ifm BestPractice Partner Circle: Lean, digitalization & sustainability triad

April 6, 2023 | Global news, News Germany

Digital transformation is the future. Getting there remains a major challenge for many companies. There is a lack of experience and no standard solution. Why should all companies go it alone? Why not go hand in hand?

At the invitation of ifm, the BestPractice Partner Circle was finally able to meet again live in Tettnang on Lake Constance on March 6 and 7, 2023. The 27 participants gained insights into the successful ifm digital strategy at the Tettnang plant, were able to learn from each other, and openly exchange ideas on digitalization strategies in line with lean aspects and sustainability considerations. This time, the format was aimed at those strategically responsible for digitalization and transformation, as well as plant managers and executives from the BestPractice Partner Circle.

ifm BestPractice Partner Circle: Lean, digitalization & sustainability triad

ifm set a clear strategic direction more than 10 years ago. Lean processes have always been the foundation upon which digitalization has been built: from the first lighthouse projects, through key milestones, to the lean journey that continues with new digital use cases. Today, lean, digitalization, and sustainability are a winning triad that no company can ignore if it wants to keep up with the cost efficiency of competitors in Asia and Eastern Europe. To date, the use of digital use cases alone has resulted in a 20% increase in efficiency.

First, ifm executives and transformation leaders shared their experiences in keynote presentations on “Digital Transformation at ifm” and related systems, processes, and use cases. “When it comes to digitalization, you have to be willing to invest upfront (capacitive, monetary, innovative). Don’t expect a typical ROI after 2 years,” says Bernd Hausler, General Manager Production, ifm.

During a subsequent tour of the plant, the guests were able to immerse themselves in the heart of ifm’s implementation strategy.

The event was rounded off by presentations from Staufen AG on the topic of sustainability. The focus was on current pressures and regulatory requirements as well as external requirements. In addition, a lively panel discussion highlighted the next steps in implementing a sustainability strategy.

Participant Statements

Rolf Alf

For me, today was an example of how lean and digitalization can create a meaningful combination. The motivation of the employees was absolutely palpable.

Nadja Dreisbach

Today was an enriching day for me. The robots in logistics and the assistance systems are impressive. I could also see parallels in many places. Employees approach topics and new ideas openly and with a lot of fun. I am definitely taking some of the impressions back to my own company.

For ifm, the green, digital, lean journey continues with a new 13,000-square-meter factory building at the Sibiu site in Romania. Construction of a continuous “green factory” will be completed here in 2023, with which ifm has committed itself to building in accordance with the standards of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). Their goal is to become the first factory in the world to be certified and awarded the DGNB Gold Medal. The grand plant opening is scheduled for May 2023. In the future, interested companies will also be able to breathe “green” air at the Sibiu plant during Staufen BestPractice Visits.

About the BestPractice Partner Network

Our BestPractice Partner Circle currently represents 35 companies in German-speaking countries that have created lighthouses and benchmark solutions in their organization and processes. By holistically integrating lean mechanisms, these companies are considered leaders in value creation. All with the same goal: to move forward as partners and with continuity.

Transforming an organization or implementing Lean Management requires a shared vision among management of the organization’s direction. Observing and exchanging ideas with the best in the industry is the most effective way to start or reinvigorate your own improvement process. At and with our partners, guest companies experience BestPractice live through benchmark visits, tours, and seminars. The focus is on constructive exchange: Supported by our Staufen facilitators, the host companies evaluate and compare what they have seen on site for transfer to their own organizational environment. At the same time, our partner companies benefit from the open feedback they receive from visitors and the new solutions they derive for their own transformation journeys.

At Staufen, BestPractice is not only a seal of approval, but also stands for constructive exchange. In doing so, the idea of moving forward as partners is actively practiced.

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