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Bosch Global Supplier Award conferred to best suppliers
The award honors fruitful past partnerships as well as partnerships that show promise for the future: on July 12 and 13, the Bosch Group presented 44 suppliers from 11 countries with Bosch Global Supplier Awards. For the 15th time, the award ceremony acknowledged the outstanding performance of suppliers in the production and delivery of products or services. The event, called “Partners in Success”, was held in Fellbach, a suburb of Stuttgart.
Supplier companies have long been much more than mere parts suppliers for Bosch. They have also served as development and innovation partners that give Bosch a competitive edge. With this in mind, Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Bosch board of management, emphasized that strong relationships between Bosch and its suppliers will remain important in the future. “In the connected world, partnerships will continue to gain importance. Hierarchical value-added chains will become value-added networks. With our open platform technologies, we can make the best possible use of digitization in our partner networks, for instance for data-sharing purposes in Industry 4.0.
Relationships with suppliers a key success factor
As an innovation leader, Bosch is shaping the transformation of the Internet of Things. To this end, the company makes major investments in new technologies and markets, and drives innovative purchasing and logistics strategies forward (see post of July 21). At present, purchasing and logistics volumes amount to 60 percent of total Bosch Group sales. Good relationships with suppliers are thus a key success factor. “Our aim is to achieve supply chain excellence,” says Professor Stefan Asenkerschbaumer, deputy chairman of the Bosch board of management. “This can only work if all partners are intelligently networked and work together closely with the help of automated processes.”
The strong and lasting relationships that Bosch strives to maintain with its suppliers are part of this high standard of quality. The Bosch Group has cooperated with many of its partners for decades: three of the prize-winning companies were among the honorees for the eighth time. Within the framework of these partnerships, Bosch places a great deal of importance on compatible views of corporate social responsibility. For this reason, the company is committed to setting sustainability standards throughout the value-added chain. To ensure the quality of this process, Bosch reviews the environmental and occupational safety performance of its suppliers. Since 2010, the Group has conducted 614 social audits around the world, and aims to reach the 1,000 mark by 2020.
The list with all prize winners can be found here. (The PDF is only available in German)
For efficient logistics: Bosch-led research project develops digital helpers for complex supply chains
Bosch and six partners spent three years working on the ProveIT research project. The consortium has now successfully completed the initiative, which developed digital tools that can help manage and optimize connected supply chains. Flexible and reliable logistics networks are a central part of Industry 4.0. By using ProveIt, companies can improve their transport performance, reduce costs, and cut CO2 emissions.
ProveIT stands for “Production-plan based recovery of vehicle routing plans within integrated transport networks”, and is primarily an IT platform. It pools all of the data required to monitor a supply chain and makes it available to a company’s materials and transport planners. What is more, ProveIt recommends the ideal transport route to logistics providers, one that takes the best possible use of all transport routes into account. In the event of an error in the logistics process, the integrated deviation function kicks in and the platform calculates which solution is the most efficient. For instance, if a truck is stuck in traffic, it calculates whether continuing on the route makes sense despite the delay. It also assesses whether a second truck should make its way to a supplier whose supplies are most urgently needed for production.
“The logistics provider can rely on the digital helper to monitor the trip. A warning is issued only when physical intervention is required,” says Dr. Markus Bauer, program manager for logistics IT at Bosch and head of the research project. The ProveIt platform also allows truck drivers to provide status updates with an app, for instance on start and arrival times, the beginning and end of a loading process, their departure from their destination, and delays along the way.
The German Federal Ministry of the Economy and Energy funded the project. Besides Bosch, six other companies and institutes were involved: ZF, an industrial company; the software developers PTV and LOCOM; the logistics company Geis; the FZI IT research center, and the Institute for Material Handling and Logistics Systems (IFL) of the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology.
Once the project was completed, Bosch entered a cooperation with FZI. Among other things, both partners intend to develop additional application functions such as digital freight documents with the aim of adding them to Bosch transport processes.
More information about ProveIt can also be found on the project website, which is only available in german.
Bosch launches online social counselling for associates
Last year, members of Germany’s public insurance companies missed an average of 36 days of work for mental health reasons. According to the BKK Health Report 2016, the number of sick days due to psychological ailments more than doubled between 2005 and 2015. With the aim of helping its associates even more, Bosch is now the first company in Germany to offer its in-house social counselling service for associates online. “In-house social counselling can contribute to maintaining the health of our associates,” explains Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH. “With the online offer, it is now even easier for them to get support“.
Easy access, low inhibition threshold
On the new social counselling website, more than 100,000 Bosch associates in Germany can now get in touch with the experts at the company’s in-house social counselling service. The new point of contact makes it easier for associates to get advice. They can use the service from anywhere at any time, also from their smart phones and home computers. Associates and counsellors communicate via email, or live in individual and expert chats. Just like personal meetings, all digital conversations remain confidential. This makes it easier to talk about sensitive issues related to mental health, stress management, and crisis management. “With our online counselling services, we are reaching associates who may have been too afraid or ashamed to seek help in the past,” says Michaela Noe-Bertram, head of in-house counselling services at Bosch.
With its online counselling services, Bosch has further expanded its healthcare services for associates. In 2015, the company added prevention, rehabilitation, and integration measures related to mental health. The aim is to detect psychological problems early on, raise awareness among associates and their supervisors, and make integrated help services available. In addition to the in-house counselling service, the network also includes Bosch health services and the company’s more than 400 sport and leisure time groups.
More information on the new online social counselling service be found here (Only available in German).
Bosch celebrates its fourth International Diversity Day
Eliminating prejudice is beneficial for everyone: this was the focus of the fourth Bosch International Diversity Day, which took place on May 23, 2017. Under the banner of “Discover Diversity: you are a part of it”, Bosch associates at over 200 locations around the world engaged in intensive discussions. With different activities and events that promoted dialogue, participants made a conscious effort to change perspectives, and thus learned about backgrounds, experiences, and competencies that were different from their own. In so doing, Bosch associates reflected on their own unconscious thought patterns and learned how different perspectives could enhance their daily work.
With this global event, Bosch once again emphasized that diversity is an integral part of its corporate culture as well as a condition for the company’s success. After all, the ability to see things from different perspectives gives rise to new ideas and thus enhances innovative strength at Bosch. Our picture gallery shows how the different locations celebrated the day.
Diversity in a picture: Our Vietnam locations celebrated the fourth annual Bosch International Diversity Day with a photography challenge in traditional Asian outfits. They also held workshops that addressed unconscious thought patterns.
Diversity Challenge: In Indonesia, Bosch associates took a playful approach to addressing diversity-related topics. Participants from different divisions and functional areas carried out a range of tasks accordingly.
A tight knit community: In the United States associates created a unity project, a work of art that aimed to show how closely linked people are to one another, and that everyone shares the same foundation.
Workshop in the grass: At Bosch headquarters in Germany, associates took part in the first Diversity Day Picnic, where they discussed the topics of feedback, trust, appreciation, openness, and empathy.
From B(aby Boomers) to (Generation) Z: In Thailand, Diversity Day activities focused on age. A music challenge and a diversity quiz completed the program.
In South Africa, associates discussed their personal understanding of diversity at a workshop. They also discussed ways in which they could contribute to promoting diversity themselves.
The modern father: at many locations in Japan, male associates attended a seminar on work/life balance for dads.
Starting in 2018, Bosch will be pooling its e-mobility, gasoline systems, and diesel systems activities in a single division
E-mobility is considered to be the future of the automotive industry. By 2025, there will be an estimated 20 million vehicles with hybrid and electric drives on the world’s roads. In order to further expand this field of business, Bosch is now launching a new division. From 2018 onward, the Powertrain Solutions division will be the home of all drivetrain-related technologies at Bosch. In addition to the new e-mobility unit, Bosch Gasoline Systems and Bosch Diesel Systems will be integrated into the new division.
A look at the European Union’s CO2 targets shows that powertrain electrification is needed to reduce the average emissions of new vehicles to 95 g/km. Bosch supports this plan and invests some 400 million euros each year to contribute to an e-mobility breakthrough. At the same time, the company has kept up its efforts to further develop the internal combustion engine. In fact, Bosch aims to make current gasoline and diesel engines up to 20 percent more efficient.
In strategic terms, Powertrain Solutions has three core segments: internal combustion engines, hybrid drive systems, and electric vehicles. “Whether fuel or electricity, Bosch will also be bringing energy to drive systems in the future,” says Dr. Rolf Bulander, president of the Mobility Solutions business sector at Robert Bosch GmbH. “Since it isn’t clear today which drive system or which combination of drive types will prevail and when, we have taken a two-pronged approach and are further expanding our expertise both with regard to e-mobility and the internal combustion engine.”
More information on Powertrain Solutions can be found here.