Case: Digital Molds

How can we make near-shoring for suppliers profitable again?

Logo Pfaff
Software Interface showing important parameters of a production unit

The reintegration of PFAFF

The Bavarian family company PFAFF Werkzeug- und Formenbau has had 60 years of success in the manufacture of injection molding tools for the automotive industry and is one of the three most prominent global players in this niche market. However, this market has also changed significantly in recent years and calls for a rethink of digital requirements. Like numerous family-run companies, PFAFF wanted to introduce new digital services but needed more expertise to identify potential and implement ideas.

The journey begins

After the leadership team was reshuffled three years ago, the campaign started with Marc Mataix as Chief Digital Officer. He realized that his customers could not collect data about their product lines and make them useful for themselves: "We had many ideas, but we couldn't conceptualize them in a product," explains Mataix. In order to be able to act quickly, the first topic was tackled directly with the Digital Product School.

The specific task: a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tool that supports customers in collecting production data. "First of all, we did a preparatory workshop together with Pfaff and discussed together what challenges they face as a company," describes Brigitte Weber, Product Management Coach at DPS.

The program logistics

During the program, experts from product management, interaction design, and software development were guided through the various phases of product development in an iterative process, starting with the development of an in-depth understanding of customers and users leading eventually to a functional prototype.

The team designed an effective and goal-oriented SaaS platform which made it possible to improve the processes of injection molding production. Tool parameters are continuously recorded and evaluated in order to realize performance improvements.

Team picture of Gen Why in the wintergarden
Portrait of Marc Mataix, CFO

“Our first product will give our customers transparency on their production line  – that in itself is something that customers value a lot”

Marc Mataix


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Learnings & Benefit

Landing-Page experiments and further lean experiments enabled to test the biggest assumptions and risks early in the process, like the willingness to share data online.

User-story-mapping helped to cover and design the whole customer workflow.

Low-Fidelity-Prototyping (e.g.: User Interface Sketching) enabled the team to get quick and valuable feedback on first ideas.

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