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On the path towards becoming a global player, our company needs management systems that define completely consistent processes and quality standards for all Hager Group activities. The Clock Builder Project is currently working on delivering this uniform operating system and already proving successful.
In his bestselling business book Built to Last, Jim Collins, Professor at Stanford University in California, describes a person with the amazing gift of being able to look at the sun or the stars at any given moment and state the exact time. Jim Collins follows up with “…wouldn’t it be even more amazing still if, instead of telling the time, that person built a clock that could tell the time forever, even after he or she were dead and gone?”
Common standards and processes for all
This kind of robust clock mechanism is exactly what our Clock Builder Project is working hard to achieve. As part of the Integration Change Lever, it gets its name from Jim Collins’ story. Employees from Group Quality Management Systems department are working with colleagues from all the company’s regions and the process leadersto coordinate the management systems that all the different companies, brands and departments of Hager Group will be using in the future.
As theoretical as this may sound, the practical advantages are numerous. “A management system defines the standards and processes a company uses to run its business,” explains Christine Grosshans, Systems Manager, Hager Group Quality, who is in charge of the project. “It therefore gives employees and managers security and ensures they know exactly how we work together all over the world. Plus, it generates trust among our customers and partners, who can thus rely on the consistent procedures and quality standards at Hager Group.
30 different management systems still currently in place
As things stand, this is not yet the case. Different companies within Hager Group are still operating with around 30 different management systems; such is the consequence of strong growth in recent years and the acquisition of numerous companies, many of which brought their own management systems with them to Hager Group. This is more or less the same as if a computer company were to work with all sorts of different operating systems, software versions and security standards.
Here at Hager Group, the differences between the systems give rise to inefficiencies, complicated contract arrangements and high costs for the all the compulsory quality certifications needed these days. Every business unit that works according to a different set of standards has to be inspected separately by the auditors. This means extra effort for everyone and above all, it means more unnecessary work.
Hager Group’s different business sites can therefore save a huge amount of time and expense for their ISO certifications if consistent management systems are in place, explains Tim Waring, Director of Hager Group Quality Management Systems Methods & Tools. “If we work according to uniform standards and processes, it will also be easier for us to exchange production processes and products between locations. The practices and product quality are analogous worldwide. We can use the time we save as a result to improve our products and services for our customers. It’s a win-win situation.”
Sourcing: an inspiring and concrete illustration of the benefits of global standards
Although to begin with, the process of analysing and adapting the management systems will to take some time, all our colleagues recognise the benefits of binding standards. Sourcing is one of the first areas of our business to employ the same management system worldwide. The aim of the Clock Builder Project is for as many other business units as possible to have switched to the group-wide management systems by 2020. You might say that before long, Hager Group really will be ticking in perfect time and synchronisation all over the world. And in this way, will have the best chance of becoming one of the pacesetters in the industry.
IntegrationIntegration means joining our forces and ensuring seamless work between our colleagues, within our organisation and with partners outside of our organisation. Integration helps us to share key findings and best practices, as well as to make our processes more efficient, reduce redundancies and become more agile in the changing markets.