Tulip Blossoming

One U.S. company is pushing ahead with European expansion plans from its new base in Munich despite the corona crisis. Digitalization platform provider Tulip is confident that its future looks bright in Germany.

October, 2020

It’s always a good sign when companies are hiring. Despite the challenges of coronavirus, Tulip – the American manufacturing app platform provider – says it will add nine positions to its customer and software engineering teams in Munich by the middle of next year.

Tulip set up its European headquarters in the Bavarian capital in 2019 to benefit from the high density of small and medium-sized high-end manufacturers in the region as well as the talent from local universities with their strong focus on technology.

The firm’s app allows manufacturers to digitalize machinery, even those machines built well before the invention of the Internet. That eliminates the costly need to replace systems that have evolved as operators finetuned their processes. And last but not least, Tulip lets manufacturers create their own apps without having to write code.

© Tulip Interfaces

 “We help factories digitalize themselves, giving them opportunities to take on tasks that would otherwise not be feasible in a high-cost country like Germany,” says Wolf Kolb, Tulip’s CEO for Europe.

“Although the ecosystem of small and medium-sized manufacturers in southern Germany is highly competitive globally, it has largely been ignored by the big tech solution providers,” he adds. “That’s where we come in.” Once they solve one highly technical problem with the app, Kolb says, manufacturers usually return to Tulip to tackle their next tech headache.

Taza Chocolate – an organic chocolate manufacturer that, like Tulip, hails from Somerville, Massachusetts – is one example. After securing a new deal with a major wholesale retailer, Taza had to increase production by nearly 30 percent while simultaneously lowering costs per unit. The problem was that the firm’s manufacturing equipment, acquired in the 1960s, made it impossible to collect key production data during runs.

“We added sensors for cycle time, engine speed, machine efficiency, temperature and humidity, so that Taza could finally track how the machine was running,” says Kolb. “This helped to get rid of long-standing bottlenecks, increasing Taza’s throughput dramatically at a much lower cost than purchasing new machines.”