WINTERSTEIGER accelerates digitalization

Kostka-moonshinerMag. Harold Kostka, CFO
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Following the majority takeover of Vienna-based digital agency Moonshiner, WINTERSTEIGER AG is digitalizing its business models, products, and services faster and in a more targeted way.


Back in January 2022, mechanical engineering firm WINTERSTEIGER AG from Ried im Innkreis acquired a stake in digital agency Moonshiner in Vienna. In the first quarter of 2023, the shareholding was increased from 36.5 % to 72 %. The remaining 28 % belongs to the Moonshiner management: Rudi Lindenhofer (CEO) and Fabian Hippmann (CTO).


Mechanical engineering business vs. start-up

How do a mechanical engineering company steeped in tradition and a start-up fit together? Very well, according to Harold Kostka, the CFO at WINTERSTEIGER who is responsible for IT and digitalization. He explains: “We make sure we don't stifle the agile processes of the start-up by forcing it to conform to how we do things in the group, such as by overloading it with SAP workflows. We give our colleagues in Vienna the freedom to continue their work autonomously.” Moonshiner will also continue to act as an independent digital agency on the open market. WINTERSTEIGER wants to occupy up to a third of the start-up's capacity and generate additional potential leads for Moonshiner.


Moonshiner meets industry

Since it was founded in 2015, Moonshiner has worked on around 100 projects for customers in a wide variety of sectors, such as energy suppliers, furniture stores, insurance companies, providers of baby goods, motorsport, and many more besides.

For Moonshiner the collaboration means being incorporated into a larger company for the first time and receiving direct, almost daily feedback from their colleagues in Ried: “The best thing about it for us is being more involved in what's going on within the company, instead of just getting a glimpse through the keyhole. This generates creativity. And, of course, it's a great experience to link up with an industrial enterprise,” says Rudi Lindenhofer, CEO of Moonshiner.


Initial projects

The to-do-list includes the "myWINTERSTEIGER " customer platform. Customers such as ski rental centers can log into this single-sign-on platform and view machine data, technical machinery documents like operating and assembly instructions, orders, receipts, news, FAQs, etc.


The further development of the "Easyrent" ski rental and service software is another project in the pipeline, for which the WINTERSTEIGER team will be drawing on Moonshiner's resources and expertise.


Machine digitalization

In addition to the customer platform and rental software, the digitalization of machines is gaining more and more momentum. According to Kostka, the need for medium-sized enterprises to move from an investment model towards a costs-based model is great, which is why he wants to push the pay-per-use business model: “When they choose WINTERSTEIGER , customers do not have to invest in a new system, instead they pay on the basis of the number of ground skis, of cut parquet lamellas per m2, or cleaned bikes. Our customers do not usually want to buy the machine itself, instead what they need is capacity and reliability.”


Benefits of an office in Vienna

Owing to its geographical location away from Upper Austria and the center of the country, it is more difficult for WINTERSTEIGER to find specialists like UI or UX designers. By acquiring Moonshiner, WINTERSTEIGER now has another location and can offer potential employees an attractive working environment in the Austrian capital. Previous experiences of this have been good – there is also a WINTERSTEIGER digital office in Berlin and Potsdam for the Division Seedmech with solutions for the seed cultivation sector.

Moonshiner facts & figures

Moonshiner facts & figures