It’s a story shared by more and more companies in our ever-faster moving world: Keep up or die. This is not the time to rest on past achievements but to look ahead and innovate. But how? An interview with Dennis Scheibler and Jürgen Wik, who have, respectively, responsibility for Interroll's strategic projects and production system.
Dennis Scheibler, your technology-related responsibilities at Interroll include strategic projects. In view of the company's dynamic development, you surely can’t complain of having too little to do.
Scheibler: No, quite the opposite. We are faced practically every day with new questions and challenges. That’s what makes our work particularly appealing. After all, Interroll has been growing for years from its own resources and through targeted acquisitions. This dynamic development gives us constant momentum, leaving us no time whatsoever for slacking (laughing). Change management is a good example. Implementing projects in this area enriches you both professionally and personally.
Why is that so appealing?
Scheibler: Take, for example, the best practice approach. This entails striving to learn from the world’s best companies; it’s an integral component of our Interroll production system. It helps us ensure that we remain open for new ideas, rather than becoming narcissistic and stuck in a rut. We regularly look beyond the horizons of our company and sector. In this context, we have been holding regular study events for years with international colleagues. Some time ago, for example, we visited companies recognized for their particularly high-quality standards. Doing this not only provides you with valuable ideas, but also gives you the opportunity to meet interesting people with unusual roles and perspectives.
Continuous improvements in all areas: The Kaizen principle
Jürgen Wik, you are responsible for the global introduction and implementation of the Interroll production system. How would you describe this system?
Wik: The Interroll production system is a concept applied throughout the Interroll Group, based not only on the best-practice approach but also, in particular, on the Japanese Kaizen principle. We have been successively implementing this system with great consistency since 2006. It aims to continuously improve our processes in all areas - not just production. Our objectives are clear: to achieve maximum competitiveness, minimize internal complexity, make our quality products available worldwide and provide solutions that always give customers added value.
That sounds methodically challenging. Is it?
Wik: Yes, we use a variety of methods and tools. After all, we are dealing with different topics such as operational processes, the management of platforms and innovations and uniform quality worldwide, which needs to be ensured by establishing local expertise and commitment.
On the other hand, the objective is always the same: to achieve constant improvements in efficiency - in other words, to avoid waste and make things more straightforward, and to unfold and enhance the potential of our employees. This makes us more competitive and delivers crucial benefits to our customers in terms of quality, costs and delivery times.