Have you ever considered who is behind our filters? At MANN+HUMMEL, there are many, many employees working day in, day out to make sure our products are successful. However, only a few of them know which customers trust in our products and why. We want to change this.
Together with the other members of the leadership team in the Automotive Aftermarket business unit, we looked at what areas need improvement in the long term and, above all, how this can be achieved. To answer these questions, we met with other successful companies and discussed how different priorities are managed in their organisations. Based on these company visits, we were able to come up with ideas that we would like to implement at MANN+HUMMEL in the future.
In total, we have developed 10 projects from these approaches, which we will follow up in smaller teams, or ‘speed boats’ as we call them. I would like to introduce one of these projects today, namely ‘Meet the customer!’ We made it our objective to bring together employees who normally work in our ‘back office’ with our sales representatives. In doing so, our colleagues can experience for themselves exactly what we are working towards on a daily basis.
Bringing together employees and customers
Whether it’s in Controlling, Testing or similar departments, we want to motivate our employees and promote an understanding of our customers in the long term. We want to give colleagues the chance to get to know our customers and enable them to have contact with each other on a personal level. We are hoping to facilitate an open dialogue between our sales representatives and buyers of our products by way of these discussions. If people can see the bigger picture, they will quickly recognise the high value their own work has.
At the start of the project, we invited some employees from various divisions to this year’s IAA – a great opportunity for our colleagues to meet our customers and to see from an outsider’s perspective the impression made by the MANN+HUMMEL stand at the trade fair. After a short briefing, we invited them to have a look around the halls and to compare some of our competitors’ stands with our own. This enabled the employees to experience for themselves how we present ourselves to external parties. It was also a great opportunity for us to gather some relevant feedback. This allowed us to identify what we do well and also areas we may need to work on. A real win-win situation.
Have you ever tried thinking about your company from an outsider’s perspective and tried to see the big picture behind the work of individual colleagues? This is no easy task, and that’s precisely why we took this opportunity to get the opinions of some colleagues who were not involved.
A look to the future
We have an abundance of ideas and are working hard to implement them. More and more employees from different divisions should have the opportunity to get to know the customers they are working for every day. So we want our colleagues to have the opportunity, amongst other things, to accompany our sales partners when they meet with customers. Of course, we want them to take an active role when they do this and act as a kind of interviewer, i.e. someone who is able to use the opportunity to ask important questions. We are also increasingly being invited to in-house exhibitions for various business entities, which provide us with a further opportunity to bring our employees closer to our customers and end consumers.
As well as facilitating open discussion, this also has another advantage altogether: it allows our colleagues to expand their networks, meet new people and perhaps, in future, even use their business contacts to establish extensive synergies.
We are excited to see how the project will develop and suggest that all MANN+HUMMEL employees take this opportunity to meet the customer!