In early February 2019, management, authorized signatories and the department and plant managers all met for the Steering Committee 2019, which this time around is focusing on "Hygiene" in the sense of sustainable management and development of the company’s DNA. The focus lay on recognition and utilization of key optimization potential.
Two videos made in advance of the Steering Committee meeting impressively demonstrated the Willi Elbe Group’s lightweight construction expertise in the area of steering columns for premium customers, especially in terms of high value-added and the company’s impressive depth of vertical integration. Also on the agenda: the four key themes relating to suppliers (part variety, startup and commissioning, volume increase, and the production site combine), as well as how the Willi Elbe Group plans to continue developing sustainably in this exciting sector. All the participants were clearly thrilled, especially because they were given an insight from the outside, as it were, into their own efficiency. The last few years of globalization and internationalization have made this possible, as have a plethora of efforts and investments probably without parallel in the history of the company. However, what’s important now is to recognize and eliminate the inevitable erosions to this transformation, and to exploit optimization potential throughout the Group in order to further increase quality and productivity. In this regard, we welcome the new logistics manager of the Group, Mr. Alexander May. He is now in charge of a newly-created department that will perfect the tasks of modern logistics: availability of the right commodity, in the right amount, in the right condition, in the right place, at the right time, for the right customer, and at the right price.
Hygiene in production and processes
A key item on the agenda was hygiene, which was elaborated together with the Andersch AG in a performance analysis, above all with regard to process optimization and sustainable business. This methodology primarily related to availability of relevant data and to the key importance of data hygiene now – rather than any attempt to restore it at some later stage. A need for action was identified here with regard to various aspects such as production demand planning, production controlling, and also setup and process organization, in order to stand up to constantly increasing cost pressure from the OEMs with increased efficiency.
Special training courses and measures will soon follow in this regard. They will help us to realize ambitious goals such as the uniform database and 100% standardization of equipment across the entire Willi Elbe Group, as well as a leveraging of potential on the procurement or productivity side. A PMO (Project Management Office) has now been founded and has already begun operations. Because one thing is certain: without an improvement, no methods or potential for improvement can be derived from the KPIs with any clarity!