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05.02.21

It certainly won't be a dull year!

Dr. Ralph Fürderer has been in his role as Chief Technical Officer at Hager Group for a year now. Long enough to get to know the company, the job and the people around him. In an interview, he talks about when he started at Hager Group and Industry 4.0, artificial intelligence (AI) and learning companies.

You started at the company just one year ago. What have you learned to appreciate most quickly in this year?
“What impressed me from day one is how all our employees, wherever they work, are committed heart and soul to Hager Group. This emotional commitment is a great asset, and one that, paired with a cool head, has helped us a lot in getting through this crisis. However, this readiness to ‘go the extra mile’ sometimes masks a lack of robustness in our core processes, so we must continue to work hard on these.”

What was your biggest challenge during the last 12 months?
“After my first six weeks spent getting up to speed at Hager Group, all signs were very quickly pointing to crisis management. Consequently, although there was a recognised need for change, I had to put this mostly on hold, without completely losing sight of it. My thoughts quickly moved to the question of how to use the crisis to emerge even stronger. How, for example, does innovation redefine itself in the context of an almost Europe-wide lockdown? Our employees developed and implemented some really great ideas on this in our Covid-19 Sprint Innovation Challenge. How can we catch up on production backlogs as creatively as possible while dealing with short-time working and many other operational restrictions? We’ve also been affected by having to postpone important development programmes that we are now trying to catch up on. Of course, all these challenges pale in comparison to the most important achievement of all, which is to have successfully protected ourselves and our employees from the serious health and economic consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic.”

What are the priorities in your area of responsibility in 2021?“
We have launched several transformations in the technical sector as part of our future-oriented Project 2030, which will be put through their first ‘Sprint’ in 2021. These include new product developments, mainly in the areas of electronics and power distribution systems. In parallel, we will not only expand our manufacturing capacities – the first expansion project already started in Blieskastel by the end of January – but also continue to consistently implement our logistics strategy. The opening of our new European distribution warehouse, the so called ,Logistic Hub’, in Vendenheim in December was the first step in this direction. We also want our newly launched our new business unit to be successful, Hager Energy, in the electricity storage and charging system market this year. And, equally importantly, with the implementation of our Hager ‘Green Plan’, we will place greater emphasis on ecological sustainability, whether that be through the use of biomaterials in our products, or through increased CO2-reduction measures in our production facilities. It certainly won't be a dull year!”

Dr Ralph Fürderer:
As Chief Technical Officer, Ralph Fürderer heads Engineering and Production at Hager Group. With a PhD in economics, he is also responsible for logistics and quality departments. Before joining Hager Group, Ralph held leading positions for companies in the automotive and railway industries in Europe, the USA and Asia.



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"Digitalisation also means changing ways of thinking".

Interview with Sylvain Girard, D&I Director at Hager Group and Manuel Abendroth of the artists collective LAb[au].


Hager Group makes Germany’s “Best Employer 2021” rankings for the eighth consecutive year

In February 2021, Germany’s Focus magazine published rankings of the best employers in the country. Hager Group was ranked fifth in the Electricity sector.


Our factories are learning every day

In an interview, Dr. Ralph Fürderer talks about Industry 4.0, artificial intelligence (AI) and learning companies.


06.05.21

"Digitalisation also means changing ways of thinking".

Interview with Sylvain Girard, D&I Director at Hager Group and Manuel Abendroth of the artists collective LAb[au].

12.04.21

Hager Group makes Germany’s “Best Employer 2021” rankings for the eighth consecutive year

In February 2021, Germany’s Focus magazine published rankings of the best employers in the country. Hager Group was ranked fifth in the Electricity sector.

15.02.21

Our factories are learning every day

In an interview, Dr. Ralph Fürderer talks about Industry 4.0, artificial intelligence (AI) and learning companies.


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