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University students develop digital solutions for Holcim Germany

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Cement,

As in the past two years, students at Leuphana University Lüneburg have worked on two practical digital business projects for the building materials manufacturer Holcim in the summer semester of 2021. This year, due to the coronavirus, the final presentation was again purely digitally via video conference, which has already become a routine for the presenting teams after one and a half years of study in times of the pandemic.

This year, five groups of students developed digital solutions for two different tasks: three teams have taken on the development of a digital procurement platform. Two further developed concepts and prototype tools for the daily recording and visualisation of material stocks in the plants.

Both the audience and the jury were specialists and managers at Holcim who had worked very closely with the teams over the past few months. On the part of the university, Professor Mathias Groß (business informatics, focus on e-business and knowledge management) oversaw the project, in which students from a wide variety of disciplines were involved, in the third year of the cooperation.

After only three months of dealing with the topic, the students convinced with impressive solutions. “I am thrilled with the professionalism with which they took on the challenges,” said Christian Schuldt, Head of Logistics at Holcim Germany, who also praised the composition of the teams: “Thanks to the interdisciplinary composition of the five groups with students from very different fields A variety of skills, perspectives and priorities are combined which have greatly enriched the collaboration." An assessment that all participants fully agreed with. Emilien Collard, Head of Operational Procurement at Holcim said: “Seldom have I received such qualified input from people who don't even work for us. Fascinating, how deep the students went." Professor Mathias Groß added: “I would like to thank all the employees at Holcim who were involved for their great commitment in the exchange with our students. We look forward to hopefully many more joint term papers in the coming years. "

Parts of the resulting digital solutions have been implemented at Holcim Germany in previous years and this is to be expected again this year, as spontaneous applause broke out from the audience during the presentations. The jury agreed that if the different tools were linked together in a meaningful way, internal processes could be optimised effectively and quickly.

As in previous years, the project was again led by Mohamad El Faraj, IT Project Manager. “This year the Purchasing and Production Aggregates departments were involved in the students' tasks. Many other departments have already announced their interest in working together for the next year." In addition to great developments in prototype status, Holcim also receives valuable external assessments while the students can put their theoretical skills into practice. All those involved have already agreed to continue the cooperation in the coming years.

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