Albstadt-based Mayer & Cie. has been named a Top 100 award-winner for the third time as one of Germany’s most innovative small and mid-range businesses. The jury made special mention of the circular knitting and braiding machine manufacturer’s innovative processes.
At the centre of the family firm’s further digital development is on the aim to boost its customers’ productivity. Last week, members of the Mayer & Cie. management received the award from the science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar at the SMB summit in Frankfurt am Main.
Claim to leadership a deliberate decision
“We are delighted to receive the Top 100 award for the third time this year,” said Sebastian Mayer, Chief Digital Officer and member of the Mayer & Cie. management. “2019 and 2020, characterised by a slump in demand and the pandemic, were not easy years for our company. Yet we deliberately worked on improving our processes in order to hit the ground running once the market recovered. We thank all of our employees for supporting this development and driving the change forward.”
Progress is digital for SMBs too
For some time now, the focus of development work at Mayer & Cie. has been on lean management in assembly processes, on optimisation of aftersales service, including setting up an online shop for spare parts, and on product lifecycle management, or PLM, which stands for a concept of seamless integration of all the information that arises during a product’s lifecycle.
A clean data structure is the basis for these measures. Sebastian Mayer likes to call it the “digital backbone”. “Basically, what it means is that all product data is processed in he same database and all information is available only once and can be downloaded immediately,“ he explains.
Boosting the customer’s productivity
Customer benefit is the sense and purpose of Mayer & Cie.’s digital development work. “Our aim is to boost the productivity of customers who work with our circular knitting machines,” as Sebastian Mayer puts it. Their main point of access to the company’s development work is the “knitlink” IIoT platform, where machine data is to be recorded and evaluated. Spare parts sales is then automated via the online shop and support is available from the platform round the clock. In future, a 3D model of every machine – a kind of digital twin – is to be available on “knitlink”.
Said Ranga Yogeshwar, “Innovators are thought leaders; they are always pioneers too. They put their products to the test and ask themselves what an ecological society and a climate-oriented world will require of them. And they check the opportunities and challenges that increasing digitisation will bring for forms of cooperation, social relationships and, with them, for employee retention.”