Bosch is striving to integrate supplier expertise and creativity at an earlier stage
Stuttgart – The Bosch Group has presented the Bosch Global Supplier Award to its best suppliers. In total, the technology and services company has honored 38 suppliers out of nine countries with awards in five categories. This is the thirteenth time that Bosch has given the Supplier Award to companies that have manufactured and supplied products or services particularly well. “The Bosch Global Supplier Award serves both as recognition and inspiration. In awarding it to our top suppliers, we aim to motivate all our other suppliers to perform just as well,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Bosch board of management, during the award ceremony in Stuttgart.
Innovations drive competitiveness The theme of this year’s presentation of the Bosch Global Supplier Award was “Innovation – drives competitiveness.” For the first time, there was an award in the new “innovation” category, which went to the Japanese company Shin-Etsu Chemicals Co., Ltd. for its development work on magnets. Bosch uses these in its ABS systems and motors, among other applications. Dr. Stefan Asenkerschbaumer, the Robert Bosch GmbH board of management member responsible for purchasing and logistics, said during the ceremony: “Innovative strength is a key prerequisite for keeping Bosch competitive,” adding that suppliers are important partners in this. Asenkerschbaumer also sees innovations as being of great benefit to suppliers: “Everyone stands to gain from innovations. In the competition to win orders from Bosch, new ideas and inventive approaches are more important than ever.” He went on to say that suppliers can use their innovations to open up new markets and new business opportunities for themselves.
Early integration to tap potential In the future, Bosch wishes to integrate its suppliers in the product development process at an even earlier stage. “Our suppliers are an integral part of our innovation strategy. We need to harness their expertise and their creativity early on in the development process,” said Denner. It is at this early point that new ideas can have the biggest impact on subsequent manufacturing costs. “Whether a product is competitive is determined to a great extent during its development.”
Web platform for ideas Bosch is working in joint projects with existing suppliers to develop new products and processes. The company is also always on the lookout for new inventions, and it has set up a central point of contact for this in the form of its own web platform for ideas. Companies and individuals can offer their inventions at www.bosch.com/idea – whether they are products, processes or procedures, and whether they already exist or are so far no more than an idea or a concept. Specialist associates evaluate the ideas that are submitted, and if suitable pass them on within Bosch to the area that can make best use of them.
Global sourcing – further internationalization of the supplier base In 2012, the Bosch Group’s total purchasing volume came to some 27 billion euros. The focus is on Europe, with around 65 percent of the purchasing volume. Outside Europe, most Bosch purchases are made in China, the United States, and Japan. Bosch is looking to increase the share of its purchases made internationally, with the aim of sourcing its parts and services locally wherever they are needed. For the most part, purchases are made up of manufacturing materials such as electronic components, mechanical and electromechanical components, and plastic parts, but they also include merchandise, supplies, services, and machinery.
Asia at a glance: a success story for Bosch Over the past ten years, Asia Pacific's share in total Bosch sales has risen from 13 to 24 percent. In the medium term, Bosch wants to generate 30 percent of its sales in Asia Pacific, while also seizing growth opportunities in other markets. With developments remaining dynamic, the main focus of capital expenditure, as well as of most of the new jobs created, will be in Asia Pacific, and above all in China, India, and Southeast Asia.
Development of business: Asia is a success story for Bosch. Within five years, sales in Asia Pacific have increased by 60 percent, from 7.8 billion euros in 2008 to 12.6 billion euros in 2012. Over the medium-term, the company expects average annual growth of 8 percent in the region.
Associates: A total workforce of 75,000 works for Bosch in Asia Pacific in the four business sectors Automotive Technology, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology.
Capital expenditure: Between 2010 and the end of 2013, Bosch will invest some 2.8 billion euros in further expanding and localizing manufacturing and engineering.
Research and development: Bosch currently employs some 13,800 researchers and developers in Asia – 2,200 more than one year ago and five times as many as five years ago. Bosch wants to double this number by the end of 2020.
Apart from local manufacturing, Bosch is increasingly also turning to local engineering. The focus is on products tailored to the respective local markets. To give some examples from China: an especially cost-effective control unit for restraint systems such as airbags has been developed there, as well as the T-Edition range of power tools designed especially for the requirements of Chinese tradespeople. In India, an ABS antilock braking system has been developed for two-wheelers. Moreover, locally developed products complement the products on offer in established markets: a common-rail injection system developed in-house for Indian diesel vehicles has also proved suitable for small vehicles in other countries.
Presence: Bosch can look back on a long tradition in Asia. The company has been present in China since 1909, and in Indonesia since 1919. The year 1922 saw the start of sales activities in India, with Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand following just one year later. Today, Bosch has manufacturing operations at 62 locations in 16 countries in Asia Pacific.
China: a success story spanning many years With average annual sales growth of 25 percent over the past ten years, China has played a significant role in the Bosch Group's growth. The country is now the company's third largest market after Germany and the U.S., and continues to offer excellent opportunities for growth. For example, Chinese customers are increasingly demanding safe, clean, economical, and comfortable cars. Even now, every fifth passenger car made in China has ESP on board. By 2015, this will be every third passenger car.
Development of business: In 2012, Bosch generated sales of 5.1 billion euros in China. Bosch is the largest automotive supplier in the country. And Bosch is the market leader in China in other areas of business, such as mobile hydraulics or power tools. Bosch expects to achieve double-digit growth in China in 2013.
Associates: At the beginning of 2013, Bosch employed some 34,000 associates in China. Over the next three to five years, this figure is expected to rise to 50,000. At the start of 2013, some 3,200 associates were working in research and development at a total of 17 Chinese locations.
Expansion in the west: Western China is growing in importance as an economic region. Bosch aims to have all its divisions located there. For this reason, it is significantly expanding its presence in the west of the country. Three new plants are currently being built in Chengdu. The plant for automotive technology will be opened at the end of July 2013. The Power Tools and Packaging Technology plants will be completed in 2014.
Further expansion: In June 2013, Bosch opened a new test circuit in Donghai, at a total investment of some 70 million euros. It will be used to test safety systems such as the ABS antilock blocking system and the ESP® electronic stability program, as well as driver assistance systems. Bosch has also invested roughly 120 million euros in a new Automotive Aftermarket plant in Nanjing. It has been producing spark plugs, brake pads, and testing and diagnostic equipment for the repair shop market since March 2013. The location also serves as a research and development center.
India: challenging market with potential Even if the recent drop in unit sales of cars suggests that the next few years will involve some challenges, India will also play an important role in Asian development in the future. The country is increasingly becoming a technological center for the automotive industry. Bosch is the largest automotive supplier in India. The country remains an important market for Bosch, and for commercial vehicles and agricultural machinery as well.
Development of business: In 2012, Bosch generated sales of 1.5 billion euros in India, 1.6 percent more than in 2011. Over the medium-to-long term, the company expects stable growth in the region.
Associates: At the start of 2013, the company employed some 25,000 associates in India, roughly 12,000 of them at its largest software engineering center outside Germany.
Investments: In the first half of 2013, Bosch has invested some 40 million euros in a new location of its subsidiary Bosch Rexroth in Sanand, and roughly five million euros in establishing a manufacturing facility for automotive components in Chennai.
Southeast Asia: developing and entering new growth markets The planned creation of the ASEAN Economic Community, or AEC, in 2015 will give rise to a barrier-free common market with a total population of 600 million people, making it larger than the EU with its roughly 500 million people. With a combined population of roughly 80 million, a good geographical position, and a wealth of natural resources, promising new markets such as Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar offer huge economic potential. Bosch has had agencies in Laos and Cambodia since 2012 and in Myanmar since 2013.
Sales revenue: Currently, Southeast Asia is the fastest growing region for Bosch, with sales growing by 30 percent to more than 700 million euros in 2012.
Associates: At the start of 2013, Bosch employed some 5,500 associates in nine Southeast Asian countries. This rapid development is expected to continue. For example, the software engineering center in Vietnam intends to take on a further 500 associates over the next three to four years.
Capital expenditure: Further expansion planned: capital expenditure of some 230 million euros between 2011 and 2013. Examples: first manufacturing facility in Indonesia – at first primarily for local Japanese automakers. Total investment of some 10 million euros. In Vietnam, Bosch intends to invest 55 million euros by 2015 in the production of push belts for use in continuously variable transmissions.
Investment of 10 million euros in first construction phase
More than 120 associates to be employed by 2016
Jakarta, Indonesia – The Bosch Group intends to build its first manufacturing site in Indonesia. Beginning in 2014, the supplier of technology and services plans to begin manufacturing automotive technology in the greater Jakarta area, at first primarily for Japanese automakers located in the region. Ten million euros will be invested in the first phase of construction. More than 120 associates will be employed here over the next three years.
“The new manufacturing facility will be a milestone for our operations in Indonesia, and for the expansion of our footprint in southeast Asia,” said Martin Hayes, president of Bosch in southeast Asia. “Southeast Asia is the fastest growing region for Bosch, and expanding our manufacturing capabilities in this region reflects the growth potential that we see in this part of the world.” Bosch already has five manufacturing sites in the region – in Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
In Indonesia, Bosch employs more than 100 associates at four locations. The company has been active in Indonesia since 1919.
Waiblingen / Crailsheim – With the new FHM 1000 series, Bosch Packaging Technology, one of the leading providers of process and packaging technology, introduces semi-automated, modular laboratory devices for liquid pharmaceutical filling operations. The first prototype of the series was presented to an expert audience at the “Crailsheimer Pharmatag” in May 2013. The new development is particularly suited for pharmacists and for the application in laboratories and early clinical trials. Its filling parameters can be easily scaled-up to production systems: all relevant parameters are measured and specified in the laboratory, and can then be transferred to production machines without further settings.
Early involvement of customers and end users The development of the FHM 1000 prototype was based on early involvement of customers and end users in the process. “Our goal is to offer our customers compact and modular laboratory filling systems that support their everyday working processes,” said Joachim Brenner, site manager Crailsheim and responsible for the pharma liquid product portfolio worldwide. The FHM series significantly facilitates the design of experiments (DoE) for customers. Recording parameters makes it possible to precisely determine cause-effect relationships between influencing factors and target variables by involving customers' experience.
Successful implementation of “user experience” approach This “user experience” approach has already been successfully implemented within the Bosch Group. In the electromobility sector, for instance, the very early involvement of potential customers in the design and development process lead to a quick marketability of several products. “Our new development was a good occasion to transfer this internal know-how to the pharmaceutical area. An interdisciplinary team of development and market experts successfully implemented the user experience approach for our new laboratory device FHM 1000,” said Andreas Groß, product manager at Bosch Packaging Technology.
Four different modules The laboratory device series currently consists of four different modules: the Human Machine Interface (HMI), the filling module, the weighing module and the needle movement. All automatic processes are operated from the HMI, which is the centerpiece of the laboratory device FHM 1000. The filling process with its filling needle movement and in-process control (IPC) weighing are parameterized via the HMI, whereas in- and output of the packaging is done manually. “The recorded results and parameters can be scaled-up and transferred, for example to high-performance lines,” Groß explained.
The prototype operates with a peristaltic pump. Further filling modules are planned, for instance with a rotary slide piston pump. According to demand, the different filling systems can then be flexiblly exchanged. The integration of a closing module is also planned, enabling packaging to be equipped with different types of stoppers. A protective housing for both the filling module and the needle movement ensure product and operator safety. All modules conform to the EU Machinery Directive 2006/42/EG. “Our customers could already get a first impression of our development at the Crailsheimer Pharmatag. Their reactions have encouraged us to work even faster on the development of the laboratory device,” Brenner said.