From platform economy to exoskeletons: Exciting exchange during Innovation Day staged in Hamburg

Digitalisation expert Dr. Holger Schmidt holds keynote address

Hamburg, 12 December 2019. Smart glasses, exoskeletons or picking gloves: guests visiting the Fiege Innovation Day in Hamburg were shown innovation you can touch, topped off with thrilling presentations on everything from robotics to how to process Big Data accurately, to the growing relevance of the platform economy for business. The event held for clients at the end of November drew a keen audience of 50+ which equally used the event as an ideal opportunity for an on-site field test. “We organised this second instalment of the Innovation Day in Hamburg following the positive feedback we received last year and wanted to give our clients the opportunity to experience innovative solutions once again live and direct”, Stefan Küster says who manages the Fiege branch in Hamburg.

Platforms dominate business models

The renowned digitalisation expert Dr. Holger Schmidt held the keynote address about the platform economy. Platforms dominate business models in the B2C world. A good ten per cent of the global gross domestic product are generated today on platforms and an ever larger share of the value creation is accomplished by the platform operator, not the producer. The same models are now also being pursued in B2B trading or in the industry. Amazon Business, Alibaba or Indiamart are the digital players from America or Asia. Germany counters with industry platforms. Siemens Mindsphere or Adamos are the native hopefuls, according to Dr. Schmidt. “No matter who wins the race: the advantages of platforms compared to classic pipeline businesses are oppressive”, Dr. Holger Schmidt states. In the years to come, the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimates that up to 40 per cent of the world’s gross domestic product could be generated on platforms.

Innovative pilots presented

Visitors of the Innovation Day were therefore introduced to what’s trending in logistics based on solutions piloted at Fiege. Felix Benak from the robotics start-up Magazino in Munich spoke about the use of different types of robots in logistics. At the Fiege location in Ibbenbüren, Fiege and Magazino have joined forces to ready the perception-controlled order picking robot for the market. The robots work alongside humans and handle footwear.

Jens Ritscher and Agostino Pugliese gave a talk about optical head-mounted displays by Picavi as well as exoskeletons and picking gloves. Fiege staff hold leading roles in the pick-by-vision pilot staged at the industrial logistics site in Worms, as well as in Mönchengladbach where the use of exoskeletons was tested. “Our employees cut the time they need by up to ten per cent”, so Ritscher’s positive conclusion. The display of the smart glasses takes the order picker step-by-step through the order at the warehouse, with Picavi modelling the information and transmitting it in real time. Visitors in Hamburg had the opportunity to try out the smart glasses and exoskeletons as well as the picking gloves to see for themselves what it is like working with them.

Big Data, omnichannel and generation Y

Professor Reiner Kurzhals of Westphalia DataLab in Münster held a paper on the relevance of processing Big Data and how to best tap those large volumes of information. Fiege and a team made up of scientists from Münster’s University of Applied Sciences formed Westphalia DataLab, which provides automated data analyses as an on-demand service for companies.

An appealing online shop, great products and swift deliveries – customers have high expectations when shopping online. “Fiege handles online transactions smoothly and does so fast and fuss-free: from order and payments processing, to risk management, customer management and the professional handling of returns”, is what Christian Meierhoff from Fiege’s Omnichannel Retail spoke about. He introduced Fiege’s customer solutions within eCommerce.

The visitor feedback on the presentations was highly positive, Rouven-Alexander Slabik said: “The repeated warm response to our invitation came as a bit of a surprise to us. It was great fun again this year to present to our customers innovative topics from the World of Fiege and how they are evolving.” Slabik works as a Business Development Manager at Fiege and had organised the event. “It’s fantastic that we here at Fiege dedicate so much attention to innovation. You can feel this in every single employee”, Slabik adds. This appeals specifically to the young generation. “We constantly question process flows and seek new paths. Here at Fiege it’s possible to actively change things and this appeals in particular to generation Y”, says Rouven-Alexander Slabik. “We receive plenty of encouragement from candidates, employees as well as clients for this direction.”

About the

The Fiege Group, headquartered in Greven/ Germany, is one of Europe’s leading logistics providers. Its competence lies particularly in the development and realisation of integrated supply chain systems, and it is considered a pioneer of contract logistics. In 2019, the Group generated a turnover of Euro 1.7 billion world-wide with a workforce of 19,000 people. 150 locations and co-operations based in 14 countries form a dense supply-chain network. 3.3 million square metres of warehouse and logistics space vouch for the company’s efficiency.