Digital Business: Cooperation with global market leader Holcim

2021-09-21 Holcim is one of the largest producers of building materials in the world. Whether the lid of the A7 motorway or the Elbe Philharmonic Hall in Hamburg, the German subsidiary is very present in Germany with its building materials. In the summer semester of 2021, students from the Digital Business Minor and the Business Informatics Major worked together in small project groups on major digitalisation tasks at Holcim for the third time.

Slate quarry cement plant Dotternhausen ©Holcim (Deutschland) GmbH
Slate quarry cement plant Dotternhausen.

"Digitalisation is much more than just e-commerce. It is about how companies are positioned to ensure digital business processes. We ask where corporate processes can be digitalised and accelerated through the use of IT," explains project initiator Dr Mathias Groß, Professor of Business Informatics, especially Digital Business and Knowledge Management. Most recently, the students worked at Holcim on the daily recording and visualisation of material stocks in the plants or supported the development of a digital procurement platform for Holcim employees. At the end of the semester, they pitched their digital solutions to the cooperation partner. Holcim also benefits from the creative input of the students, which is used for current digitalisation projects in the company.

"The success of the projects also depends on the active participation of the company. That is why the employees at Holcim take a lot of time to talk to the students," explains Groß. Seminars on the business and technical basics of digital business and on business process modelling prepare the students for the practical project during their studies. "Another success factor of the project is the interdisciplinary nature of the working groups. In these projects, students from different disciplines come together and thus also learn from each other." By working together with each other and with the contact persons at Holcim, the students practise important skills such as communication in a team, crisis management and interdisciplinary work.

Projects with the building materials producer Holcim are also planned for the future. In the coming winter semester, however, the students of the Digital Business Minor can first look forward to a cooperation with the IT service provider msg systems AG.