How important is the strategy meeting for GROB and, above all, how important is the direct exchange with global managing directors of the production plants and subsidiaries on site in Mindelheim?
Christian Müller: We are operating in a very complex and dynamic world that constantly presents challenges with a range of new topics every year. So it’s important that we take the time once a year to effectively meet “on stage” for a discussion. This allows us to coordinate the continuous transformation, which seems to have reached its peak, in consideration of the relevant regional conditions.
I say peak because the GROB Group now has a split in the order volume that we are also targeting in the long-term. That is to say, 50 percent in assembly technology and e-mobility and 50 percent in the machining business for automotive customers and universal machines.
How have the GROB visions developed in recent years since the start of the transformation?
In a world of constant change with different regional influencing factors, it ultimately comes down to strategic collaboration within the GROB Group. When implementing projects that are also heavily reliant on regional involvement and delivery, we need to find a technological balance together with the question of whether we as a company are on the right path with our products.
We live in times of high intensity. In 2017 we talked about the transformation and looked into a future that has now become the reality. A development that is currently particularly reflected in our incoming orders.
How did the transformation in drive technology in the automotive industry and the associated changes in the markets impact GROB Sales?
GROB Sales was given a clear global structure and adapted to the different business fields. While the classic OEM business field still exists, the universal machining centers business field with all is new automation applications and the electromobility business have expanded significantly.
What is the key for GROB to managing the extremely complex sales targets?
First, in order to meet the market requirements, we need the right product, which we have also developed in recent years. Second, we established a sales team that is very comfortable with and interested in technology, that knows the products, and is able to convey the benefits to customers. And, last but not least, it requires a clear sales structure adapted to global requirements that allows us to continuously analyze the market and the competition.
This year, the strategy meeting was held under the motto “Sales Puzzle”. What was the meaning behind this motto?
We operate in an extremely complex environment and GROB has an exceptionally broad product portfolio, so the manner in which we operate is effectively similar to a Sales Puzzle. A puzzle in which all the sales parts need to be joined together in order to achieve our stated objectives.
After an extremely successful 2022/2023 fiscal year, not only have GROB’s expectations increased, but above all so too has the need to reinforce and successfully continue down this path. This was highlighted by the Sales Puzzle metaphor. How can we succeed in this?
Given the macroeconomic challenges, continuing to drive the global sales organization will remain a challenge in the future, despite great motivation and transparency of the data and facts. At the same time, it is important that we establish our products, which we will continue to develop and build, in the markets.
In a puzzle, the sum of the individual parts creates the overall picture. What are the specific parts in the new strategy. How do we put these parts together and who is responsible for doing so?
A puzzle is made up of thousands of parts and there is no single person who controls success, we all need to work together. We need the greatest possible dedication of all involved, from Sales through to the operational areas. For instance, if we ensure that orders are flowing in at the front, our company needs to be set up to ensure a sound process in order to turn the puzzle into a success story.
In the Sales Puzzle, for example, everyone plays an important role, from proposal engineering through to marketing and the strategy department across to key account management and costing, application engineering and sales. Just like in a gearbox where all the cogs need to fit together. In this case, the transparency of the figures is extremely important.
In GROB Sales, figuratively speaking, no stone was left unturned in recent years. Is this due to the expanded GROB product portfolio, for instance electromobility, or were other reasons involved?
50 percent is due to the transformation and 50 percent to new momentum in Sales in order to meet the current challenges in the markets.
At some point every puzzle is finished. What is the associated timeframe and what is the plan afterwards? A new puzzle? And how often can this metaphor be used?
Our puzzle has a magic effect and is continuously changing, so will never be finished. So there will not be any new puzzles, instead we must be prepared to constantly adapt our puzzle to the new conditions.