From Hidden Champion to International Corporation
All groups have successfully finished their company projects! Offered as one of the winter semester electives, each company project is built up similarly to a consulting project with an external company. In their third semester, student teams of 3-4 members receive the opportunity to directly work with companies while being able to use the hard- and soft-skills they have acquired during their studies. Thanks to the three mentoring professors Frauke Sander, Jürgen Janovsky and Markus-Oliver Schwaab, the students could always ask for a helping hand or feedback. Ranging from e-signature solutions to industrial dishwashers and autonomous driving, the students created recommendations for Bosch GmbH, Francotyp-Postalia Holding AG, Bechtle and Winterhalter GmbH.
e-procurement, e-commerce and cloud services
Our only four-member, all-Indian team had the opportunity to travel to Neckarsulm to kick-off their company project with the Bechtle AG. Focusing on e-procurement, e-commerce and cloud services, this German B2B and B2C IT company is on top of the ranking within the DACH region. As the company aims to maintain their market position as well as to improve their market share in other markets, this company project concentrated on international competitor research, specifically of France, UK and the Netherlands. By analyzing current and upcoming market trends, strengths, opportunities and customers’ expectations of the company, the team of students was able to give recommendations on the scope of improvements and potential for the market share in these countries.
One of the best known companies in the region, having originated in Stuttgart in 1886, is the Bosch GmbH. While the company is recognized for offering high quality vehicle technology, Bosch is also strongly investigating future mobility solutions, especially autonomous driving. Cooperating with an international team of three MBA students, the Bosch Research Center in Renningen set the project objective to retrieve more insights for the various potential user groups of autonomous robotaxis. During the final presentation to the Management of Car Multimedia Division, students presented an analysis of the current technology and product offerings corresponding to current user demands and requirements.
Moving to the other side of Germany, the project team had the opportunity to consult Francotyp-Postalia Holding AG, a Berlin-based franking machines and e-signature solutions company. While the team had the opportunity to work with another very future-oriented product of e-signature solutions, they also had the chance to collect more insights of the Swedish market. Since the project deliverables should encompass a market entry plan for this market, our three MBA students conducted not only an industry analysis of the e-signature market, but also a customer analysis with multiple interviews of potential Swedish customers and experts. Furthermore, students gave business recommendations based on legal requirements and on the four Ps (product, pricing, place, promotion). The team even traveled to Berlin, where Francotyp-Postalia's headquarter is located, to give their final presentation in front of the company’s management, the development team and the Swedish team of the company.
Logistical opportunities in Asia
Being a family owned company, Winterhalter GmbH represents one of the hidden champions of the German “Mittelstand”. As one of the leading companies in the production of industrial dishwashers, Winterhalter expands its international activities. An international trio consisting of students from India, Germany and the USA received the chance to travel to the Lake of Constance region, where the headquarter of Winterhalter is located. The students applied their MBA expertise to analyze logistical opportunities for a potential warehouse in Asia. Starting with an evaluation of all Asian countries, the team combined multiple indicators, to screen and reduce the country list to the top countries. After intensive months of market and internal data analysis, they presented recommendations to the company's management based on the comparison of current and future warehouse scenarios in Germany and Asia.
Overall, the company projects have been successful again, not only because of satisfied company clients, but also because they really helped students gain hands-on experience and deepen their skills. As Frauke Sander, the supporting professor of the Francotyp Postalia team, stated, “The project with FP is a great reality check for our students: they can apply newly acquired knowledge directly to a real-life case. And with focus placed on digitalization, innovative solutions and exciting markets, the cooperation with FP is a real enrichment to our Hochschule”.