AUMA has been developing and building state-of-the-art electric actuators and valve gearboxes for more than 50 years. The company is a global leader in electric actuation and serves various market segments such as water, oil and gas, and power. AUMA recently undertook a major transformation project to align its strategy with its growth ambitions, and Oliver Wyman helped. Watch, in the video below, AUMA CEO Dr. Jörg Hoffmann discuss the story behind the breakthrough with Oliver Wyman Partner Wolfgang Krenz.
What I really liked was that the impact was not only focused on finding potentials to improve the top line, but that we also changed the way of interaction between headquarters and subsidiariesDr. Jörg Hoffmann, CEO AUMA Group
Welcome. Today we are here in the very southwestern corner of Germany, in a town called Müllheim, at the global headquarters of AUMA, a manufacturer of valve actuators. And I'm very happy to have with me the CEO of AUMA, Dr. Jörg Hoffmann. Welcome, Jörg!
AUMA was founded in 1964, in a garage near to Stuttgart, by two gentlemen, Werner Riester and Rudolf Dinse. And AUMA has been growing since then, until it became world market leader in electric actuation. We have several applications in different fields, for example, in water, in power, in general industry, in oil and gas and nuclear, and in the marine sector. And we have a turnover of around €400 million and 2,600 associates worldwide.
AUMA is a very successful company, but still, of course, we face changes from the markets, from our competitors. Our customers have different requirements than they had in the past. Then we have the mega topic of digitalization which is very important for our business. There is a lot of change happening around us and of course we have to adapt and to make the company fit to face these external challenges.
Tell us a little bit about the transformation journey of AUMA into the Future.
We introduced the House of Growth strategy which was an important step in the first project phase when we looked at our business top down and we said: first, we have a very good foundation to build on. Then we said we want to reach a certain target. That was the roof of the house. We said we want to be the world leader in electric actuation. And then the question was how to come from the good foundation to the target. And so we came up with four growth levers in order to lead us there.
So once the direction was clear, we started to do pilots in various countries.
A major step to operationalize our program was the work with pilot regions. We didn't have the program already, so we adapted. We made a very good lessons learned process. And so with that, we felt confident to go to the other subsidiaries. And then we had a very smooth and efficient process.
Of course, we faced some hurdles when we started the project, especially when we started the rollout into the world. It was very new to AUMA and to the AUMA organization to have such a structured worldwide approach, driven from headquarters. We had to convince people that this is nothing which comes from here to them, that now the clever guys come and tell them how to do their business, but that we were there to support, that we had a methodology and that we were also there to listen to what is hindering them to be even more successful.
Can you summarize what the impact on the business of the whole exercise was?
What I really liked was that the impact was not only focused on finding potentials to improve the top line, which is of course very important. But we also changed the way of interaction between the headquarters and subsidiaries. We introduced new methods and processes which will not only be used during the project but also in the future. So we improved our business process.
For the first time in, I think the company's history, we really stated the target for growth, an explicit percentage target for growth. And we backed that up with numbers, with potentials and with measures. And it's significant, and it's above growth of market.
I really like the way Oliver Wyman supported this project. Without them, it wouldn't have been possible to gain such results in such a short time. Basically, there were three major contributions.
First, it was that they organized the project in a very efficient way so that we could keep deadlines and move really fast, all over the world.
Secondly, they brought in a very professional and dedicated team, which helped to keep pace in the roll out and in the work.
And third, not to forget they brought in a lot of expertise, content about sales, sales processes, international management, and the relation between headquarters and subsidiaries.
So all in all, they brought in very valuable support. And without their support we would definitely not have been able to have done such a project in such a short time.
Thank you very much for the interview. And thanks, everybody, for watching.
Dr. Jörg Hoffmann has been CEO of the AUMA Group, a leading international manufacturer of electric actuators for the automation of industrial valves, since January 2018. Previously, he worked for many years in management positions at Robert Bosch GmbH, where he most recently headed the business unit for wiper systems.