More than most other industries, the fields of mechanical and plant engineering are dependent how world markets develop. Many companies have taken massive steps to advance internationalization in the past 20 years, and they are now active around the globe. With export quotas of 75%, companies in this sector (many of which are mid-sized enterprises) are in no way inured to the effects of political and economic crises around the world. Instead, these situations have a clearly felt impact and require high levels of flexibility. To date, companies have been exemplary in effectively coping with challenges – especially by heavily focusing on innovation, quality and process optimization.

Now, however, Germany’s industry with the largest number of jobs is facing the greatest transitions since the invention of serial manufacturing. Industry 4.0 will require high investments. At the same time, companies will have to work on new business models and manage the shift from providing products to providing systems.

Customers are going to want increasingly specific services and solutions to problems. Taken as a whole, this task is nearly Herculean — both for international industry leaders and for smaller suppliers. 

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Staufen’s concepts and solutions

It has been quite some time since Asia was considered the figurative tool bench of the world. Competition, especially from China, is gaining ground and winning market shares in established markets. The pressure on costs, prices and innovations is rising to match. Technology is no longer a USP of German companies, which is why they have to create a clear-cut point of distinction from their competition as well as high levels of service orientation and short delivery times.

Many successful companies in the industry have experienced several years of major growth, and they now struggle to deliver their machines and equipment to customers on time. This is because their structures can no longer keep up with the developments of our time.

Many of Staufen’s projects in different areas of the industry show that relevant KPIs such as lead time can be improved when Lean management is implemented. Significant optimizations in terms of productivity and quality can also be achieved within a short time.

Customers have long since required more than merely a well-functioning machine or facility. They want their suppliers to provide comprehensive solutions to their problems. For years, the number of manufacturing variants has been rising, and for many companies, it is nothing unusual to have to produce a batch size of one. But on an internal basis, complexity has increased immensely.

The time has thus come for mechanical and plant engineers to completely restructure their processes — with Lean management. The approaches that have proven their merit in the production department are just as appropriate in other departments like development, order processing and sales. Staufen supports companies in organizing every area of the company from purchasing to service so they are value-stream oriented. 

Perfect products and optimized processes are of fundamental importance. But they themselves are not enough in times of major transitions. Today, more than ever, living a change of culture is what determines how successful a company can be. The entire staff constantly has to be working towards improvement.

For management, this means demonstrating leadership competence: its task is to give employees support and orientation during the change process as well as communicating the tools people will need for technological transition. And another important point to bear in mind is that  younger employees in particular expect a different kind of management conduct and a change in corporate culture.

These demands pose major challenges for even the most seasoned industry managers. The experienced coaches at Staufen are there to provide support.   

On an increasing basis, new players in the field of mechanical and plant engineering are breaking into established value chains and undermining existing business models. This development is one that many successful international companies are responding to with innovative ideas.

Small and mid-sized companies are also facing a transformation – they are creating new services related to their product, and in doing so they are growing in strength as service providers. This also means that they are generating new sources of revenue for themselves in times of growing competition and saturated markets.

This step, however, calls for a new way of thinking and new qualifications. The consultants and coaches at Staufen guide you along the path from being a product supplier to a service provider — from the very first analysis right down to the successful market launch.

Many programs designed to institute changes have few lasting effects. They are expensive, overwhelm the employees, and often have only a short-term impact. This is no surprise, since change is a lasting process. Its prerequisite is a constant willingness to modify habits, procedures and behavior patterns.

In the mechanical and plant engineering sector, Staufen supports companies in establishing change with the help of their own employees — a process which inspires enthusiasm instead of frustration. We turn your employees into Lean coaches who anchor knowledge about sustainable change processes at your company and motivate their colleagues to join them on the path of continuous learning. 

97% of mechanical and plant engineers regard themselves as innovative leaders or early followers. But new ideas are time-consuming and demand constant activity. Especially in this industry, one which is so strongly characterized by mid-sized enterprises, there is often not enough free capacity to work on innovation. The task often falls to one person.

Staufen assists you in structuring your innovative work systematically and efficiently. It provides your company with expertise if your innovation drivers are suddenly unavailable. With innovation as a service, Staufen paves the way for smaller and mid-sized businesses to pursue innovations successfully. We can show you the way towards innovative leadership.

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