Do you remember August 17, 2015, the day the acquisition of Wix-Filtron (formerly Affinia) was announced in the Intranet News and the global press? I do – clearly.To me, it was obvious that this decision would mark a particularly meaningful step for MANN+HUMMEL, and I instantly became a fan of this unique project. Months later, it should turn out that I was to become a part of the project by moving into the position of Director of Post-Merger Activities Wix-Filtron for MANN+HUMMEL.

What does a Director of Post-Merger Activities do? Together with several PMA teams in the departments and my colleagues in the PMA office, I support the senior management and the functions at Wix-Filtron to plan and execute considerable initiatives related to the merger. My role is to guide the teams and coordinate activity planning, tracking and reporting. My home base for these activities will be at the Wix-Filtron headquarters in Gastonia, North Carolina. I recently relocated from Germany to North Carolina together with my wife and our two children, and we are getting to know the culture and landscape of this beautiful part of the United States as we also get to know our new colleagues.

When two successful global companies plan on working together there is at least one overwhelming theme that spreads out through their organization: Opportunity. But you have to explore and pursue opportunities to obtain value, and there are some success factors to be considered. A critical focus throughout the merger will be maintaining the value of Wix-Filtron through respect and careful preservation of the WIX Filters, FILTRON and private label brands. Throughout their histories, these brands have stood for quality, performance and trust. We will ensure this high level of regard continues, because we value the loyalty of our customers and the end users of our filters.

As guidance for daily work we apply an approach named “Pull Principle.” It is meant that Wix-Filtron – like in the past – remains fully responsible for the business plan, but will have additional opportunity to enhance their strong capabilities by “pulling” relevant information from MANN+HUMMEL. During recent months, experts of Wix-Filtron and MANN+HUMMEL have defined numerous work streams for all functions and across several countries, and Wix-Filtron has decided on certain priorities which are tackled first. The collaboration will expand naturally in the course of the post-merger phase. One of our goals is to unlock additional value of the combined entity over time. That comprises the development of a joint corporate strategy, business development and optimization; but, I also believe in the positive influence of different cultural aspects coming together. To accelerate the building of joint forces, the PMA Office will actively connect the new colleagues. We need to trigger the exchange of knowledge and information and should rapidly gain understanding of the background, abilities, and ways of working and looking at things. We want to know what we are doing well, and we want to know where we can improve. Doing this, customer satisfaction is  key and we will carefully consider this throughout all of our post-merger activities.

You may wonder if the post-merger activities will be present in everyone’s daily work at MANN+HUMMEL. Of course, this will depend on the area in which you work. Many colleagues will be members of PMA project teams in addition to their usual responsibilities. With Wix-Filtron we have such a great company joining the MANN+HUMMEL family. This project belongs to all of us, and success is inevitable if we work together and focus on merging opportunities.

I would be glad to receive your feedback; please contact me with any questions regarding the PMA Wix-Filtron.