DC-HUB Shanghai Start-up Class 2018

Visualization of processes and data for better communication

Photos © Peakboard
Peakboard box | Photo © Peakboard

The control of a production process requires a large amount of data. The faster they are available, the better. Peakboard helps to easily and efficiently visualize complex data and processes in real-time.

We talked to the Peakboard founders Peter Wohlfarth and Patrick Theobald before they went to Shanghai as one of six participating companies of the DC-HUB Shanghai Start-up Class 2018 this September.

You are the founders of Peakboard. Why did you decide to connect and work together?

We are working together since around eight years already. We know each other from Theobald Software, a company that develops SAP interface software with large customer base all over the world.

What inspired you to start Peakboard?

We saw that there are existing systems who do similar things as Peakboard. But all these systems are very expensive and need a lot of effort to be configured well. Peakboard is much cheaper and much easier to configure. Secondly with Peakboard changing the display's content is also much more straight forward than with all other system, which is an appropriate answer to the need of the customers to be more agile in the age of digitalization. These are the main points who made it clear, that there is a need for Peakboard in the wide area for process visualization.

What does Peakboard exactly? Which products and services provides Peakboard?

Peakboard is basically a little black box that can be connected to a screen and at the same time to the customer's local network. Now the box is displaying data on the screen that was previously collected by the box from other system in the network, like ERP-systems, databases or production machines. Usually it is used by customers to display and visualize processes and key performance indicators within their logistic and manufacturing process.

Who are your main competitors? Which advantages do you provide compared to them?

There are no typical competitors who offer the same as Peakboard. However, when customers decide against Peakboard they usually use existing Business Intelligence system to display their Key Figures. In that case they must accept, that the existing system are not able to display the numbers in real-time like Peakboard can.

And furthermore, changing the content of the display needs much more effort which causes a big lack of agility.

The last point is the price. The customer can start with a single Peakboard box and get the first stage of their project going. No other expensive initial investments are necessary. Then they can extend step by step.

You already have a couple of well-known users, right? For which companies is your product especially interesting?

Currently we serve around 100 customers in our German speaking home market. The biggest part of them is in the area of logistics and manufacturing, especially automotive and mechanical engineering.

Are you looking for further investments? If yes, what is the most important thing prospective investors should know about your company?

We don't look for pure venture capital or other funding money. The current funding is well assured. What we're more looking for are partners like consulting companies or other vendors with the same target audience focus to join forces and maybe bundle offerings.

You are now going to Shanghai with DC-HUB. What do you expect from this trip?

When it comes to internationalization a typical approach for a German company would be to expand to the European countries first. We decided to go to China with the DC-HUB. Our main purpose is to find out, if the Peakboard idea can really help possible customers in the same way it does with the existing customers in Germany.

We strongly believe that China with its current dynamic way of growth and its clear vision of the country's role in global market needs agile pragmatic concepts like the one Peakboard offers. We are very excited to find out, if reality confirms our expectation.

What are your main goals for the next 12 months?

Regarding our engagement in the Chinese market we expect that we do our first customer projects and see the customers getting a real value out of using Peakboard. This our highest priority and our number one goal. Furthermore, we expect to grow a long-term relationship with local partners.

Thank you for the interview and have a successful trip to Shanghai!

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