Interview with Daniel Nuding
Micro Apartment or Co-Living; the future of urban lifestyle. Especially in the large conurbations, the new apartment trend is in the fast lane. Little space and digitally affine residents make them the ideal case for digital products. Erwin Renz Metallwarenfabrik GmbH & Co KG was quick to recognize this, and with its innovation of intelligent letter and parcel box systems, it also offers a digital component here.
The family business RENZ is the leading manufacturer of mailbox systems in Europe. 1925 of Erwin Renz in Kirchberg at the Murr based, can fall back the enterprise in third generation owner-led to an experience of 95 years. Still today the traditional Swabian enterprise has its seat at the place of foundation. Five subsidiaries have been added in Germany, France, UK, Denmark and Poland. Together they form the Renz Group with currently about 800 employees throughout Europe. Product innovation and quality paired with good design is the DNA of RENZ. The mechanical mailbox was digitalized and developed into a parcel receiving station for residential buildings and companies. We exclusively talked to and interviewed Daniel Nuding, the head of the sales field service.
“Life in and with buildings will change”
Sandra Olschewski: Hello Daniel, as you know, Mirco Apartment or Co-Living offers are on the fast lane, especially in the big metropolitan areas. Little space and digitally affine residents make these user concepts the ideal case for digital products. What role do micro apartments or co-living play for you? Will this trend consolidate? How do you actually see the future of real estate use?
Daniel Nuding: Hello Sandra, this is of course an exciting topic. I think the past has shown that the use of e-commerce as well as our personal behavior towards social media is constantly changing and developing rapidly. Life in and with buildings will also change. I therefore see great potential in these trends.
Our intelligent letter and parcel box systems enable all residents to get their parcels conveniently to their homes, especially the younger generation, who receive an enormous number of parcels but are rarely at home, or the elderly, who save themselves the trouble. Also the contactless "residents to residents delivery" of everyday things is possible over this. For the operator himself, the digital administration makes it easier to handle keys and the digital inscription of name tags. In the event of resident fluctuation, the effort involved is thus much less than is currently the case. For this reason I see a very large market in these micro apartments and the co-living sector.
Likewise, increasing digitization in real estate use is a constantly present and increasingly in demand topic. At the same time, however, digitization also means change and many users are initially meeting this with resistance or reservations. The demand for mailbox systems is there - let's digitize them.
SO: RENZ has already focused on digitalization in many internal and external processes and cooperates with some proptechs. In addition you rely on an EcoSystem in many asset classes. Where does your courage come from?
DN: RENZ always had the courage to change. We are owner managed since the 3rd generation. Especially as market leader we always have to be courageous regarding changes in order to expand our market leadership. Digitalization is one of the biggest challenges of the last decades. However, we see a very great opportunity to make letter and parcel box systems more attractive for customers and entrepreneurs alike through digital functions. Over the last few decades, we have also built up digital services for our specialist dealers through internal programs and configurators. All in all, we are proud of our product and the intelligent solutions we offer our customers.
“All employees know that it is worth to invest in digital products.”
SO: The digital parcel and mailbox systems have been on the market for some time now. You are in daily contact with many project developers, tenants and partners. Let us look back once. What was/is the biggest challenge in the digitalization of parcel and mailbox systems? Were there certain problems and if so, how were they solved?
DN: Of course - with every new development there are also problems. Above all, the software must be constantly developed further. The feedback of our partners and customers is very important to us. Also our 25 sales representatives in the field, most of whom have been consulting RENZ mechanical mailboxes for many years, had to be trained. However, in digitalization the product is never really and completely finished. We have to face the constant changes and further developments, combined with the very high speed. Our biggest challenge at the moment is to coordinate the interaction of project developers, architects, proptechs, processors to the customer to get the myRENZbox "running". This requires a high degree of coordination to bring everyone together on one stand. Our motto is still, people make the business. For this reason, a close relationship with all those involved is very important to us; we want to be always there, with the customer, the partner, the service provider. This is what distinguishes RENZ.
SO: The volume of orders on the Internet is constantly rising, not least since Corona. More and more people are using cell phones for payment. However: In many residential complexes, a digital infrastructure is still in short supply. What would you like to say to the real estate industry?
DN: The demands of the customers have changed a lot, the way of life and work of the people are of course also changing continuously. We always have our smartphone with us, everything should be quick and easy, we generally use more and more technology. As a result, the demand for digitization is particularly strong today. There is great acceptance of smart products. However, it is often not clear what can be digitized in residential buildings and what has the greatest benefit for residents and administrators. Our solution has enormous benefits for residents and administrators. Often it depends on the lack of communication to present the benefits in a holistic way. That is why we are happy to accompany many pilots and projects from the planning stage to commissioning and then look further at what is going well or not in order to constantly improve the myRENZbox.
Talk to us - we will master this together!
“When it comes to data protection, we leave nothing to chance.”
SO: A strategic collaboration has been agreed with Sensorberg, which aims to jointly create greater convenience for customers. How will this be ensured in terms of data protection? To what extent is data protection and data security a decisive criterion when selecting a partner? What must be taken into account?
DN: Data protection and personal data have been a topic for a long time and play an enormously important role. As a German manufacturer, we are very aware of our obligations and therefore select our partners according to the strictest criteria. We ourselves are certified and have a guideline by the DSGVO which we adhere to. RENZ stores all data itself in our head office in Kirchberg an der Murr. In cooperation with partners we also attach great importance to the compliance with data protection. In the end, what counts is that the tenant feels secure, and this is then very round for the end customer, who plays out to his tenants.
SO: There are certainly a lot of prophets on the market who are interested in working with you. But technical integrations are often complex and resources are limited. Why did you decide to work with Sensorberg?
DN: We receive requests for digital partnerships from many parties and companies. Finally Bauwens brought us together. Sensorberg simply convinced us because they deliver reliable hardware and software, offer an open platform for any integration and share the same mentality and philosophy as we do. Together with Bauwens we realized our first successful project at the Gleispark and that was the starting signal for many more upcoming projects! I am looking forward to the ongoing, pleasant and successful exchange!
SO: Thank you, that's nice to hear! Let's look into the future again. For some time Amazon has been relying more and more on its own delivery service. This share is growing strongly. When are you going to add Amazon?
DN: A big advantage of the myRENZbox is the integration of processes. We have already integrated DHL, DPD, GLS and Hermes. This year we will start with the introduction of a process for Amazon, so that the first Christmas presents can also be delivered directly from Amazon to the myRENZbox.
SO:Thank you very much for the interview!
The interview was conducted by Sandra Olschewski, New Business & Partnerships Specialist