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We bring Business Model Waves into your organization.


SOMMERRUST Consulting Services

What we offer

SOMMERRUST Business Model Innovations

Business Model Innovations

We help you generate completely new business models or transform existing ones

  • Projects are tailored to your needs — if you wish we can support you from creating a new vision/strategy to measuring the success of the newly introduced business model
  • Our approach combines methods and tools from Design Thinking and the world of digital start-ups with those of classic Strategic Management
  • We consider organizational aspects of implementation in all of our projects (transformation and change)
  • We can manage the innovation process no matter which industry you are in; in addition, we can bring in best practices from selected industries
SOMMERRUST Improvement of Innovation Capabilities

Improvement of innovation capabilities

Analysis of strengths and weaknesses with our proprietary Business Model Waves framework

  • Start with a free test on this website
  • More detailed health check available, if needed by including a larger part of the organization
  • Comprehensive innovation program: root cause analysis, optimization approach, implementation (organizational structure, processes & culture)
  • Coaching of your management team with respect to innovation culture and Design Thinking
  • Possible for all industries — the framework is generally applicable and we will work closely together with your experts
SOMMERRUST Digitale Transformation

Digital transformation

Strategy development and business model innovation based on digital technologies

  • Identification of relevant industry trends, e.g. mobile, smart manufacturing, big data, internet of things, personalization, etc.
  • Analysis of digital capabilities and assets of the firm
  • Development of the firm's digital vision and strategy
  • Exploration of new, innovative possibilities for satisfying customer needs
  • Translation into digital business models
  • Organizational set-up for the digital transformation
SOMMERRUST Innovation Ambulance

Innovation Ambulance

Quick and straightforward help with an urgent problem - with minimal effort from your side

  • For specific, well-defined problems that can be solved in one workshop day
  • Example: Generating new product ideas for an existing business model (further examples)
  • Approach: briefing by telephone, problem solution with a ''Design Thinking'' workshop
  • Fixed price for 1 day plus VAT and travel expenses
  • Innovation Care: periodic check-ups after the introduction of the solution (optional service)
  • Also suitable if you want to try out our methodology at low cost


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How we work

Our Principles

If innovation was our religion, these would be our six commandments

  1. Innovation is for everyone.
    Sometimes, however, creativity is buried deep down in the organization. But it's there somewhere, always. Leave the shovel in the shed, we'll bring the excavator.
  2. Innovation only flourishes on customer needs.
    Understanding your customer is key. True customer insight starts with smart questions, not smart answers. Only your customer is allowed to play the wise guy.
  3. Innovation requires heart and mind.
    Creativity and intuition are as important as hard facts and analyses. If one is missing, the pretty butterfly will stay a caterpillar forever.
  4. Innovation works systematically.
    It is not possible to predict if and when a true innovation will emerge. Yet, managing the innovation process in a professional way is possible indeed. Everyone makes mistakes, but a pro makes that same mistake only once.
  5. Innovation is a team sport.
    The brilliant idea of an individual does not turn into a real innovation until many others devote their creativity and energy to it. We make your team to become the star.
  6. Innovation needs to be anchored.
    Internal decision-making processes and organizational barriers almost always represent a challenge to the success of innovation efforts. We help you to tear down walls or lift you over the fence should you be in a hurry.

Our methods and tools

Magic is just a form of craft

The best out of three worlds — We were lucky enough to get to know methods and tools from many different domains, and have selected the most useful ones for our purpose.

  • Design Thinking:
    Design Thinking is a management approach that puts the needs of the customer at center stage, integrates clients into the innovation process, and accelerates it through rapid iterations. Solutions are generated in multidisciplinary teams in an iterative way, testing and improving them as fast as possible based on customer feedback.
  • Methods from the domain of digital start-ups:
    Should you not be familiar with concepts like "Pivoting" and "A/B Testing" we will explain them to you — if they are relevant. We will also help you tailor respective tools to your specific needs and implement them within your organization.
  • Methods from classic Strategic Management:
    Despite the ever increasing speed of economic change, strategic issues are of no less importance than they used to be — they just need to be addressed much faster nowadays. This makes it even more essential to use respective tools in a professional way.

Your benefits

How you benefit from the fact that we do things a little differently

  • Accelerated innovation process
    Our iterative approach with early testing of prototypes reduces the time to market.
  • Higher chances of success
    Systematic concept validation increases the probability of success in the marketplace later on. The innovation process is facilitated by various battle-tested tools.
  • Lower financial and strategic risks:
    Our approach also reduces financial risks, as the needs of the customers are combined with (technical) feasibility and economic viability long before market launch. Moreover, due to our extensive experience in management consulting, we can identify and mitigate strategic risks early on.
  • Smooth introduction of the business model:
    When decision makers are actively involved in the innovation process, moving from the concept stage to execution becomes much easier. In addition, we make sure to overcome organizational barriers by checking for warning signs from the very beginning of the project.
  • Honest advice, always:
    If something makes no sense, we will tell you. If we make a mistake, we will admit it. Conversely, we ask all of our clients for honest feedback.


Who we work with

Selected examples of our recent customers:

Logo Bayer

Bayer AG, Leverkusen
Industry: chemicals, pharmaceuticals
Employees: 116.800 (2015)

Logo Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim, Ingelheim am Rhein
Industry: pharmaceuticals
Employees: 47.500 (2015)

Logo Drees & Sommer

Drees & Sommer AG, Stuttgart
Industry: real estate
Employees: 2.150 (2015)

Logo Heidelberg Startup Partners

Heidelberg Startup Partners e.V., Heidelberg
Industry: supporting startups

Logo Klimastiftung für Bürger

Klimastiftung für Bürger, Sinsheim
Industry: Non-governmental organization

Logo Boehringer Ingelheim

Tchibo GmbH, Hamburg
Industry: retail, consumer goods
Employees: 12.200 (2015)


ZF Friedrichshafen AG, Friedrichshafen
Industry: automotive
Employees: 138.000 (2015)

In addition to the aforementioned organizations, we work on innovation topics with clients in various sectors including consumer goods, industrial goods and finance. Moreover, we have analyzed the capacity for innovation of countless companies - including one third of all DAX companies.

We also regularly host seminars and workshops at various universities to educate the students and staff in the application of our innovation methods. Some of these past events have been at the Technical University of Berlin, the University of Heidelberg and the HSBA in Hamburg. For more information concerning those events, please read about them on our blog (German only).