THEORY MEETS PRACTICE: PRACTICAL PROJECTS IN THE 2019/2020 WINTER SEMESTER

The following practical projects are offered in the 2019/2020 winter semester:

 

Sankt Augustin:

Consulting
Deutsche Post DHL Group, Global Media Relations

(Prof. Dr. Stephan Tank)

Starting situation:

Deutsche Post DHL Group publishes a CSR report every year under the GRI Standard. Since 2017, it includes the non-financial report mandated under German HGB.
1.) The GRI Standard provides few reporting indicators or none at all. While this does give companies flexibility, it also makes it difficult to track impact.

2.) The full potential of the CSR report has to be realized and attention among all relevant target groups maximized.

Goals:

1st goal: Students should study how to present and verify the impact of an efficiency goal vs. a reduction goal in the area of emission reporting. Furthermore, they should consider the new Taxonomy 2.0 EU requirements and review the competitive landscape. Risk minimization is another aspect to consider.

2nd goal: Develop an efficient marketing strategy for the CSR report. Plan an integrated 360° communication approach: use all relevant communication channels while respecting budget restraints. Internal or digital communication measures (such as social media) or traditional media and advertising might be included. Optimize the report’s layout and suggest possible graphic design improvements. 

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Cloud-Lab

(Prof. Dr. Andreas Gadatsch/Dipl.-Kfm. Stefan Brassel, M.A./Thomas Neifer, B.Sc./Andreas Schmidt, M.A.)

Mission statement:

Digitisation is changing society. New business models are disrupting traditional industries. Cloud computing, the use of external IT for digital processes, is one important driver, since cloud services allow companies to evaluate large amounts of data. Companies and organisations who had their own data centres are increasingly relying on cloud services. This has created a strong demand for experts who understand all levels of cloud technology (strategy, processes, technology). Big Data, data science and cloud computing are of particular relevance. At our modern Cloud Lab, a cooperation between Bechtle and the Data Innovation Lab, IT-savvy students are working on current issues in these fields for our cooperation partners. State-of-the-art hardware and software enable them to prepare for the changing demands facing today’s and tomorrow’s graduates.

Content / research question:

  • Kick-off with the customer Bechtle
  • First meeting to define questions, goals and visions as well as task scope.
  • University staff and experts from Bechtle present the hardware and software at the H-BRS Cloud Lab
  • Students build a project organisation
  • Customer reviews the project in regular meetings at H-BRS (approx. 1 hour every 2-3 weeks)
  • During the project, the customer supports students as they learn to work with the cloud software and independently develop solutions (lecturers/supervisors are available for procedural questions (in person, e-mail, phone)
  • Students present intermediate and final results to executives at Bechtle
  • Summary of learnings / feedback

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Further development of LEGO factory simulation

(Dipl.-Kfm. Martin Kemnitz)

Mission statement:

To enhance our course offering in Production and Logistics, the Department of Management Sciences has developed a factory simulation. Also offered by Audi AG and many other auto manufacturers, seminar providers, consulting firms and universities, these simulations allow students to experience structures and processes in production and logistics. We have designed, developed and built an assembly line for just-in-time manufacturing of two versions of a complex LEGO automobile. Using lean production principles, this factory simulation produces cars according to standards used by major manufacturers and simulates related logistics processes. This factory simulation will be upgraded in the 2019/20 winter semester.

Content / research question (project tasks):
1. Define starting situation and define goals for the factory simulation
2. Optimise the assembly line (synchronise workstations, one-piece flow, etc.)
3. Plan and develop new work station systems (front supply)
4. Update work instructions, work schedules and test instructions
5. Introduce a quality management cycle
6. Update Kanban system, supermarket principle and milk run
7. Develop a KPI-based production monitoring and evaluation system
8. Mentoring to enable use for teaching first-semester students

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Social Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation

(Prof. Dr. Christoph Zacharias)

Content / research question:
In the first session, different customers introduce themselves and give students concrete projects with milestone plans.

Project teams will have up to five students. Projects can also be divided into up to five subtasks.

Projects will be supervised by the customer and Prof. Dr. Zacharias.

The following project is available in the 2019/20 winter semester:

Cooperation with Humanitas Activa e.V.:

Our students prepare a study to be conducted in Kwale (Kenya). This includes the development of a questionnaire. The study should produce an overview where to offer which vocational training in Kwale, which funding to tap, which degrees to offer and which percentage of graduates stand to find a job. Students should also develop an alumni network at the UJUZI na UFUNDI vocational school. Finally, students should produce a cost estimate for the project and make suggestions for the project’s organization and concept. 

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ToMorrow - sustainable management and the Peren theorem

(Prof. Dr. Dr. Franz Peren)

Mission statement: 

The Peren theorem says: “If the users within a closed system employ its natural resources in such measure that its natural regeneration is exceeded over the long term, then the natural environment of this system will be completely exhausted.”

In other words, it states the relationship between a growing world population and depleting natural resources in mathematical terms. It shows beyond doubt that we need a fundamental change in how we regulate consumption and the globalized economy, if we want to keep living on this earth.

The project aims to take concrete examples of German companies to study developments that might be disregarding this theorem and propose economically feasible solutions.

Content / research question (project tasks): 

  • Sustainability has become a core business value
  • Growth has to be measured and valued differently from how it might still be taught at some German universities
  • Qualitative growth as a parameter of business growth strategy
  • Improved competitiveness of products and services with sustainable elements and qualities
  • Academic education and communication of sustainable business concepts

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Digitisation in the consumer economy

(Prof. Dr. Gunnar Stevens/Stephanie Vonholdt, M.Sc./Lena Cassens, M.Sc./Dennis Lawo)

Mission statement:

Digitisation offers completely new ways for businesses to design wholistic experiences beyond simple omni-channel strategies. Modern retail digitisation strategies start from the point of sale. However, this view fails to consider many aspects of consumption. Digital innovations open much broader ways of offering value to different consumer groups.

This project will study the digitisation of everyday practices in grocery consumption using quantitative and qualitative methods from business psychology and UUX research. It will involve the collection of data on grocery shopping practices and give recommendations on how to design these practices.

The project will also study how customers perceive dynamic pricing models and derive marketing recommendations. Dynamic pricing means adjusting prices of identical products depending on market conditions over time. The major interest for businesses is to maximize revenue, which can result from changes in demand and price sensitivity among customers. The first step is to find out to what extent German grocery stores already use dynamic pricing. The second step studies how grocery buyers perceive dynamic pricing, and which effects this pricing model already has on their purchasing behaviour. These results will be presented and might be studied further in final thesis papers.

Content / research question:

We aim to identify the potential of consumer-centric digitisation based on current empirical findings. For this, we will study:

  • Acceptance and requirements of digital value-added services in the groceries sector
  • Use of dynamic pricing in the groceries sector
    ​How do consumers perceive and assess dynamic prices?
    If so, what changes can be observed?
    Does dynamic pricing change buying behaviour?

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Rheinbach:

Marketing/communication concept for TSV Seelscheid (sports club)

(Prof. Dr. Klaus Deimel)

Content:

This practical project consists of redesigning the communication strategy of TSV Seelscheid for the 100th anniversary of this sports club.

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Practical project in cooperation with Gerolsteiner Brunnen GmbH & Co. KG on online beverage sales

(Prof. Dr. Erika Leischner/ Prof. Dr. Christine Buchholz)

Goals and content:

This practical project maps and assesses the competitive landscape for online shops and platforms for beverage sellers in Germany. It will study the online behaviour of beverage buyers and formulate best practices for designing online shops for beverages (from a buyer and producer perspective).

The intended result are recommendations for the e-commerce strategy of the beverage company Gerolsteiner Brunnen GmbH & Co KG.

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