Strategy & Innovation
How ALDI SOUTH identifies tomorrow’s trends with start-ups
Information technology is not static, but undergoing constant change. At ALDI SOUTH IT, the Strategy & Innovation department is responsible for recognising innovations and their practical value.
Jörg, you work in the Strategy & Innovation department as IT Manager. Tell us a bit about your team.
Jörg: We are a relatively young department, which was founded in 2018 within international IT. We have been assigned an international task here and therefore work together with colleagues from our corporate offices abroad to jointly implement innovation projects.
What is your team’s background?
Jörg: About half of the colleagues have an IT background; the other half come from innovation management.
A perfect match. What exactly is your job?
Jörg: I manage one of two teams in the department that is responsible for implementing prototype projects and providing methodological support, e.g. through design thinking workshops.
That sounds exciting! What is the focus of your work?
Jörg: You’re right, it is! Above all, we scout out new technologies that have potential for the international IT department of ALDI SOUTH. To this end, we carry out prototype projects together with start-ups and technology partners to find out whether a technology is mature enough and sufficiently fits our needs.
How do you get in touch with the start-ups?
Jörg: We have several channels for finding interesting start-ups. We attend conferences and start-up events, hold our own events such as the Beyond Conventions or go directly to the start-ups and potential partners to get an impression of their technology, but also of their team.
You also have your own website.
Jörg: Yes, we have established a reliable channel with our start-up contact website innovation.aldi-sued.com via which numerous start-ups contact us or apply for projects.
Tell us about an example.
Jörg: One start-up we got to know at the Beyond Conventions event is Slyce. They are experts in the field of image search and their technology enables them to identify a product by means of a photo, for example. In this way, customers can search for a product very quickly without having to formulate a cumbersome search query. The first joint prototype was created within a few days during a joint development workshop to test how well the technology works with our product range.
And which projects with start-ups have you already put into practice with ALDI SOUTH?
Jörg: Trade secret! I cannot talk about that right now. But maybe you will soon be able to see some idea or other in the stores.
That’s understandable! We wish you continued success in your search for exciting innovative ideas!