Tilo Hergarten: At the Forefront of Digital Innovation with Lean and Agile Management 

Tilo Hergarten: The Forefront of Digital Innovation with Agile Management | The Enterprise World

Emons Spedition stands as a well-established and reputable transport and logistics powerhouse, with a far-reaching global presence and a steadfast commitment to exceptional quality and environmental standards. Whether faced with complex logistics challenges or navigating national and international transportation across roads, rails, seas, or skies, Emons stands out as the go-to partner for all such needs.

Dedicated to delivering the most comprehensive and cutting-edge solutions, Emons prides itself on offering holistic and state-of-the-art services to its clients. As a medium-sized, independently-operating, and family-owned enterprise, Emons has cemented its position as a leading force in the logistics industry. With over 115 branches strategically placed across Germany, Bulgaria, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, USA, and UAE, Emons has expanded its reach and influence.

Adapting to the unique requirements of its diverse clientele, Emons excels in all sectors of logistics and transportation. The company’s unwavering commitment to providing tailor-made solutions sets it apart from the competition, ensuring that every customer’s needs are met to perfection. Furthermore, Emons views continuous improvement of its services’ quality as a core corporate objective, striving to achieve excellence in all aspects of its operations.

In a fast-paced and ever-evolving industry, Emons Spedition’s dedication to quality, environmental responsibility, and customer satisfaction remains unwavering. As a result, it continues to thrive as a respected and reliable partner for businesses seeking efficient and effective transport and logistics solutions.

Meet the Man of the Hour

A leader, pioneer, and innovator, Tilo Hergarten, is the Head of Emons | DIGITAL. He is an award-winning digital transformation professional, who is driving innovation and digitalization at Emons. 

As a digitalization enthusiast, Tilo Hergarten is constantly striving to push digitalization and innovation projects within international corporates. With tools, methods, and a mindset based on lean management and agile, it is possible to iteratively and collaboratively create and develop new digital business models and products with a minimum amount of resources until they are ready for the market. Besides developing new ideas, he is passionate about driving cultural change in a digital world. Tilo is a conscious leader, who understands the need of the hour and acts accordingly to accomplish the desired outcomes. 

Winning the Face-Off with Challenges

Tilo Hergarten is an innovator, entrepreneur, and consultant, who spearheads the digitalization department which wasn’t existing before. However, with the advent of digitalization, Emons was stretching boundaries and paving a new path. With an eye for better products, services, and experiences, Tilo set out to explore new and unknown opportunities in digitalization.

During the initial days of his journey, he encountered numerous challenges, the biggest one being explaining what is digitalization, why it is essential to integrate it, and how to adapt to the new cultural change that it brings with it. Communicating all of this internally and externally in the company was an arduous task. Being a logistics company, the business is traditional and operational hence adopting and gaining momentum with digitalization was a  challenging but important experience for Emons. 

Leading by the Fitting Example of Communication is Key

As a leader, Tilo Hergarten believes in active and thorough communication. He has a great responsibility on his shoulders as the head and he fulfills them with utmost transparency through effective communication. Adhering to the age-old philosophy, Tilo adds, “So everything that you’re doing, communicate about it. The success stories, but also the things that go wrong, communicate about everything so that there are no question marks and people understand what you’re doing.

Quality of the Highest Standard- Emons’ CLAIM!

Since 1928, the name Emons has stood for continuity, high dependability, flexible services, and one of the few SME/private logistics networks in Germany. With decades of profound experience in the industry, the company has a long-standing track record of success. 

Emons defines its success as a measure of its constant quality. It has maintained its quality at all costs. It serves its customers with value-added and quality services in transport and logistics. It has a high standard of preserving its quality and integrating it into all its key offerings.

Quality is one of the core elements of Emons. The high-quality standard of the company’s services is based on an integrated management system, which is geared toward the needs of its customers and toward international standards that are accepted worldwide.

Elaborating on this, Tilo Hergarten adds, “So, as I said, we’re a company with almost a hundred years of history. We have a strong culture and people strongly identify with the company. So there is that kind of DNA within the company and that’s also what I’m trying to integrate into the digitalization and innovation department.” 

Additionally, one of the key success factors for Emons has been its long-term vision. It doesn’t think short-term or look at things on a surface level. Rather, it dives deep inside and looks beyond monetary benefits. Emons aims at creating something sustainable for the future no matter what they are doing and that is why it marks success in everything it does. 

Tilo Hergarten’s Take on Innovation

“So, you need to a certain extent separate innovation from the core business to do whatever they need to do. Keep the operations running and the innovation needs to be separated from the core business because you need a different speed in innovation. If you rely on business processes and procurement, it slows down the innovation and it won’t be compatible with the market. 

So, therefore, you need to separate it from the core business for it to have its speed, its way of working in terms of experimenting, and getting results, and developing new products and innovation. And then once they’re market ready, you can think about how to reintegrate them into the core business if it makes sense. But you should not do it all together within the same structure.” 

Technology to the Rescue 

Emons continues to adapt and upscale with ever-changing technology. It utilizes technology to improve its processes and increase the overall efficiency of its operations. It is working on offering its customers a prompt and top-notch user interface that meets industry standards. When it comes to technology, Emons is constantly on the go, with their highly ambitious approach, they aim to be more technologically enhanced.

Staying a Notch Up with Key Strategies

Running a large-scale logistics company is an uphill battle. Overcoming the day-to-day obstacles requires the implementation of key strategies. One of the key strategies is conducting a fair share of research on both short and long-term business operations before integration of anything new and advanced.  

Also, it’s not just one logistics company, it’s a lot of logistics companies working together. So, if you order something, then one of the logistics companies will pick it up and later another is taking over, and maybe someone else is delivering it. So it’s a huge network of different players, so maintaining a well-connected system is a must. Organizing is the key here and all the players in the network need to communicate well, share data respectively and be as aligned as possible. All the players need to have a shared understanding, goal, and vision of coming together and working in harmony. 

As mentioned previously innovation and digitalization needs to be separate from the core business to have some kind of sandbox environment to experiment. Once the project or particular service has become mature, then it’s ready to step into the market for further development and integration. 

Being a customer-centric organization, Emons undergoes trial and error when it comes to its new projects. So, with the introduction of something new, it also tries to influence the market and create changes. With technology at the forefront they are raising the bar for what it means work efficiently and quickly. Thus, creating a potential for an impactful change. 

Tilo Hergarten continues, “That’s how we would move forward. Keeping the focus on customer in everything we do. Continual customer feedbacks would definitely be a key strategy. Their involvement helps us create something that has a higher acceptance.”

A Win-Win Situation

Emons was successfully able to execute one of its kind solutions, called Custify. It helps identify the right custom tariffs, and numbers especially here in Germany. Performing this task previously was a tedious and manual process and the company got an AI that gives the right number. 

Idenfiying the right customs tariffs number can be an extremely time consuming task without any kind of validation if you are a non-professional.. With Custify, you can identify the right customs tariffs number within seconds, with the help of AI,  just like Google Search Being the first solution in the market to do so makes it unique. 

Recognizing the gap in the market and finding an optimal advanced solution for it, Emons has successfully delivered the solution. It created and validated the market potential and it is making its first revenues. Having accomplished all of this just after two years of existence makes it a real success story. One of the key factors why the solution was so successful was by identifying this potential and blending both the custom and digital departments to create a perfect amalgamation. 

Cross-Functionality is a Commendable Measure of Team Management

Emons has a cross-functional team bringing their different skill sets together and working in a union. Be it the various departments or partners, the team has a common understanding of sharing a goal and accomplishing it together. This way people from multiple backgrounds come together and contribute to the overall success of the project. Also, Emons boosts their team’s confidence, motivates people, and encourages them to take over responsibilities. Tilo Hergarten continues, “So we’re creating something new, a new product, a new service that we’re putting on the market.They will be responsible for this project, for this product in the end. And also the further development of it, and also of course be rewarded for this.” 

A Roadmap of the Future for Digitalization

The future of digitalization is bright and mighty. Tilo Hergarten and his team are constantly pushing digitalization and innovation for the company. Apart from that, they are also spreading their wings and exploring new horizons keeping up with the changing landscape in the digitalization sector. 

Tilo Hergarten is a keen observer of the market studying the intricacies and gearing up accordingly. Understanding the speed of how many startups are being founded every day, how much money is raised, and the new markets and niches evolving, Tilo Hergarten has taken a closer look at the startup ecosystem investing in other business models and other startups that look promising.

This way, the digitalization team is not only focusing on the internal part of identifying innovation and new projects but is also looking beyond and taking initiatives. Summing it up, Tilo states, “And then develop a portfolio of internal projects that we’re working on, but also external startups that we’re working together with, that we are investing into in the future to be in this digitalization world and are participated in it fully.

Tilo Hergarten’s Final Word on Digitalization

As I said at the very beginning, digitalization and innovation only work if you communicate what you’re doing. So, you first have to build an understanding and knowledge of what digitalization is. And it doesn’t mean that we want to cut jobs or something because we’re getting more, more efficient. That’s not the goal of what we’re doing with digitalization.

So digitalization for us means creating new things, better things that can help people to do more important stuff. So, that’s the one thing, especially internally to create an understanding of what digitalization is and that it’s not a threat to the people rather than something that helps them in their daily business, but also something that there is the change outside and we need to deal with it somehow. 

And it’s important. Because it’s not something that will just stop, and then digitalization is over and we get back to normal. It’s a constant change. that needs a constant look at it and figuring out ways what to do with it, how to deal with it.” 

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