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Digital Champions Award 2021

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The Digital Champions Award 2021 (DCA) sees Wirtschaftswoche & Telekom recognize the best digitalization cases from Germany‘s SME scene. It offers these SMEs best practice cases, as well as solutions and inspiration for their own challenges.

2021 will be the sixth edition of the award, which has been initiated by WirtschaftsWoche and Telekom.

Candidates can apply for the National Digital Champions Award or the Regional Digital Champions Award.

Under the patronage of Peter Altmaier, German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, and with the co-operation of a scientific advisory council comprising the University of St. Gallen and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the National DCA recognizes broader and larger-scale digitalization projects.

The Regional DCA, meanwhile, particularly focuses on the individual regions where innovation and creativity are embraced daily by a number of SMEs, and where digitalization is seen as an opportunity not only to safeguard one’s own business model for the future, but also to expand it. A Best Regional Champion is then selected from the regional winners and is presented with an award alongside the National DCA winners.

The DIGITAL CHAMPION AWARD 2021 categories

DIGITAL PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Has digitalization made your products or services even better? Then apply in the “Digital products and services” category.

DIGITAL PROCESSES & ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

Are the processes at your business all digital? Has your internal organizational structure become more efficient as a result of digitalization? The apply in the “Digital processes and organizational structure” category.

DIGITAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Are your customers benefiting from your new digital services? Then apply in the “Digital customer experience” category.

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION FOR SMES

Has your entire business entered the digital age? Has your business generally gone digital? Then apply in the “Digital transformation for SMEs” category.

BEST REGIONAL CHAMPION

From all regional champions, we will select the "BEST REGIONAL CHAMPION".

The DIGITAL CHAMPIONS AWARD 2021 prizes

Trophy

You’ll receive an exclusive trophy and certificate

Media presence

You’ll be included in the exclusive reporting process

Community

You’ll gain access to a unique community

Seal

Advertise with a recognized seal of excellence that prominently boosts your reputation on the market

DIGITAL CHAMPIONS AWARD REVIEW 2020

Although the DIGITAL CHAMPIONS AWARD 2020 could not be held live due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the projects submitted in the various categories were once again outstanding and impressively demonstrated that SMEs are constantly striving to advance digitalization through innovative and sometimes even bold projects. The jury of the DIGITAL CHAMPIONS AWARD 2020, comprising leading personalities from Wirtschaftswoche, Telekom, and many other partners, were this year again inundated with exciting best practice cases. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the winners once more!

Winners of the Digital Champions Award 2021

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION FOR SMES
Noerr Partnergesellschaft mbH
Noerr, one of the largest German commercial law firms, has been active for more than 60 years at 16 locations worldwide: Over 500 lawyers, tax advisors, auditors and management consultants provide support in investments, M&A projects and joint ventures, in court or arbitration proceedings or in compliance investigations. Noerr was looking for a future-oriented and flexible IT system. In 2019, the firm launched the "Digital Fasttrack" program. It flexibilized its infrastructure through virtualization and cloud services, modernized its IT applications, and promoted the digital mindset among employees and the organization. As specialist applications, Noerr introduced due diligence with artificial intelligence, document automation, the electronic file and digital deadline control. During the pandemic, Employees were able to switch to home offices within four weeks. 2020, the Corona year, produced record business results. The commercial law firm Noerr digitized consistently and straightforwardly and is awarded the Digital Champions Award in the category "Digital Transformation Medium-Sized Businesses".
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DIGITAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
LAMILUX
Customers are enthusiastic about good products. Even more, when they can quickly configure them according to their own needs. World market leader LAMILUX is a family-owned company with more than 100 years of history and around 1,200 employees. The company produces skylight elements such as rooflight domes, glass roof structures, solar technology. In addition, there are systems for smoke and heat extraction as well as building management systems. LAMILUX also produces fiber-reinforced plastics. For architects, craftsmen and building owners, LAMILUX strived for an even better service around the product. This is how the digital product configurator came into being. It allows planners and tradesmen to configure skylight systems according to their individual requirements in a relatively simple and uncomplicated way. The configurator was awarded the Architects' Darling in the category "Best BIM Data Offer". Building Information Modeling - BIM for short - is used to digitally model, combine and record all the data of buildings and other structures. Working more efficiently thanks to the configurator means time savings for the LAMILUX company as well as for its customers. The jury gave the "Best Digital Customer Experience" award.
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DIGITAL PRODUCTS & SERVICES
J. Wagner GmbH
Innovation is the heart of Wagner's business. The world market leader demonstrated this when it started out in surface technology with the development of the first spray gun for serial production in 1953, and again in 2019 at the Digital Champions Award Southwest for its "freiraum" incubator. With this incubator, Wagner researches new fields of application and technologies and supports start-ups in the coating of surfaces. The start-up IONIQ, which emerged from "freiraum," developed the "IONIQ One" sprayer and a skin care app. This digital hybrid product, in combination with self-developed sun protection products, offers a new digital customer experience and business model. The sprayer uses the skin's natural attractive force to apply skin care products to the body in the form of a "coating”. Wagner combines the company's surface coating expertise with new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Behavioral Analysis and Biometric Recognition for the individual needs of the user's skin. This is complemented by eCommerce, digital payment processes and services together with a digital brand presence. The new product category underlines Wagner's innovative strength. The jury rewarded this with the award for "Digital Products & Services".
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DIGITAL PROCESSES & ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
Schwan Cosmetics International
Courageous decisions put companies on a secure footing for many years to come. In 1927, Schwan Cosmetics invented the first cosmetic pencil, the "Schwan Cosmetics Eyebrow Pencil." Today, Schwan Cosmetics is the world market leader in the development and production of cosmetic pencils and has around 3,000 employees at nine production sites worldwide. Before, when Schwan Cosmetics wanted to exchange color ideas with customers for a new cosmetics line on the market, sample pencils out of 12,000 possible colors used to be sent from the warehouse. This was a time-consuming and costly process causing environmental impact. Schwan Cosmetics developed the "Color Visualizer." With this application on the Internet, the company’s global sales team and the customer see the colors in digitalized form. They compare them with Pantone, for example, and get suggestions based on data. Processes are shortened from 12 to one day and physical sampling is reduced by a third. This means that even small customer segments can be considered profitably. Schwan Cosmetics saves high costs. The market leader, almost 100 years old, had the courage to digitize even difficult processes - for example, remote maintenance of machines in production using glasses for interactive 3D projections. A worthy winner in the "Digital Processes & Organization" category.
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BEST REGIONAL CHAMPION
Hailo-Werk Rudolf Loh GmbH & Co. KG
Retail revenues are increasingly shifting to the digital space, and not just because of Corona. In the do-it-yourself segment, this applies to consumers and also the business-to-business sector. The traditional HAILO brand stands as a leading manufacturer of ladders and waste garbage cans for households and businesses, commercial climbing systems, and built-in solutions for the kitchen industry. As a staff function, the new and central Digital Unit brought these three business divisions together in one HAILO portal, thus breaking the logic of the independent marketing strategy of each individual division. Tracking and analytics tools are used to continuously learn about the users of the HAILO portal and the online offerings. A new data-driven quality management system was launched. In its sales strategy, HAILO relies on the interplay of online and offline retail and cooperates increasingly with stationary retail through joint sales campaigns in search engines and social media. HAILO integrates all advertising and marketing measures, including B2B marketing in customer relationship management. HAILO raised its sales by 161 percent and increased its visibility online. The jury honors the consistent implementation of digital transformation with the award for the Best Regional Champion.
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Impressions 2020


REVIEW

DIGITAL CHAMPIONS AWARD 2020

Despite, or indeed because of, all the restrictions, 2020 once again highlighted the importance of digital technologies for business, administration, and society. The Digital Champions Award (DCA) run by Telekom and WirtschaftsWoche recognizes SMEs that have implemented digital solutions particularly consistently or innovatively as part of their business operations. They inspire others to establish a digital infrastructure, to comprehensively digitalize business processes, and to develop new, digital business models.

READ THE REVIEW

What our winners had to say

„The award has allowed us to increase awareness of our product. It’s also led to a number of exciting opportunities for us.“
Patrick Henning & Phillip Berger
neXenio
„We are actively dedicated to these issues so that we can link our 85 years of experience with new digitalization technologies for our customers.“
Dr Johannes Stemmer
Director at Digital Transformation
„Awards bring our work into the public eye and set new benchmarks in the digital industry. Winning all these accolades is such a great motivation boost! It shows us that it pays off to tackle new challenges and grow during times of crisis by using alternative approaches.“
rooom AG

PATRON OF THE DIGITAL CHAMPIONS AWARD 2021

„The Digital Champions Award 2021 gives you the chance to showcase your company. Seize this opportunity and show that you are one of the champions of tomorrow.“
Peter Altmaier
Federal Minister of Germany for Economic Affairs and Energy and patron of the Digital Champions Awards