Digital Platform for Packaging Machines

Brothers Christian and Julian Baumann have developed a platform in southern Germany that brings packaging machine manufacturers together with potential customers. The start-up company is presenting itself for the first time at a trade fair at the FACHPACK innovation stand.

Start-up founder Christian Baumann (25) already developed his first sales strategies during his studies: when he did his practical semester as an industrial engineering student in a medium-sized company, he discovered his enthusiasm for acquisition in the packaging industry. But a conventional job in sales usually requires many years of professional experience and in-depth industry knowledge. Christian Baumann first had to prove these attributes. After he had brought two new projects to salespeople in an unconventional way, he came up with the idea of founding a company. With his brother Julian, who is three years younger, the 25-year-old has been running the start-up PackPart GmbH in Rosengarten near Schwäbisch-Hall for about a year and a half.

The young company has created a digital platform that brings packaging machine manufacturers and potential customers together. “There are many manufacturers of packaging machines. But which manufacturer can best meet specific project requirements? Until now, you usually spent a long time researching on the Internet to find a business partner and then wrote to them or simply always worked with the same companies,” explains Julian Baumann. But there is a more efficient way. The matching platform, which is free of charge for the searching party, is a kind of digital specification sheet. The customer enters what they need, for example, for the filling of food or pharmaceutical packaging. The PackPart platform analyzes the performance spectrum of registered packaging machine manufacturers, compares it with the specific project requirements, and uses these parameters to create an overview of suitable packaging machine manufacturers for the customer.

“We both want to work for PackPart full-time”

As CEO, Christian is responsible for communication with partners and is therefore the first point of contact for packaging machine manufacturers. Since the beginning of his studies at the university in Künzelsau, he has accumulated specifications of machine projects and first compiled them in a collected questionnaire, which serves as a basis. Then he peppered the PackPart matching platform with industry knowledge. Christian is a current recipient of the Hohenlohe for Talent (H4T) scholarship, which honors young, innovative founders from the Hohenlohe region. Julian takes care of the customers. But as it is in a start-up: everyone has to do everything. There are no hierarchies, even when two brothers work together. “At the end of the day, we both want it to run, and we want to be able to work for PackPart full-time,” Julian says. Currently, business is going well, he says, with more than 40 partners deposited. Networking is progressing, and the brothers are members of the large packaging cluster Packaging Valley, among others. In the meantime, contract manufacturers have also been included in the platform. “Meanwhile, I am working on the usability of the system so that it is easier for customers to create projects,” reports Julian Baumann. “We want the system to be alive, to be constantly evolving.”

Pandemic enables greater acceptance for digital offerings

The brothers also view the fact that the Corona pandemic made it difficult for them to make themselves known to companies as a positive. “We hardly lost any time due to longer car trips because everyone understood that we were introducing ourselves digitally first,” Julian says. “We completed projects without ever seeing the customer in person. Companies in the machinery industry have become more open to digital offerings during the lockdown. Therefore, that has given us a tailwind. But of course, you can’t do it entirely without meeting people on site.” The Baumanns also want to seek personal exchange with experts at FACHPACK. This, they say, will be the first trade show they attend as entrepreneurs. PackPart is one of many start-up companies presenting themselves and their work at the innovation stand.

Start-ups at FACHPACK

Visitors will find the packaging industry’s start-ups at the sponsored BMWi joint stand for young innovative companies and in the international start-up Area in Hall 7A. There, they will show their novel products and processes to interested packaging specialists. The first FACHPACK Start-up Slam will take place in the PACKBOX Forum on Thursday, September 30. There, the question of whether start-ups are the number one drivers of innovation will be explored, best practices will be discussed, and success factors will be shared.

By Anna Ntemiris

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