In September, STULZ had the distinct pleasure of hosting 24 German students from the Hamburg School of Business Administration (HSBA) who were working on their Masters degrees in applied business administration (find out more about the school here).
A major highlight of the HSBA study program requires the students to carry out a current case study for a company as part of a week-long stay abroad. During this week, students develop solutions to specific business problems and each deliver a report on their individual fields of investigation. Additionally, the whole group will work on concise aggregate recommendations and present them to the company. In this case, the topic was "Positioning a hardware manufacturer in the networked economy," and the company in question was STULZ Air Technology Systems in Frederick, MD.
During their stay, the students organized themselves into five groups which included disruptive innovation, service components of hardware, customer demands, value chain, and market/competitive analysis. They then conducted interviews with top STULZ executives and department managers. Everyone at STULZ, from the president on down, had similar comments about the students: they were an extremely smart, organized and an impressive group.
The five groups each delivered a report on their fields of investigation and the whole group is working on actionable recommendations which will be presented to STULZ later in the year. Based on the preliminary report provided at the end of their stay, the STULZ team is eagerly awaiting another insightful and well organized presentation.
With that said, we'll turn it over to the students, who have written the following "guest blog post" about their experience in their own words.
June 2016. Sadly, the first study year of our master’s program was ending but we were getting ready for our summer break to start. This is when we found out where we were heading for our consulting project abroad: STULZ Air Technology Systems, Inc. in Frederick, Maryland.
The USA! Everyone was ecstatic.
Even though I’ve spent twenty years living in the United States I hadn’t heard of STULZ, but it was the US and the rest of my class was delighted to set foot on the ‘land of the free’.
September 2016 was a long awaited month for us. For some it was a chance to see the US for the first time. But, for all of us it was a great opportunity. Frederick, an hour outside of Washington DC, had the small-town American feel, which may have spilled over into the company as everyone we met was warm and very kind. The managers we were introduced to were also very enthusiastic, not only to meet us, but also to answer the multitude of questions that we had about STULZ Air Technology Systems, ranging from the technical products and services they provide to their value chain.
During the week in Frederick we worked alongside seasoned professionals and saw firsthand how business is conducted not only across borders, but also within another culture. This provided the class with invaluable experiences working diligently as a team in order to achieve a considerable amount of high quality work in the short time frame. We could not have done it without the guidance of our Professor, Dr. Dirk Max Johns, who stretched the boundaries of possibilities and challenged our thinking about international business in order to develop preliminary results for the company.
Though now back in Hamburg and back at our day jobs, we will continue to work together over the course of the following months to finalize our analysis and solutions. We will present these results and businesses cases to STULZ in December at their headquarters in Hamburg, Germany.
In the end we would like to thank the entire STULZ organization in Hamburg as much as in the US, for the opportunity, the warm welcome, and the enthusiastic collaboration throughout the week we were there. Until we meet again in December!
Digital Solutions – Project Manager, Lösch GmbH
HSBA Master’s Program Class Representative
MSc. Global Management and Governance, Hamburg School of Business Administration
B.S. Marketing, California State University, Northridge