Interview with the two founders
What was your motivation for founding PIKON in 1996?
J. Hofmann:There was a small group of consultants at our former employer who had the dream of setting up their own company. In the end, Jochen and I remained. Our motive was to push the idea of process orientation in SAP consulting further and to found a company where employees would enjoy working if possible for their entire professional lives.
J. Scheibler: Yes, that’s exactly how it was at that time. I have to say that I had already developed the desire to become an entrepreneur during my studies. With Jörg I had found the ideal partner, we had the right topic at the right time. Everything just fit.
What makes up the "Scheibler/ Hofmann" team? How did it come about?
J. Hofmann : We got to know each other at the former IDS Prof. Scheer GmbH. We simply complement each other very well, both professionally and personally. Our cooperation is characterised by a deep trust.
J. Scheibler: This is absolutely crucial, especially in difficult situations. We have always been able to rely on each other 100% over the past 25 years and that remains the way it is.
What are (your) success factors? In your opinion, what is particularly important in the IT industry today besides technology know-how?
In the SAP world, a very good knowledge of processes is essential in addition to technology. Consultants must speak the language of the user and seek solutions for business requirements, not problems for a technical solution. Furthermore, empathy and good communication skills are important for a successful management of change.
What moment/milestone in these 25 years seemed to you to be the most important for the company's development?
There could be many milestones like the foundation of the PIKON International Consulting Group with our friends of today’s PIKON Benelux, the creation of new business areas or the development of the 3-Point-Approach. Of the “internal” milestones, I particularly remember the acquisition of our first own SAP system. Although we were actually still much too small for an ERP system, we signaled with it “use what you sell”. This was a particular motivational boost for our employees.
J. Scheibler: They were able to test many things in their own development system, this was very important for the technical qualification of our employees, which has a very high level until today.
What are you particularly proud of?
J. Hofmann: To our employees.
J. Scheibler: To the fact that we as PIKON have already weathered many crises very well. From the dot-com crisis at the beginning of the millennium, through the financial and debt crisis, to the current situation with the virus. We have only been able to do this because there has always been more working with than against each other. The bond that unites us has strong roots. That cannot be taken for granted.
Which partner has accompanied you from the beginning?
J. Hofmann: Many of our customers have been with us since the company was founded.
J. Scheibler: Among the first customers were companies like Elster Messtechnik, B. Braun Medical, Siemens, Deutsche Telekom or ENGEL. We are very proud of all these grown customer relationships.
How do you manage to adapt a business organization to constantly changing circumstances and a highly competitive market?
J. Hofmann: By listening to your customers and employees, trying out new things and not being afraid of failure.
J. Scheibler : And by giving employees confidence. Managers should not stand in the way of their employees’ commitment and should give them responsibility. We have been pursuing a long-term concept since PIKON was founded. This applies to our customer relationships as well as the relationship with our employees, to whom we want to offer a lifelong perspective in the consulting business.
Of course, you always have to deal with new developments. Fortunately, we are in a situation where digitization offers us far more opportunities than dangers are lurking. We couldn’t have imagined that at the time of our founding. My conclusion is: some things you just have to do and believe in success.
What do you wish for the 25th anniversary/ for the future of PIKON?
J. Hofmann: Nobody knows today exactly what the IT consulting market will look like in 25 years. My wish is that PIKON will still be successfully carrying out projects at the IT-business-human interface then, with whatever systems.
J. Scheibler: The world today is very exciting. In the VUKA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) world, things are changing faster than ever before. That is the picture we have of the future. I am convinced we will see more crises like the current one in the future. We want to improve our resilience by using times of crisis, for example, to expand our product business. A real challenge will be to give our employees the security they need to lead happy lives with their families, while at the same time bringing about the necessary changes in PIKON’s organization and leadership. We want to implement more and more forms of autonomous leadership in teams at our company and develop new services – currently we are investing very heavily in the area of AI. On the other hand, we see ourselves well equipped through 25 years of experience may the future also be complex and sometimes contradictory.
Together with our employees, we are developing the Vision 2025+, which should secure PIKON as a growth company – beyond the founders Hofmann and Scheibler even if we currently still feel fit and up to date.
We have experienced many things. Find here the most important moments for us since the company was founded:
Foundation of PIKON
On 01.04.1996 Jochen Scheibler and Jörg Hofmann laid the foundation stone for their company.
Foundation of PIKON Benelux
In Belgium, PIKON Benelux NV is founded as a "sister company" of John Frijns. In the meantime (2020), the management team has been expanded to ensure the successful continuation with a fresh wind and young managers.
Foundation of PICG
Merger to form PIKON International Consulting Group GmbH.
Foundation of PIKON UK
In the UK, PIKON UK Ltd. is founded as a subsidiary within PICG by Timo Burkard.
Development of SAP S/4HANA Expertise
We started very early with the consistent development of S/4HANA expertise in initial research projects and various customer projects with different migration scenarios.
The conviction that there are interactions between people, IT and business administration has existed since the company was founded. This manifests itself in PIKON's own 3-Point-Consulting-Approach.
New Logo, new Appearance
In the year of the company's 20th anniversary, it was time for a brand facelift. The new claim "Involve. Inspire. Improve." gets to the heart of PIKON's thinking and actions, the 3-Point-Approach.
Data Science Lab
To address the megatrend around Big Data, we have set up a team of Data Scientists who use Artificial Intelligence to generate added value for customers at the points where competition is critical.
Book-Publishing: "Vertrieb mit SAP S/4HANA"
Already the previous version as well as the latest edition of this book was written by a PIKON author team around Jochen Scheibler.
Competence Center for Legal Requirements
Digitalisation also affects the B2G relationship and requires globalised companies to comply with legal requirements in terms of systems technology. Our competence center specialises in identifying such requirements and offering a corresponding solution.
Organisational Development as a new Business Area
Following the 3-Point-Approach, we offer consulting that goes beyond pure process optimisation and IT implementation. With systemic consultants and psychologists, we have a team that focuses its attention on the interpersonal aspects and dynamics in any project and directs them in a goal-oriented manner.
Founded in Saarbrücken, internationally active and always with both feet on the ground. Today, the PIKON management team can look back on 25 years of successful IT consulting and is now working on Vision 2025+.