Schmitz Cargobull’s Vreden plant has won the German Manufacturing Excellence Award in the ‘Process Innovation’ category.
According to the jury, the on-going development of “optimised working processes” is what made Schmitz Cargobull stand out this year. “All employees actively contribute to shaping their jobs and thus improving their output,” it reasoned when presenting the Award.
“Employees are often more aware of specific problems within working processes than management. We put the focus on their skills and their knowledge,” said Schmitz Cargobull;s Business Division Director, Michael Timmermann.
According to Timmermann, employees and trained mediators contribute ideas to optimise 250 to 400 work processes per year. “Ten years ago, it took six to 12 weeks from the receipt of the order until delivery. Today it takes seven days – despite 13 million possible variants. We can do this regardless of whether we are producing a refrigerated box semi-trailer or a vehicle for dry goods,” Head of Production, Jürgen Mehlmann, said – revealing that Schmitz’ feedback system is based on Japanese methods from the automotive industry.