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High Performance and Innovation
 This automotive supplier specializes in bearings that reduce vibrations and undesirable sounds in vehicles. Or in other words, in products that most drivers are hardly aware of but make a significant difference in automotive quality.
A long-standing specialist in vibration technology and lightweight construction, Boge wants to move forward into the future: to change and enter a world of new markets with new products. “New markets have hardly been a part of our innovation efforts thus far, but we want to work on that,” says CEO Bremer, a physicist by training and a former coxswain for Germany’s eight at international races. Although the company posted record sales of nearly €830 million in 2017, he sees a need for action. “There’s more pressure on margins in our sector,” he notes. “At the same time, megatrends like auton- omous driving and electromobility are offering opportunities we don’t want to pass up. There may also be room for our expertise outside the automotive industry.” Suddenly a lot of things are fair game.
The vibration technology company with 4,200 employees at ten locations in seven countries has therefore embarked upon a comprehensive transformation process—supported by the Porsche Consulting management consultancy. Strat- egy, organization, processes, and ultimately the entire cor- porate culture are all being directed towards innovation. The engineers, whose work has thus far consisted primarily of meeting the demands of the automotive industry in the best possible ways, are now supposed to expand their horizons, entertain new thoughts, and raise their knowledge and cre- ativity to new levels. The focus is now not only on perfection but also on innovation.
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One obvious element of this innovation campaign is the “CEO pitch,” which takes place every few months. Devel- opment engineers, as well as other employees like those in the marketing department, are invited to present their ideas. The composition of the “jury” alone shows how seriously the company takes these events. In addition to board members and the heads of development and preliminary development, it also includes all the product line heads. The latter are cru- cial targets at each pitch, because in order to put their ideas into practice, candidates need sponsors whose departments can guide and finance their projects. Unlike the TV shows, no artificial suspense is built up. “We don’t want to put time and money into developments that are ultimately not promising,” explains development head Stefan Loheide. Candidates are usually informed of the decision by company leaders right then and there.
“You can order colorful
Accelerator and brake pedals made of highly stable plastic (above)
are core products from the Boge automotive supplier.
chairs and put up marker
boards, but the hardest thing
is to change the culture.”
CEO, Boge Rubber & Plastics

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