Risse + Wilke

Innovation via express

“Progress by the hour” has always been the maxim of the cold strip company Risse + Wilke from the Sauerland region. Innovation management plays an increasingly important role in this – the Digital Hub Logistics supports the company in this change process.

The traditional family-owned company Risse + Wilke, headquartered in Iserlohn, is one of the leading specialists for high-quality cold-rolled strip and strip steel. Founded in 1920, today more than 350 employees serve customers in the automotive, mechanical engineering and furniture industries, among others, worldwide. Risse + Wilke is an extremely agile cold-rolled strip company and has realigned itself with “Vision 2027”. “Innovation” is one of four fields of action in it. Against this background, Risse + Wilke contacted the Digital Hub Logistics last year.

As part of the Hub’s Express Program, the company has already used numerous innovation modules, including a strategy workshop. In it, those responsible – supported by a team of experts from the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML, among others – gave fundamental thought to the vision, mission and values of an innovation team. “Clarifying this question is particularly important for established companies that have so far made a living and are also very successful at implementing individual customer wishes and thus have little room for self-developed innovations in the existing product range,” explains Charlotte Edzard, innovation coach at the Hub.

Risse + Wilke strategy workshop, Image: Digital Hub Logistics

Concrete next steps were also discussed during further workshops. Charlotte Edzard: “Together, we developed ideas for the composition of the team and drew up the description for the position of an innovation manager, which will be newly created.” In a joint “We could have done that …” workshop, Hub members BEUMER Group with its BG.evolution and Beulco with its digital unit iQ water solutions also reported on their experiences in innovation management.

Risse + Wilke had opted for the Hub’s Express program at the end of last year. A second express phase over six months will follow seamlessly. The goal is to continue building up the innovation team during this time and to tackle the concrete development and implementation of ideas – again with the help of the innovation modules from the Hub.