"Never change a running system"?
As the case of the Bosch plant in Bühl shows, it makes perfect sense to fundamentally change established processes – provided the right support is available. At the Bühl plant, a much more flexible solution was needed to get the required material to the line faster and to reduce the number of empty logistic runs. The right technology was quickly found with Nexeed Transport Management. Now it was time to take the employees on a digital journey. The Bosch Connected Industry team developed a strategy to get all stakeholders on board from the start, regardless of their prior technical knowledge.
Benefits at a glance
Comprehensive change strategy
Expert support throughout the entire process.
Motivation and acceptance
Successful introduction of the new way of working, regardless of prior technical knowledge.
Quickly gained confidence when dealing with the new system.
Internal logistics in the Bühl plant used to be organized according to fixed structures: just like city busses, milk run trains followed a fixed route with defined stops several times a day and brought required material to the production line. However, this static process lacked the flexibility to cope with upcoming production increases. With Nexeed Transport Management, Bosch Connected Industry offers an intelligent and flexible solution that is based on the needs of production instead of fixed timetables. The software collects all the data about upcoming tours and forwards them to the drivers via an app. Flexible stops, and in the future also variable departure times, turn the bus into a practical taxi.
This new system, however, changes the daily working routine of the approximately fifty employees considerably. The team, which was supposed to work with the software in three shifts, had different levels of prior knowledge: it comprised very tech-savvy people, as well as staff who had not dealt with digitization before and were now supposed to use a tablet for the first time. In addition to many small changes in the workflow, the acceptance of the app was a major hurdle: from now on, it was supposed to determine when and how a transport job was to be carried out. The project managers knew that the success of the new system depended upon its acceptance by the around 50 total number of users.
The top priority was to train the co-workers and to show them the advantages of software, app and tablet use. However, this is not enough. Only professional change support, direct involvement of those affected and open communication make sure that such changes can quickly lead to positive results.
A scoping workshop with stakeholder analysis identified the extent of the changes for each individual. In the follow-up workshop, the change team from Bosch Connected Industry and the project team from Bühl created a schedule and defined suitable communication measures. It was important not to overwhelm the employees with too much information. Accordingly, the content was divided into several training sessions with 15-20 participants each. The first step was to make digitization easy to understand by using everyday examples. It quickly became clear that digitization facilitates life in many areas; so why not also use intelligent technology at work?
The second training session focused on the specific concerns of those affected. This made it possible to eliminate many fears and preconceptions about the new system. Anyone who has already taken part in IT training knows that most questions come up when actually using the software. So the change team prepared instructions with screenshots for the users. In the first two weeks following implementation, four material flow planners accompanied the employees in their three-shift operation around the clock and were available for questions during the subsequent weeks. This way, everyone quickly felt at ease with the new technology and processes.
The change project was successfully completed four weeks after the system went live. Thanks to the structured approach and expert support, the employees felt well informed and, above all, taken seriously. The multi-level training structure was particularly well received. Despite different levels of prior knowledge, everyone involved is now confident in using the new technology. After this positive outcome, additional production halls will be equipped with Nexeed Transport Management. The experience from this first change project will be very helpful.