What can we expect in the first half of 2024?

What can we expect in the first half of 2024?

Interview with Dr. Dominik Hollmann, Head of Products at OPTANO

The OPTANO product division, which was founded a year ago, is working flat out on new innovations. Reason enough for us to ask our Head of Products what new products we can look forward to in the upcoming six months.

The new product division at OPTANO was founded almost exactly a year ago, and you and your team have been driving it forward with a great deal of passion ever since. Before we look ahead, let’s take a quick look back: What has happened during this time?

Dr. Dominik Hollmann

You’re right, in day-to-day business you often forget to take the time to reflect on successes. The team has done a great job. The switch from the RichClient to the WebClient was a technical turning point and at the same time the starting signal for many positive developments. The experience gained from many successfully completed projects has been incorporated into the features and functions of our products. Not only have they become leaner, faster and more robust, the UI has also been and is being fundamentally revised. Since November last year, we have a permanent UI/UX designer on board, Sven Burdack, who will further improve the usability of our software. So a lot has happened and there is more to come.

What are you particularly proud of?

Dr. Dominik Hollmann

First and foremost for me is definitely the team. As OPTANO, we have grown considerably over the past year and this naturally also applies to the Products division. We have not only managed to maintain the almost family-like team spirit, but also to carry on the fire that burns within us to find the best solution for any problem. We really have a great mix of experienced OPTANO veterans and a breath of fresh air from new colleagues. The larger size of the team also allows us a higher degree of specialisation. In the past, everyone had to be able to do everything, today we have the capacity for more sophisticated details and features.

New features and products

You currently have three major lines of development that you are working on. What exactly are they and what is the thinking behind them?

Dr. Dominik Hollmann

When we decided to develop products at OPTANO, we naturally first looked at the areas in which we had the most experience and which markets we thought were promising. The portfolio currently includes the following solutions.


Production Network Planning
With this product, we are targeting companies that already have a national or international network of production sites that can produce at different costs. The question that our software answers at a tactical level is: Who produces what, when and which customer demand should be supplied from which location? The individual cost structure of production, capacities and, of course, transport costs play an important role here – after all, we don’t want cost advantages in production to be eaten up by increased transport costs.


Distrubtion Network Planning
The basic question is fairly similar to the question that arises in the area of “Production Network Planning”. In this case, however, it is assumed that the goods do not have to be produced first, but are already available, i.e. in warehouses. Here too, the storage capacities, the picking costs (costs for storage and retrieval) and the total transport costs vary. Our software now ensures that the demands from the omnichannel sales channels are covered from the warehouse that works most efficiently – here too, without the efficiency gains achieved being counteracted by excessively high transport costs.


Inventory Management
Our latest development deals with the topic of “safety stocks”. In times of unreliable supply chains, these safeguard production and delivery capability, but at the same time lead to a high level of tied-up capital. If interest rates rise, as is currently the case, this can quickly become a burden for companies. Our software ensures that there is just enough stock at a particular location to keep everything running smoothly. This guarantees security without expensive excess stock.


Would you like to find out more about production networks?

You can find details here:

Internally, we have given this interview the working title “What’s coming in H1?”. Hence the rather unsurprising question: What developments and features can we look forward to in the first half of the year?

Dr. Dominik Hollmann

There is a lot to look forward to at the moment. I have already mentioned the topic of “Inventory Management”. The successful release is just a few days old. However, it is also important for us that we will soon have transferred 100% of the features and functions of the powerful RichClient to the flexible and versatile WebClient. A major transformation process will therefore be finalised in the foreseeable future. We will also be able to further improve the processing of large amounts of data and thus be one step ahead of the requirements for ever more complex optimisations. In addition, we will offer new, interactive map displays that can visualise complex networks even better – this will create a better overview and transparency, particularly through filter and drill-down options. We’re certainly looking forward to it – and hopefully so are the users.


Would you like to find out more about distribution networks?

You can find details here:

Would you like to give a further preview of H2 or will it remain a well-kept secret for the time being?

Dr. Dominik Hollmann

I already hinted at it between the lines when I introduced the three product lines: They have similarities. That’s why we want to take the obvious step and interlink the products on a modular basis – another milestone for us. A lot will also happen in the area of UI/UX. With additional external support, we are currently working on redesigning the user interface so that not only can the on-screen workstation be used optimally and flexibly, but users are also not overloaded with unnecessary information and can focus more easily on certain aspects of the application. Our aim is to make the application as intuitive as possible.

Thank you very much, Dominik, for taking the time for us.

Picture of Michael Osterkamp
Michael Osterkamp

Do you have any questions?

Dr. Patrick Schuhmann
Analytics Consultant