THE DIGITALIZATION MEGATREND

Everybody is talking about digitalization. For Röchling, 2017 was a year of digital exploration and testing. Employees were sent to Berlin, Tel Aviv, Helsinki and Silicon Valley to learn more about the start-up scene. It quickly became clear that new and unique ideas for digital business models and technologies are springing up all over the place – with not a moment’s rest. Röchling does not want to rest either. Employees returning from their digital trips brought back with them a number of relevant digital business ideas and working methods.

“Of course, Röchling is not a start-up company but we are using start-up methods increasingly often, such as the creation of a minimum viable product. This is a product, which is designed quickly and inexpensively and tested for suitability at an early stage, true to the motto ‘fail early, fail fast, fail inexpensively’,” explains Vincent Mauroit, General Manager Innovation & Business Development at Röchling Automotive.

The aim of the digital transformation is to simplify and speed up our lives. In the private sphere, for example, sensor-controlled soap dispensers and automatic regular deliveries of favorite products from an online shop – from skin cream to bird food – make life easier. In the business world, it is all about optimizing entire business processes and operations. Among other things, Röchling harnesses the potential of the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). This involves equipping machines with sensors and system-integrated communication to minimize downtimes, ensure better capacity planning and use resources more efficiently.

Digitalization at Röchling Automotive has also been applied in the engineering for some time now. Detailed design data is sent internationally in an interactive PDF and managed using a central database. The software helps designers share information about a component at the earliest stage of development, no matter when or where.

Competition for Digital Ideas
Also independent of time or place was the digital exchange during the company’s eight-month, internal ideas competition with the guiding principle “Boost our Future.” Employees from Röchling Automotive around the world were able to discuss and develop their ideas about relevant innovations for the company on a digital platform, and the winners were given the opportunity to implement them. Edoardo Martelli, an employee on the New Business Green Car product line of Röchling Automotive, was part of the team that came in third place. “I particularly liked being able to exchange ideas with employees from any country and any department. On the platform, competition took a back seat. The real focus was on the fun concept of developing ideas – only those that were relevant for the company, of course. Such a range of ideas would not have been possible from similar, local meetings,” says the enthusiastic lateral thinker. Whether they come from tech-savvy developers or technically inexperienced buyers, in the digital game with anonymous usernames, the ideas of Mickey Mouse and Albert Einstein were equally as good.

From Digitalization 1.0 to Digitalization 2.0
“The opportunities to advance our company through digitalization have never been better. It is vital that we seize these opportunities, which is precisely what we are doing,” says Erwin Doll, CEO of Röchling Automotive. The continued development from digital production and administration to digital products, services and sales is in full swing at Röchling Automotive. New business models are being developed and innovations promoted. The focus of this development is on efficient, customer-oriented digitalization. “At Röchling Automotive, this efficiency is combined with the enthusiastic participation of our teams. We involve all employees closely in the development of ideas, striving to embody our motto ‘Enjoy Efficiency’ and pass this on to our customers,” says Doll.

 
 

Vincent Mauroit
Röchling Automotive
General Manager Innovation & Business Development
Phone: +39 0471 958-301
vincent.mauroit@roechling-automotive.it

Photo © Sergey Nivens – shutterstock.com