HR and CSR issues

Taking stock: the fifteenth anniversary of a successful concept Bosch retirees contribute 50,000 days of work each year

  • Pioneering work: Bosch introduced its senior expert concept in 1999
  • Life experience and professional expertise are held in high regard
  • Director of industrial relations Kübel: “Senior experts make important contributions”
  • Retired associates contribute more than 40,000 years of expertise
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  • July 21, 2014
  • HR and CSR issues
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press release

Stuttgart – At Bosch, demand for company retirees is growing around the world. In 2013, senior experts worked some 50,000 days, about twice as many as five years ago. Specialists including technicians, engineers, management accountants, and logistics experts were in especially high demand. Fifteen years ago, Bosch established Bosch Management Support GmbH (BMS), a subsidiary that offers the services of former associates for project work and consulting tasks of limited duration. The aim was to hold on to decades of Bosch expertise, all the while passing knowledge on to younger associates. The global provider of technology and services currently counts 1,600 retirees in its pool of experts. Over the course of their careers at Bosch, they acquired more than 40,000 years’ worth of know-how. In 1999, the senior expert concept was the only one of its kind in Germany. Since then, it has served as a model for many other companies and organizations.

Mixed-age teams: better results
“What launched with 30 associates in 1999 has developed into a global success story for Bosch,” says Christoph Kübel, member of the Bosch board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH, on the anniversary of the subsidiary’s establishment. “Our senior experts make important contributions. Thanks to their decades of expertise, they can help find solutions, provide new ideas, and enhance our innovative strength.” Moreover, mixed-age teams make cross-generational learning easier, says Kübel.

Senior experts provide professional consulting services
The senior experts are called upon in instances where professional advice is required on short notice. For instance, help may be needed to start up a new production line in another country, or to carry out quality assurance activities at a plant. “Knowing that my life experience and professional expertise are valued is a great source of motivation,” says Siegmund Kaiser, a 67-year-old Bosch senior expert for hydraulics. “I find solving technical challenges exciting, and I am pleased to be keeping abreast of technical developments.” BMS experts work on projects of limited duration and receive an honorarium that is based on their past salaries. They work in a number of areas, including development, production, purchasing, finance, marketing, and sales.

Excellent problem-solving skills, high customer satisfaction
In 2013, senior experts worked on 1,027 consulting projects around the world, which added up to a total of 49,556 working days. The rising demand for senior experts is attributable to their strong ability to find solutions. Without career goals and free of financial interests, they can quickly tackle the challenges at hand. “I can apply my expertise directly, I can draw on my Bosch network, and colleagues accept me as an associate and their equal,” says 65-year-old Ursula Glatz, who most recently worked as a senior expert for quality management. “If I am not interested in the contents of a project, I sometimes decline a request. After all, I want to deliver convincing results. I am not looking for a way to fill my free time.” As a result of this determination, senior experts’ customers are generally very satisfied, giving them ratings of 93 out of 100 possible points on average.

Senior experts working around the world
While demographic developments in Germany have led to a shortage of specialists in many places across the country, the senior expert concept reflects Bosch’s global diversity strategy. “Mixed-age teams are often better equipped to meet a range of customer needs,” says Dr. Georg Hanen, managing director of Bosch Management Support GmbH. “Many senior experts have more than 40 years of Bosch experience under their belts. For this reason, demand for their services is growing in other countries as well. Besides its offices in Germany, BMS also has a presence in Denham, U.K.; Broadview, U.S.; Saitama, Japan; and Campinas, Brazil. Most recently, Bosch opened a BMS office in Bangalore. Hanen predicts that the senior expert model will have a successful future. “Today, every second senior expert is commissioned for a follow-up project, and the numbers continue to increase.”

Bosch as an employer:
Diversity at Bosch:

Bosch’s senior experts at work: Ernst Gründler

Background information:
Senior experts at Bosch – Five questions for Robert Hanser
Diversity management at Bosch – Five questions for Heidi Stock

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

Additional information is available online at and,

PI8629 - July 21, 2014

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