Mosbach, 26 June, 2023 – Let's turn the clock back and go to 1977. A young tinkerer is sitting in his small attic apartment somewhere in a tranquil village in Germany. His passion is microprocessors, which is a very costly hobby as bits and pieces are rare and expensive at that time. But this inventive mind turned necessity into a virtue and founded his own company without further ado: His passion became his profession, and henceforth he would be paid for his ingenuity. We are talking about Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jürgen Kletti, founder of the IT company MPDV Mikrolab GmbH.
Always a µ better
Ever since MPDV was founded, the small Greek letter has been an integral part of the company logo: µ. It is pronounced [mju] and is often used as an abbreviation of micro. Since Kletti's great passion was microprocessors, the use of the Greek letter was a natural choice. Over the years, these letters has turned into a company philosophy: The demand on oneself, on colleagues and on one's solutions to always be a µ better, to go one step further and pay attention to details.
Spirit of innovation from day one
The spirit of innovation is as much a part of the software developer's DNA as the Greek letter, just like numerous, courageous decisions and groundbreaking milestones in the company's history.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jürgen Kletti decided about 20 years ago to turn his back on hardware and, contrary to common market theories, to specialize in the development of software. As early as 1986, MPDV launched the first Manufacturing Execution System (MES) on the market and has continuously developed it further since then. Simply put, an MES is a software that helps manufacturing companies to plan, control, and optimize production.
Later on, MPDV prepared together with the association of German engineers (VDI) a guideline to outline the scope of services of an MES: A milestone for the whole industry.
In founding several new companies and expanding the service portfolio, MPDV has repeatedly shown a keen sense of the market and the special needs of industrial branches. In 2019, the FELTEN GmbH, an expert in developing solutions for the process industry, became part of the business group. By taking steps like this, MPDV is continuously expanding its product portfolio. With Perfect Production, the MPDV Group has its own in-house management consultancy specializing in lean management, digitalization, and sustainable process improvement for production companies. Thanks to AIMES GmbH, the Group serves another important market segment: artificial intelligence (AI) is steadily gaining importance for manufacturing companies, and with the addition of AIMES, the MPDV Group is well prepared to meet this challenge.
The way forward
Alongside pioneering solutions of recent years, the latest product innovation has the potential to revolutionize the market: The Manufacturing Integration Platform (MIP) from MPDV provides the technical backbone for this new approach. The technology, which has a common database, enables individual MES modules from different suppliers to interact with each other at maximum ease. Production companies can combine different applications, so-called mApps, in accordance with their individual requirements. It works like this: The MPDV Group develops and provides different mApps for the MIP, and external partners also offer their mApps, which are simply integrated. The result is a partner network that continuously boosts the mApp marketplace with many functions and features. With the MIP, the MPDV Group laid the cornerstone for a flexible and future-proof IT infrastructure for manufacturing companies.
Following the planned succession process, Nathalie Kletti, the daughter of the company founder, stepped into her father's shoes as CEO in 2020. Together with Jürgen Petzel, who was appointed CSO in the same year, and Thorsten Strebel, CTO, she has been at the helm of the MPDV Group ever since. The MPDV Group currently employs 520 people at different locations in Germany, China, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Switzerland, Singapore, and USA.
Running the company is successively handed over to the next generation – the company's founder Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jürgen Kletti is gradually withdrawing from the operational business. "My daughter inherited the spirit of innovation and strategic thinking – she was involved from an early age and knows MPDV and my ideas like no one else. I am delighted that she, together with Jürgen Petzel and Thorsten Strebel, will continue managing the group in my spirit and enrich it with her visions," said Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jürgen Kletti.
Awarded: Second place in the TOP 100 Innovators
More than 45 years later, the aspiration – to be always a µ better – is rewarded! On 23 June, 2023, the TOP 100 prize is awarded to MPDV for the fourth time. However, this year the MPDV Group is celebrating a special success: The group of companies takes second place! This puts MPDV among the most innovative medium-sized companies in Germany in the category with more than 200 employees.
The TOP 100 award is the only independent price in Germany for innovation management. The price is divided into three categories: companies with up to 50 employees, 51 - 200 employees, and companies with more than 200 employees. Companies participating have to undergo a multistage selection process. It starts with a detailed, methodologically sound questionnaire. Questions entail the promotion of innovation in the top management, innovation climate, innovative processes and organization, external orientation/open innovation, and innovation success. A neutral, scientific committee evaluates the submissions of the questionnaire and finally determines the top 3 in the different categories. The three first-place winners are visited again by a scientific representative and are audited and interviewed for several hours.
The award ceremony takes place during the summit of medium-sized companies. The TOP 100 award is presented by the economics journalist Ranga Yogeshwar to Nathalie Klett, CEO at MPDV. "The award is a fantastic appreciation of our performance! Every day, the colleagues at the MPDV Group give their heart and soul to live up to our reputation of market leader and develop pioneering solutions. Each year the TOP 100 Award honors exceptionally innovative companies in Germany and I am delighted to accept this award today!"
Look into the future
The MPDV Group will definitely not rest on its laurels: "After the innovation is before the innovation," Nathalie Kletti reports, with a twinkle in her eyes, "and this is how we can retain our market leadership. The TOP 100 award is a welcome appreciation of our achievements to date but also a great incentive for the future of the MPDV Group."