The digital transformation of the shoe industry — that’s the mission of the startup scs shoe commerce GmbH from Cologne. Their solution allows the correct shoe fit for each individual foot to be determined in a fast and convenient way. When measuring the inner volume of safety shoes, shoe commerce relies on the computed tomography services of the ZEISS Quality Excellence Center in Cologne.
60% of German adults suffer from problems with their feet. The main reason, according to the experts at the German Shoe Institute, is wearing shoes that don’t fit. The startup from Cologne wants to change that. CEO Alexander Görtz explains the company’s vision: “With our BestFit solution, we ensure that each foot gets a perfectly fitting shoe, including an orthopedic solution if required.”
On the platform MyPSA (My Personal Shoe Accessories), shoe commerce is making that possible for safety shoes. Safety shoes often weigh up to one kilo and, unlike comfort or sports shoes, barely bend under strain. If they don’t fit the form of one’s foot, the foot can become deformed. Faulty foot positions can develop or worsen. The result can often be pain, leading to sick days.
With MyPSA, shoe commerce offers a convenient solution. Customers can have their feet scanned using 3D laser technology. A complex algorithm then ‘analyzes’ the foot according to length, width, height, underfoot surface and other parameters. Shoe commerce compares these values with the interior-volume values of a large number of safety shoes from different manufacturers which have already been precisely measured. Then the company recommends the best-possible fit — the BestFit solution. ZEISS collects the 3D data of the shoes for the company.
Alexander Görtz, CEO shoe commerce
We have very high standards when it comes to our products because they’re related to people’s health. That’s why we always want to use the best technology, and when it comes to measurement technology, ZEISS clearly has the best.
The director of the ZEISS Quality Excellence Center in Cologne, Philipp Willier, can still remember well the first time he met the startup. “They came by and said, ‘We want to digitalize shoes.’ That was a new area for us and as it turned out it was more complex than we first thought.” You can’t just put shoes in the CT and press ‘start’ for the measurement. The reason: it quickly became clear that both the position of the shoes and the fixturing method had an impact on the measurement results. A consulting and test phase followed, during which shoe engineers, orthopedists, IT specialists and other experts were consulted for their advice. A procedure was finally developed that enables ZEISS to capture the values in the desired precision in a fast measurement time.
“We have very high standards when it comes to our products because they’re related to people’s health. That’s why we always want to use the best technology, and when it comes to measurement technology, ZEISS clearly has the best,” stresses Görtz.
Today, the whole procedure is a well-oiled process. Employees from shoe commerce regularly bring new models of safety shoes to the ZEISS Quality Excellence Center. After the measurement, ZEISS sends back the data, which is stored in shoe commerce’s database. More than 700 shoe models are saved for the algorithm of MyPSA, and new models are constantly being added. “We don’t get a 100% match, but we get very close to the optimal result — a BestFit in other words,” explains the CEO.
Shoe commerce has ambitious plans for the long term: “Prevention through the right form and fit – shoe commerce, a synonym for foot health,” explains Alexander Görtz. Whether used for safety, comfort, or sports shoes, with the company’s digital services, every person can get his shoe fast and easily, without having to accept any compromises on orthopedic quality.
It’s a goal shared by Philipp Willier, director of the ZEISS Quality Excellence Center in Cologne. He’s pleased with how the cooperation went because “we can contribute to better-fitting safety shoes, something that protects workers’ health. After all, at ZEISS we also have a lot of employees working in production, so we know their needs very well.”
The startup from Solingen is driving the digital transformation of the shoe industry. The two founders and CEOs have been deeply involved with the topic of 3D technology and proper-fitting shoes for many years. With the digital sales and purchasing platform MyPSA, shoe commerce enables companies to provide their employees with correctly fitting safety shoes.