China: a market with huge potential – the project background
The elevator and escalator market in China is huge and as the associated service business is growing rapidly, it is the basis for future sales and earnings. Every year approx. 500,000 new units are installed in this country alone. This naturally offers enormous potential for thyssenkrupp. To strengthen current performance and future market positioning, our project team developed improvement options which were integrated into the globally recognized elevate program. We planned and developed the measures based on internal best practices and results from a benchmarking study we conducted.
12 months with different team members – how did we work?
To work directly with local staff in China, our TKMC team of 5 consultants was based in Shanghai. Working closely together with colleagues from the Elevator Technology business area, the Asia Pacific business unit, the regional headquarters and the national thyssenkrupp company, we were able to achieve the best possible results thanks to different perspectives and approaches. Altogether the project was ongoing for almost 12 months, but after relevant project phases we changed the staff on our team.
In order not to lose sight of the goal, a focus is needed – what was our focus?
A project of this kind is divided into different phases. In this specific case we started with a transparency phase in order to identify possible improvement areas based on internal and external analyses. For this we maintained a continuous dialogue with the employees responsible at operating level in China to ensure theory was rooted in practice. We then selected the most promising topics for deep dives and assessed the quantity and quality of their potential for the company. In the third phase of the project we ensured that the improvement potential was recorded in concrete descriptions of the measures and trained local staff to manage and implement the measures. In the final phase a local project management office (PMO) was installed to secure the long-term success of the measures.
In the end the project was a success – what did it mean for TKMC?
As an in-house consultancy we demonstrated once again that we can identify and amplify added value for the thyssenkrupp Group in the operating business units – as so often, we do this best when we work together. It was extremely helpful to us that we had in-depth knowledge of our elevator business from previous projects and were able to act as “networkers” between the stakeholders. But of course we also benefited from being able to work long-term in a market as important as China for thyssenkrupp and secure the transfer of knowledge to other projects. Another feature of interest was that after the project one member of our team decided to work permanently in China for the Elevator business area: a typical career move for an in-house consultant.