23.03.2016 | News & Interviews

Fresh ideas for fresh products

In the last two years, the start-up Opal has won many awards for their data analytics solution for groceries and food retailers. Thanks to the company’s fast, user-friendly, and secure data analysis application, retailers can improve the availability of fresh products and reduce waste through stale returns. Over the next three months, the EYSC ‘acceleration family’ including Opal’s CEO Alexander Grossmann, as well as Richard Kneis, Alnatura, and Volker Stockrahm, EY, will work on the issue of how corporates can overcome the hurdles for digitization as well as how start-ups can grow and scale their business.



Alexander, what do you expect from the EY start-up-challenge for your company?

Since our foundation a few years ago, we could attract much attention among our b2b target group. They really appreciate that we provide them with a proper app to help them cope with some key challenges of customer satisfaction. Examples show how we help them guarantee freshness of products and meet consumers’ demand for the right product, at the right time, in the right quality. Furthermore, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that our solution is of social value, helping to save natural resources and make our lifestyles more sustainable. We have won several industry awards such as the SAP HANA innovation prize in 2015. However, we realize that we need to take our start-up to the next level, if we want to grow and scale beyond the region and Germany. The EYSC is a very good platform for us to proceed on our path towards further success.

Richard, why are you interested in start-ups like Opal?

Alnatura is a strong and renowned brand, standing for sustainable products, social responsibility, and healthy relationships with eco-friendly agriculture. We are well connected with farmers who really care about their products, and strive to meet high sustainability and quality standards. Nevertheless, we know that there is no way around digitization, which is why we seek to connect with digital pioneers such as those from Opal. Over the last years, we have been implementing digital solutions, procedures, and standards into our company. As a result, many of our processes are supported by and based on SAP technology. Now, we want to take the next steps towards digitization for enhanced product experience along the whole customer journey. However, we have to be very sensitive about this point, because our key customers tend to be rather sceptical towards new technologies. Thus, digital change is also a sensitive communication issue for us. We think, that participating at the EYSC is a very sensitive and sensible way to support digitization in our company.

And what are you going to contribute to the ‘challenge’, Volker?

As Partner Supply Chain Strategy and Planning at EY, I can provide my dedicated mentorship and business knowledge, in order to help founders like Alexander gain access to EY’s and our clients’ business networks. In return, I can get useful inspiration on how to make supply chains more effective and sustainable through smart digital solutions. But first and foremost, I think that it is important to support young entrepreneurs with smart business ideas in successfully introducing their products into the national and international markets – which is crucial to enable progress and future growth. My experienced colleagues and I look forward to offering our helping hand especially to the start-up Opal.

Located in Mannheim, Germany, Opal is a multiple award winning start-up with operative mass data analytics for groceries and food retailers. The company’s solution enables retailers to improve the availability of fresh products, enhance customer experience, and minimize waste through stale returns. Opal’s applications stand out due to their user-friendliness, mobile and intuitive usability, and high data security.

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