from the Munich University of Applied Sciences have developed a business case as part of the Co-Innovation Lab to automate the manual cleaning of mobile waste compactors.

Mobile waste compactors have become an indispensable part of German waste management operations. They are used not only at recycling centers but also at major events such as the Oktoberfest. The advantage of these compactors is that waste and recyclables can be compacted more efficiently. The space saved during storage and transport enables economical and environmentally friendly disposal.

As part of the project, the consulting team of the Co-Innovation Lab at Munich University of Applied Sciences cooperated with “Kea Robotics” . The startup from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) specializes in the development of modular robots. Automating the cleaning process would relieve the employees of the waste management service provider AWM, as the robot would take over the manual, repetitive and physically demanding cleaning using a high-pressure cleaner.

Gerald Stutz (Head of Innovations and Projects at AWM) was extremely satisfied with the cooperation with the Co-Innovation Lab and the results of the project: “Technical, organizational and business aspects were intensively examined. As a result, the work result represents a good basis for further planning in this area.

In collaboration with Gerald Stutz and Roman Hölzl (co-founder & managing director of Kea Robotics), the three student consultants of the Co-Innovation Lab Amel Fazlovic, Philipp Rathke and Florian Zinsbacher – with coaching from Prof. Holger Günzel – prepared a decision document that shows AWM whether the robots are suitable for use in the cleaning process. The decision paper confirmed a basic technical feasibility and shows financial cost advantages that can be achieved by automating the process.

Entry into artificial intelligence at klarx

As part of the Co-Innovation Lab (CIL) at the Munich University of Applied Sciences, two students have provided an introduction to artificial intelligence for the company klarx. The project team consisted of Tobias Hetfleisch, Marc Gehring as well as Prof. Dr. Holger Günzel from Munich University of Applied Sciences, and Moritz Schmidt and Camille Raiser from the company klarx.

Tobias Hetfleisch and Marc Gehring (both Hochschule München)

A success story for all involved

During the summer semester 2020, the company klarx and students of the Munich University of Applied Sciences worked on the development and implementation of several machine learning models. The two student consultants were able to sustainably optimize the sales process of the construction machinery brokerage klarx within a very short time. Furthermore, a concept was developed by which these algorithms can be implemented in the daily business of the customer.

The consulting team analyzed the business data of the past five years so that a prototype could be developed for the customer in a very short time. This was further adapted to the customer’s individual requirements using several optimization loops. The goal of the consulting team was to differentiate itself from the previous tech giants by setting up and implementing individual solution approaches and not to offer a “one size fits all” solution.

According to Moritz Schmidt (klarx – Financial Management), the project result “represents the first step into the new and important field of artificial intelligence” and could not have been implemented in the foreseeable future without this project.

A step into the future: dynamic pricing at Neuburg’s organic hotel Aussicht

The team of consultants from the Co-Innovation Lab at Munich University of Applied Sciences developed a concept for dynamic pricing for the Bio-Hotel in Neuburg an der Donau as part of an innovation project.

In the first virtual cooperation project between the Munich University of Applied Sciences and the Bio-Hotel Aussicht in Neuburg an der Donau, a three-person project team is developing a data-based price configurator called DYNO for dynamic pricing for small and medium-sized hotels within ten weeks. This enables the project partner for the first time to respond to fluctuating demand for rooms by adjusting prices flexibly. It also enables potential hotel guests to book hotel rooms at lower prices during periods of low demand.

The software solution DYNO offers the possibility to answer price inquiries quickly, easily, intuitively and to the day. A new feature is that regional factors influencing the price can be taken into account. Thus, high and low price days are identified and the software provides the user with an automatic price proposal. Through an individualized offer, the organic hotel optimizes customer satisfaction and increases its overall profitability.

Decisive for the success of the project was the customer-oriented development. DYNO is to become an everyday companion at Bio-Hotel Aussicht. “For us, the collaboration is already a complete success. DYNO is the next step in digitalization for the hotel. The project team has done a unique job, designed the software exactly to our needs and laid the foundation for an easy implementation,” says Michael Pantner, owner of Bio-Hotel Aussicht.

(from top left: Christopher Ultsch, Sia Zink, Michael Pantner and his assistant Katrin, Dominik Ganswohl, Holger Günzel).

The circumstances that accompanied the project are also unique. Due to the ongoing restrictions triggered by COVID-19, the consulting project was carried out virtually. Project manager Sia Zink summarizes: “Of course, face-to-face contact has its advantages. Through weekly online-based conferences with Michael Pantner, our project partner and lecturer Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Günzel and the consulting team with Christopher Ultsch and Dominik Ganswohl, we specifically promoted the exchange between all stakeholders. We have probably even increased the number of points of contact with the customer as a result of the current situation. That shows in the results.” The collaboration between the Co-Innovation Lab of the University of Applied Sciences Munich and the Bio-Hotel Aussicht sets an example for innovative student consulting services and dynamic pricing for small hotel providers.

Digitizing Munich’s Used Clothing Drives – The Co-Innovation Lab Makes Recycling Fit for the Future

Students at Munich University of Applied Sciences are paving the way for digitization in municipal used clothing collection and enabling plannable recycling with the help of the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence.

Munich: Students in close contact with the collection of old clothes. If you want to achieve change and sustainability, you have to enter the field of the current situation yourself. Marlene Piper during her accompaniment of the old clothes collection.

As part of a student consulting project of the Co-Innovation Lab at the Munich University of Applied Sciences, an interdisciplinary team of students developed a holistic concept for emptying used clothing containers at the Abfallwirtschaftsbetrieb München (AWM) in line with demand. The aim was to optimize the previously rigid emptying schedule, which takes into account the respective emptying requirements of the containers, and thus to improve the quality of the clothing and make more efficient use of existing resources. The focus was thus on moving toward digitization with the help of the Internet of Things (IoT), thereby creating data-based, demand-driven planability with a digital planning tool.

The team consisted of students from three degree programs at Munich University of Applied Sciences and was divided into a consulting team consisting of Mahboob Elahi Noor, Gilbert Muhumuza and Marlene Piper and a development team consisting of industrial engineering students Agnesa Xhemaili, Majlinda Sllamniku and Stefan An. Prof. Dr. Holger Günzel and Prof. Dr. Olav Hinz assisted the team as coaches.

The client Rudolph Schmid (department head of bulky waste and depot container collection AWM) was impressed by the solution that was finally presented: “From the department’s point of view, all requirements for the project, which was presented in an exciting presentation, were exceeded.”