5. December 2018
Comarch is a global provider of IT solutions for mid-sized companies, large enterprises, small companies, banks and insurance carriers, as well as for the telecommunication and healthcare sector. The company is also an enrolled member of two centers in the Smart Logistics Cluster. Find out why and how Comarch is involved on RWTH Aachen Campus in our interview with Philipp Erdkönig, Head of Strategic Product Management at Comarch.

What motivated you to enroll at the Center Enterprise Resource Planning and the Center Connected Industry of the Smart Logistics Cluster? And why did you choose two centers?

The great advantage we see in our cooperation with the centers is the opportunity they offer to tailor our solutions for the Internet of Production even more precisely to the needs of mid-sized companies. In order to develop solutions that offer sustainable advancement options for small and medium-sized enterprises, we must join forces with similarly thinking companies in order to jointly create what German small and medium-sized businesses need: Affordable technology and software solutions that help advance digital transformation in businesses.

We enrolled in two centers, because we are currently involved in two projects:

Comarch is collaborating with other ERP and technology providers on RTLS 3.0. RTLS stands for Realtime Location System and is a demonstrator for the visualization of Industrie 4.0 potential. A motion-based, automated feedback of the process steps is achieved by way of interlinking Comarch ERP with a realtime localization system. Errors can now be prevented and the percentage of value-creating activity is increased.

Our second project, Future Logistics, is currently in the start-up phase. Among other issues, it deals with the topic of consistent parts tracking and cargo carriers along the value creation chain.  The aim here is to utilize innovative Comarch IoT technologies like Bluetooth Beacons to find a more affordable alternative or supplement option for conventional asset tracking systems. Solutions like these come to bear, where workpieces or tools don’t have to be localized to the exact centimeter and a more general position information within broader defined zones of the factory floor or on means of transport will suffice. Comarch solutions are therefore essentially building blocks of an agile, networked logistics system. Manufacturers will be able to use this system to track the location of supply parts on their way to the production facility. That way, delayed deliveries can be rescheduled within the production cycle to optimize the overall process flow.

The collaborative effort with our centers also represents speed and fast implementation. Thinking back to the beginning of this year, what has been your highlight in this cooperation?

The successful and fast implementation of the RTLS 3.0 project. We joined the RTLS project as somewhat of a lateral entrant and had to catch up on the two most recent project steps to create a comprehensive solution in the ERP lab. The intensive support we received from center employees made it possible for us to get there in time for the ERP days this summer. I want to extend a special thanks to Svenja Marek and Ernst-August Stehr for their assistance.

What advantages do you see in this cooperation in the medium and long term?

This partnership will give us an opportunity to push the envelope, explore new paths and find partners that will accompany us along the way. Think about it: if every technology provider – be it hardware or software – only focuses on their own advancement, then the digital transformation in companies will stagnate at some point, when it becomes clear that the many individual components cannot form one large picture. This is exactly where I see the biggest value in the collaboration of members within the centers. 

What do your customers think about your enrollment on RWTH Aachen Campus?

The consensus is very positive. We have been communicating this partnership intensively, as we see it as a strong symbol for our innovation capability. We have recently started to actively invite customers and interested parties to RWTH Aachen Campus, so they can see for themselves the value added by technology to the economy. 

What would be your advice for companies like your own, that are still hesitant about enrollment?

There will probably be no way around an enrollment if your company has the kind of know-how and technology that can contribute to the future – the Smart Logistics Cluster is definitely the place to be.

Comarch involvement on RWTH Aachen Campus

(video in german)