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Featured image: ITONICS Powers Innovation at DB Schenker

ITONICS Powers Innovation at DB Schenker

DB Schenker, a global leader in logistics and supply chain management, has adopted the ITONICS Innovation OS to push its approach to innovation. The platform serves as a single source of truth for all innovation activities, streamlining the process of identifying, assessing, and managing new opportunities. This strategic move aligns with the company’s overarching goals of integrating cutting-edge solutions and fostering collaboration with innovative suppliers and partners.

Hungry for more? In this episode of the ITONICS Innovation Rockstars podcast, ITONICS CEO Dr. Christian Mühlroth discusses the hottest innovation topics in logistics with Erik Wirsing, Vice President Global Innovation at DB Schenker.

Redefining innovation in logistics

The logistics industry has undergone a fundamental transformation, becoming considerably more open to innovation in the past five to seven years. This shift is largely attributed to the sector's need to collaborate with a diverse range of partners, suppliers, and startups, making it essential to stay attuned to emerging ideas and trends. This evolution in attitude toward innovation underscores the importance of being proactive and forward-thinking in an increasingly competitive and dynamic field.


At DB Schenker, we are always looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly evolving logistics landscape. ITONICS is our operation system for all innovation-related initiatives. It has supported us in centralizing our innovation related activities to a more streamlined, collaborative, and data-driven process.

Sebastian Schuhmann, Head of Global Innovation Portfolio, 
DB Schenker

DB Schenker's innovation departments are utilizing ITONICS to efficiently identify, assess, and manage opportunities that not only address key pain points but also accelerate business growth. Furthermore, the platform is designed to achieve several other critical objectives, enhancing the overall innovation strategy at DB Schenker:

  • Single source of truth: Centralize innovation activities to enhance visibility and coherence.

  • Opportunity management: Efficiently assess and manage emerging opportunities.

  • Transparency and communication: Strengthen collaboration and information exchange across the globe.

  • Insights and intelligence: Facilitate informed decision-making based on data.

  • Venture clienting: Identify and collaborate with new startups.

  • Internal innovation reporting: Empower employees to share their innovation initiatives.

The DB Schenker innovation ecosystem

The ITONICS Innovation OS has been fully integrated into DB Schenker's strategy and processes, giving rise to a holistic innovation ecosystem encompassing foresight, startup scouting, and portfolio management:

Pain points to drive opportunity discovery

A significant aspect of DB Schenker's use of the ITONICS Innovation OS is its focus on addressing key pain points within the organization. The platform empowers employees at all levels, including those on the shop floor, to contribute their challenges and ideas through an internal gateway. This inclusive approach ensures that innovation activities are customer-centric and aligned with market needs, thus enhancing the overall effectiveness of the organization's innovation strategy.

Foresight to improve decision-making

Foresight within DB Schenker is about anticipating and preparing for future changes and opportunities in the logistics industry. ITONICS is leveraged to capture, share, and evaluate information on emerging trends, market shifts, and technological advancements across the corporate environment. Crucially, evaluating the business relevance of these developments enables DB Schenker to align its long-term goals with actionable insights, thereby informing strategic decisions on whether to build, buy, or partner.

Venture clienting with the Startup Terminal

At DB Schenker, collaboration with startups is a key pillar in cultivating innovative business models, which is embodied in its venture clienting strategy through the DB Schenker Startup Terminal. This platform represents a deliberate strategy for engaging with pioneering startups, providing a venue for exploring and integrating new, disruptive ideas into DB Schenker's operations. The Startup Terminal acts as a gateway for startups to submit their proposals. It fosters mutually beneficial relationships where DB Schenker gains access to fresh, inventive insights and startups secure a key customer and ally. These startup engagements are seamlessly integrated into the ITONICS platform, where they are managed within a dynamic startup pipeline and meticulously tracked throughout their lifecycle.

Learn more about venture clienting and the Startup Terminal in this Innovation Rockstars podcast episode with Ronja Stoffregen, Head of Global Startup Management at DB Schenker.

Portfolio management to hold all accountable

DB Schenker also uses the ITONICS Innovation OS for robust portfolio management, ensuring accountability across all initiatives. The platform manages a spectrum of projects, including innovation, R&D, and sustainability initiatives, tailoring processes and workflows to each project's specific needs. DB Schenker employs Kanban Boards to quickly and easily visualize progress for robust oversight and agility. Additionally, the platform provides a comprehensive overview of all innovation projects, aggregating key performance indicators, partnerships with startups, and clearly assigned responsibilities. This comprehensive management approach maximizes transparency throughout the value chain, ensuring that all efforts are strategically aligned with DB Schenker's overarching goals.

Matthias Veit_

We are excited to support DB Schenker in building their innovation ecosystem with our ITONICS Innovation OS. DB Schenker is a leader in logistics innovation, and this collaboration is a testament to our commitment to driving industry-wide transformation and excellence.

Matthias Veit, Director Account Management, 

Redefining innovation in logistics

The adoption of the ITONICS Innovation OS by DB Schenker sets a new benchmark in innovation management within the logistics and supply chain sector. This strategic integration not only refines the company’s internal processes but also fosters an environment conducive to collaboration and growth, positioning DB Schenker at the forefront of innovation in an ever-evolving industry landscape.

About DB Schenker

With around 72,700 employees at more than 1,850 locations in over 130 countries, DB Schenker is one of the world’s leading logistics service providers. The company operates land, air, and ocean transportation services, and it also offers comprehensive logistics and global supply chain management solutions from a single source. Aiming for a sustainable future of the logistics industry, DB Schenker continuously invests in innovative transport solutions, renewable energies, and low-emission products for its customers.


ITONICS provides the #1 Innovation Operating System (OS) for organizations seeking to operationalize innovation and drive growth systematically. Unlike traditional innovation management software, the ITONICS Innovation OS seamlessly connects foresight, ideation, and portfolio activities with your strategic goals in one collaborative system.