Creators, makers, pioneers

More than 12,000 employees, globally active and passionate about innovation — that is the way to achieve both market and technological leadership. We are Körber. Presenting our Group.

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We are Körber

Körber is a leading international technology group that has more than 12,000 employees at over 100 locations worldwide. We are the home for entrepreneurs — we turn entrepreneurial thinking into customers success. Körber AG manages the Group and its four Business Areas: Digital, Pharma, Supply Chain and Technologies.


The Körber Insights shows the entire spectrum of the Körber world: We give our view of exciting developments and trends, as well as innovations and technologies. We also highlight personalities who drive Körber forward every day with their entrepreneurial spirit and new ideas.



Wanted: team players. The know-how, creativity, and dedication of our employees have made us a successful technology company in Germany and worldwide. Now we want to shape the future — with you! We offer exciting positions for experts, young professionals, university students, and high school students.

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"Modern leadership culture has a performance-enhancing effect"

A working climate that promotes innovation, diversity, and the courage to tell uncomfortable truths is more central than ever to a company's success today. In an interview, Gabriele Fanta, Head of Group Human Resources, explains how the new leadership principles at Körber specifically strengthen fruitful collaboration in everyday working life.

What comes after traineeship, Max?

Experience report: After graduating in mechatronics and mechanical engineering, Max Döring became a trainee at Körber. Today, he is Technical Product Manager at our Körber Business Area Pharma.

Procurement and Supply Chain Management

Procurement and Supply Chain Management

Joint future-proof activities are the foundation of sustainable procurement. Körber, as a globally leading technology group, therefore places great value on the optimal purchasing of materials and services.

To our Procurement and Supply Chain Management


Breaking new ground with courage: How Körber is driving digital innovation

Nick Retzmann, Head of Venture Building at Körber’s Business Area Digital

Nick Retzmann is responsible for digital innovation processes in Körber’s Business Area Digital. What exactly does that mean? And how do he and his team create new business models in digital market gaps? A closer look.

If you ask Nick Retzmann how he drives digital innovation at Körber, he quickly gets specific. He has an aversion to pure "innovation theater" – his department wants to create clear, measurable impacts on the business. “The most important starting point for any innovation unit is: The goal must be clear. For us, that means: We develop profitable software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions together with the Group’s other Business Areas, with a focus on AI-based improvements on efficiency in industrial manufacturing. To do this, we are harnessing the full potential of digital technologies and ways of working.”

Solutions of this kind are an important success factor for the entire Group. Körber established the Digital Innovation Unit in 2017 as an independent Business Area, reflecting the rapidly growing influence of digital products and processes within the Group – and the entire technology industry. Digital units have been playing an increasingly central role for years to secure the future viability of established parent companies. According to an innovation study by Capital and Infront, 60 percent of all innovation units in Germany were initiated after 2016 – more than two-thirds of which are part of the core organization of companies.

lWe look at processes together with the customer and identify the potential for increasing production efficiency.r

Nick Retzmann, Head of Venture Building at Körber’s Business Area Digital

The main focus of Körber’s Business Area Digital is on identifying the disruptive potential of new technologies early on and utilizing it in a targeted manner. “We focus on Software-as-a-service solutions that have the potential to warrant independent companies,” says Nick Retzmann. The digital innovation process (DIP), which he manages with his team and implements together with other expert teams from across the Group, is clearly geared toward this goal. It consists of three phases and starts with discovering suitable ideas, the discovery phase. “We look at processes together with the customer and identify the potential for increasing production efficiency,” Nick Retzmann says. He and his team then define the concrete hunting zones to explore the potential for new digital applications in consultation with the other Körber Business Areas.


A real competition

The second step is to determine the specific potential of a project idea. The key questions are: Is the identified problem specific to one customer or also applicable for other companies in the same market or in other markets? How is the problem being solved today? What are other industries where this problem could occur? What is the return on investment (ROI) that can be achieved for a customer with a digital solution? What is the product vision and the first product version? What solutions already exist in the market and where could the unique selling proposition lie? Is it better to buy-in a digital solution, develop it by yourselve, or approach it in co-creation with partners or customers?

“We work with hypotheses, test them, and try to generate more and more knowledge over time in order to make good business and product decisions,” explains Nick Retzmann. The selection process can sometimes be painful. In addition to clearly defined evaluation criteria, he says, the involvement of external experts from the fields of venture capital and start-up investment is helpful – as is genuine competition. “Having many good ideas is a prerequisite for innovation, but for resource reasons, only the most promising ideas move forward in the process,” says Nick Retzmann. “Focus is the key here as well.”

If Körber decides to pursue the identified opportunity, a project team will be established. The composition of the team is crucial for the success of the development, says Nick Retzmann: “It is important that the team members complement each other optimally. For the project to be as successful as possible, it needs not only different disciplines, from strategic design, venture and software architect to product owner, but also complementary qualities and characters – strategists and visionaries, pedants and pragmatists, courage and composure, as well as passion and intuition. The teams, he says, are given a high degree of personal responsibility, they work in sprints, have flat hierarchies, and clear goals. And one thing is particularly important to him: “A permanent will to succeed unites everyone in everyday work: Is this really already the best solution? If things don’t go as originally thought, what else can we do to convince the stakeholders or a customer?” The focus, he says, is always on the appropriate mindset and attitude.

Making the most of the unfair advantage

If everything goes as planned, successful SaaS solutions are created, which are then transferred into their own venture in the third phase of the DIP – including corporate setup, personnel development, and a scalability model for potential customers. This was the case with FactoryPal, Körber’s first own start-up. The AI-powered software was co-created with tissue manufacturer WEPA and uses a sophisticated plug-and-play machine learning algorithm to help manufacturing companies increase their overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and thus boost profitability. Not least for this pioneering achievement, Körber's Business Area Digital was honored with the IoT Breakthrough Award 2020 and the Digital Lab Award 2021 as "Smart Manufacturing Company of the Year".

At its core, the digital innovation team is about nothing less than combining the strengths of the digital start-up mentality with the many years of industry and customer experience within the Körber Group. “At Körber, we have built up a high level of trust and knowledge about the challenges facing our customers, their employees, and networks,” says Nick Retzmann. To make the most of this unfair advantage, there is a close and open exchange with all Business Areas – as well as with customers and start-ups. Digital tools, such as collaborative online formats, digital education and training programs, as well as regular events, can be of help. The ACT! Summit, for example, serves as internal inspiration where colleagues report on ongoing digital projects, exchange new insights, share learnings, and cultivate the network.

In the Start-up Challenge, Körber invites selected start-ups to a three-day hackathon where specific solutions for challenges in the area of production efficiency are developed, presented, evaluated and rewarded by industry partners. And at the DIP Selection Day, a Körber committee of digital experts discusses proposals from each phase of the innovation process of the innovation process across the Group and decides which ideas should be pursued and how. “Such digital events deepen collaboration, help break down barriers, and strengthen our innovative spirit across all Business Areas," says Nick Retzmann. 

Entrepreneurial mindset and team spirit

Since 2021, Nick Retzmann has been working in Körber’s Business Area Digital and has been leading the innovation team as Head of Venture Building since August 2022 – his start-up experience serves his well. According to Nick Retzmann, successfully launching digital innovations requires a structured process, but above all the right mindset: the courage to break new ground. Trust each other. Think and act like entrepreneurs. And working in close partnership with the other Körber Business Areas. "Because the digital transformation succeeds best when you walk the path together."

Do you have a digital idea in the field of production efficiency that you want to promote? Let's talk about it!

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Insights shows the entire spectrum of Körber, what we do and how we do it: We give our view of exciting developments and trends, as well as innovations and technologies. We also highlight personalities who drive Körber forward every day with their entrepreneurial spirit and new ideas - always to the benefit of our customers. In this section, you’ll find inspiring content concerning our topic Tech.

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Körber evolves ecosystem partnership with Microsoft to create more value for customers

To help our customers become more efficient and agile in pharmaceutical production, we transformed our market-leading PAS-X Manufacturing Execution System (MES) offering into a cloud-based solution. The partnership with Microsoft plays a key role here.

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Pioneering information security with AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) provides hackers with new ways to attack organizations. But it also opens up opportunities for companies to better protect themselves against these attacks. Körber is, therefore, investing in AI and advising its customers to follow suit.

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Collaboration is key – the power of B2B ecosystems

At a time when new technologies and business models are rapidly entering the market, complexity increases. Interconnected solutions will allow us to realize our full potential in creating customer value.

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Inspiring the future - how Körber is driving tomorrow's technology solutions

What products will we be using tomorrow? Körber attempts to answer this question with the Future Induced Innovation (FI²) method.

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UCS – Conductor in the warehouse

With its Unified Control System (UCS), Körber introduces an unprecedented software solution for bundling and orchestrating multiple warehouse technologies.

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