All news

Ap­plied Design Think­ing for im­proved cus­tomer ser­vice

08.04.2021, Study :

HNU students develop solutions for the Wieland Group in an interdisciplinary workshop: Students at Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences (HNU) dedicated themselves to the topic of service and service portal for customers from 15 to 25 March 2021 using the Applied Design Thinking method. The virtual workshop focused on Wieland's customer service, which provides the basis for the development of innovative solutions.

In a virtual event format, the 20 students from different degree programmes at HNU worked on four thematic focuses to improve various services for customers.

The students were supervised by Prof. Dr. Daniel Schallmo, Head of the Institute for Entrepreneurship, and the team of the Institute for Digital Transformation. A seven-phase method developed by Prof. Schallmo for Applied Design Thinking was used, which is also used in industry and the service sector.

"Due to Corona's special situation, we were only able to hold the event, which otherwise takes place in our creative spaces of the Innovation Space, in a purely online event using a wide variety of online tools," explains Prof. Schallmo, who expressed his gratitude to the students for their flexible and uncomplicated adaptation to the virtual format.

"Innovative concepts for challenging questions": The students' contributions can now be integrated by Wieland into the service portal, for example.

The solutions developed include various service concepts. Wieland already has a broad portfolio of services to support customers in various situations. "The collaboration with HNU helps us to create an outside perspective on our offering and to think through new approaches together," says Laura Semler, Manager Innovation at Wieland.

The company was livestreamed during the workshop as the teams presented their results. "All the team results were very impressive. We will think about implementing them internally in the near future," Dr. Vucic-Seele - Project Manager Engineering of the Research, Development & Innovation department reflected back to the students as feedback. "Such creative work is inspiring. Thank you for that!"

The concepts are now being taken up by Wieland and an implementation in the company is being examined.

Practical relevance and creativity: students show enthusiasm

"I really enjoyed the Applied Design Thinking course, especially because of the intensive teamwork and the constant feedback from Prof. Dr. Schallmo and Wieland." is Juri Flakowski's conclusion. In addition to an expansion of methodological skills in design thinking and presentation skills, the students benefited above all from the principle of quickly recognising and correcting errors. They also found the intensive and interdisciplinary teamwork and applying the process of design thinking to a practical case enriching. "The elective subject with students from different courses of study with different kinds of competences helped us to achieve great results," said a pleased Franziska Hofer, a student, after the final presentations.

About Wieland

The Wieland company is one of the world's leading suppliers of semi-finished products made of copper and copper alloys. Founded over 200 years ago, the company now has around 8000 employees at 76 locations serving customers around the world and is committed to the development of components in e-mobility, energy and data transmission as well as refrigeration and air conditioning technology. With HNU and Wieland, two innovative partners met in the Applied Design Thinking Workshop who could achieve synergy effects through successful cooperation.


 (opens enlarged image)