In logistics, digitization has already been around for a long time in the form of hand scanners. Yet the processes they entail are cumbersome and offer plenty of potential for improvement — after all, you have to pull out the scanner for every scan and put it away again if you need a free hand. The Munich startup Nimmsta has tackled the problem by developing its very own scanner for the back of the hand.
Munich Startup: Who are you and what do you do? Please introduce yourself!
Nimmsta: We (Florian, 37 years old and Andi, 34 years old) met at college and had always wanted to do our own thing. After completing our studies in automotive engineering and also due to the market situation, we ended up becoming self employed with our own engineering firm in 2009. The firm AFR Engineering is a development service provider for engine development at BMW M and for product development at Datalogic. The company continues to grow steadily and new ideas and projects continue to arise. We also founded the company Outentic in 2018. With that brad name we developed an innovative backpack for outdoor use and launched it on the market. It was based on our many years of experience in product development of industry computers at AFR Engineering that the idea for Nimmsta emerged in 2019.
We’re both the directors. In our Nimmsta project, Florian is the technical brains and I (Andi) primarily take care of marketing and sales.
Freehand scanning simplifies work processes
Munich Startup: What problem does your startup solve?
Nimmsta: With Nimmsta, we’ve developed the first scanner for the back of the hand with a touchscreen for freehand scanning that makes work processes much easier, especially in the logistics industry. The HS 50 is a small, lightweight and smart scanner for the back of the hand that is easy to integrate into customers’ systems. Looking for the scanning device, scanning the barcode and putting the scanner back down again to pick up other products will become a thing of the past thanks to the HS 50. Information is scanned and read in one working movement. The button to trigger scanning is easily activated with the thumb. The ergonomic placement on the back of the hand leaves both hands free to pick up goods.
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Nimmsta: It is in this form — scanners for the back of the hand do already exist without a display, but the products don’t live up to our standards, which is why we took matters into our own hands and developed our hand scanner HS 50. Our USP is that our hand scanner is the first with a touchscreen. A further feature is that the hand cuff, which the scanner is attached to with Velcro, doesn’t have any built-in electronic components. On the one hand, that means the scanner and trigger button can be optimally positioned for each users’ ergonomics. On the other hand, it’s easy to wash or replace the hand cuff, which is very important when it comes to sustainability.
Finding the right employees is challenge number 1
Munich Startup: What have been your three biggest challenges so far?
Nimmsta: The biggest challenge has been putting together the right team, finding the right employees. People are the most important to us. They not only need to have the skills, but should also have the right attitude that corresponds with our philosophy. So that means it can take a while to find the right people. If we had been able to put together our Nimmsta team faster, we would have been able to make our idea a reality two years earlier, but it’s not always that easy.
2nd challenge: Finding the right people.
3rd challenge: Finding the right people.
Nimmsta starts a sales campaign
Munich Startup: How is business going?
Nimmsta: In late 2019, customers were able to purchase the first demo sets and test products. We were met with genuine enthusiasm and very strong interest, including from large corporations. We started serial production in late February, 2020. Our primary target group is the entire logistics industry. Our scanner also offers tremendous workflow improvement in the areas of assembly and production. We sell our products through selected partners and they supply their customers. The vision is to improve all logistic processes with freehand scanning and our HS 50 to such an extent that, sooner or later, we can go completely without hand scanners as we know them. The plan now is to ramp up sales with our partners and to continuously improve our product and our service.
Munich Startup: How do you view Munich as a startup location?
Nimmsta: We love Munich. Being so close to the mountains is ideal for us since we’re enthusiastic mountain bikers and also like to explore them with our families. From a business perspective, the advantage Munich gives us is that many large companies are located here that are potential customers for our back of the hand scanner. Moreover, the startup events that are offered are great for networking and continuous learning.
Munich Startup: Apple or Android?
Nimmsta: Some of our employees work with Apple devices, but the majority work with Android. Both have their merits. We decide which device is better suited based on the respective tasks or what the technical devices need to do.