From start-up to large-scale organization: Bosch offers a wide range of working environments
Key competence for the future: systems and software engineering
Stuttgart – In 2015, Bosch plans to recruit 12,000 trained graduates worldwide. In addition to a number of prospects for mechanical and electrical engineers, the chances for graduates with an IT background are especially favorable. “We are increasing the number associates hired for software design and development. As connectivity expands in every business sector, from Mobility Solutions to Industrial Technology, the importance of software does too,” says Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH. The number of associates needed for software design and development will continue to rise in the future. The countries with the greatest need for recruiting trained graduates are India, which is planning some 3,200 new hires; China, which is planning 2,600 new hires; and Germany, whose plans include 1,200 new hires. Three out of every four new associates will be in the field of engineering. The prospects are also favorable for people just starting their professional careers. Almost every third position is open to potential associates with no previous professional experience.
Growing demand for software developers Bosch is already busy connecting entire cities and bringing cars online, creating access to heating control systems via an app, and automatically integrating its suppliers into the supply chain. It has also connected electric stoves and other household appliances to the internet. As a result, the amount of software and its complexity – in terms of product development and manufacturing as well as for the products and systems themselves – is growing. Consider emergency braking systems for vehicles, for example. Using a radar or video sensor, the emergency braking function is able to detect whether there is an obstacle in the lane ahead. The system’s software evaluates the information in just fractions of a second and then triggers full emergency braking, if necessary.
Bosch is prepared for these demands facing product development and manufacturing. In cooperation with universities in the United States, associates in Palo Alto, California, are developing software for applications including automated driving. The software for the Indego Connect robotic lawnmower was also developed there. Bosch Software Innovations, the Bosch Group’s software and systems unit, designs, develops, and operates software and systems solutions for the internet of things. Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions in India also employs a large number of software specialists. The specialists there, for example, have adapted the software algorithms of a video camera used in quality control in such a way that the camera can perform examinations of the human retina. This solution makes it possible to detect eye diseases more quickly and cost-effectively than before.
Wide range of career opportunities – room for creativity Start-up fan or corporate enthusiast? They do not have to be at odds with each other because Bosch offers both. The company supports proprietary start-ups as a means of quickly translating research findings into new business fields. Bosch also taps entirely new business fields with small, powerful units. One example of this is Bosch eBike Systems, which has evolved from a start-up into a global player and the European market leader in just five years. Bosch not only facilitates the shift between corporate and start-up structures, but also the move between specialist, project, or leadership career paths.
In addition to a wide range of career opportunities and working environments, Bosch attaches great importance to ensuring room for creativity. As a result, many associates have the option to spend some of their working time on other software projects within the Bosch Group as part of an open-source approach. Associates are able to suggest their own ideas, such as for new products on the internet of things, on Bosch’s internal social business platform known as Bosch Connect. One project that grew out of this aims to make the search for parking spots in big cities easier.
Equal opportunities for women By 2020, Bosch wants to increase the share of women in leadership positions to 20 percent worldwide. That figure for the company as a whole has already reached more than twelve percent, with certain countries, such as China, having already exceeded the target. “We want more female executives because mixed leadership teams are more successful,” Kübel says. For this reason, Bosch is pursuing a policy of diversity management worldwide, encouraging respect for heterogeneity and non-standard career paths. To provide women with assistance and support on their career paths, Bosch offers special mentoring programs, networks, seminars, and training courses. In total, Bosch invests some 190 million euros each year in the further training and development of associates.
Family-friendly employer To help reconcile the demands of associates’ professional and private lives, Bosch offers some 100 working-time models – from working from home to part-time employment and job sharing. The technology and service company believes this is one key to its innovative strength, and its guidelines for a flexible and family-friendly working culture apply worldwide and contribute to the satisfaction, productivity, and creativity of associates. In addition to family and child care options, the recognition of family time as a career stepping stone also promotes a family-friendly working culture at Bosch.
Bosch associates show more than 30,000 children a way out of poverty
Currently around 30 projects in 12 countries worldwide
Around 8 million euros in donations collected in 25 years
Primavera – Hilfe für Kinder in Not e.V. founded by ten Bosch associates on March 5, 1990
“The women who took care of us taught us that you have to believe in yourself. And that you can find power you never thought you had before if you have goals,” the 21-year-old Crisllei from Brazil recalls. “Without Primavera, I don’t know what would have become of me.”
Stuttgart – The charitable organization Primavera – Hilfe für Kinder in Not e.V. (Primavera – helping children in need) has helped more than 30,000 children over the past 25 years. Bosch associates set up the organization in 1990, with the aim of offering children from slums in developing and emerging countries a new perspective. Apart from helping provide for children’s basic needs, the initiative focuses on supporting education and vocational training. “Good school education and vocational training are the key to successfully combating poverty,” says Christoph Kübel, chairman of Primavera and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH. With its own staff of volunteers and in collaboration with social institutions, Primavera provides support for around 30 projects in 12 countries.
Ways out of the poverty trap Primavera supports several thousand children every year. Its main focus is on Asia, South America, South Africa, and eastern Europe. The initiative supports children and young people from the start of preschool to completion of high school or university. The organization also supports projects for street children and initiatives aimed at offering young adults vocational training. Its staff also educates children, young people, and their families about hygiene, proper nutrition, social behavior, and interpersonal skills. “We want to give young people the opportunity to find their place in society so that they can lead independent lives and take responsibility for their own fate,” Kübel explains. Praising the commitment of all involved, the Bosch CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner said: “Since the organization’s founding, Bosch associates have helped more than 30,000 children. That’s something Primavera and everyone involved can be proud of. And it makes me proud, too.”
Discovering new horizons Crisllei Santos de Assis, a 21-year-old native of Brazil, has succeeded in breaking out of the poverty trap. Growing up in a favela on the outskirts of a major Brazilian city, poverty, drugs, and violence shaped her everyday life. At the age of 12, Crisllei was given a place in Grupo Primavera, which was also Primavera’s first ever aid project. Among other things, she received tutoring and courses in public speaking and presentation skills. “The women who took care of us taught us that you have to believe in yourself. And that you can find power you never thought you had before if you have goals,” the young woman says, describing her most pivotal experiences. Today, she studies business administration at a renowned private university in Campinas, Brazil, and is enrolled in an internship at the city’s Bosch location. She has words of encouragement for the young people at Grupo Primavera: “Keep at it. If you do, you can take a different path and discover new horizons.”
About the organization Primavera – Hilfe für Kinder in Not e.V. was founded by ten Bosch associates in Germany on March 5, 1990. Today, the organization has 880 members around the world. All Primavera projects are situated near Bosch locations to allow associates to personally volunteer and help promote alliances and projects. Bosch associates are free to recommend projects for the organization’s support. Since the organization is staffed entirely by volunteers, 100 percent of all collected donations – around 650,000 euros in 2014 – can go to supporting projects. Donations come from private individuals or are raised at events such as concerts, plays, or company parties. In 2009, future business leaders enrolled in the Junior Managers Program also set up their own project group to support Primavera e.V. In 2011, this led to the creation of the Primavera photo calendar, which is published every year and is regularly sold out well in advance of publication.
Effective March 31, 2015, Wolf-Henning Scheider will be leaving the company. As from July 1, 2015, he will become chairman of the board of management of MAHLE GmbH.
Dr. Rolf Bulander will head up the Bosch business sector Mobility Solutions from April 1, 2015. As before, he will be responsible for the Diesel Systems, Gasoline Systems, and Starter Motors and Generators divisions, and will also have corporate responsibility for quality. In addition, he will be assuming responsibility for the Electrical Drives division.
Effective April 1, 2015, Dr. Markus Heyn will be appointed to the board of management. There, he will assume responsibility for Automotive Original Equipment Sales, Marketing and Sales, the Automotive Aftermarket division, and the subsidiaries ETAS GmbH and Bosch Engineering GmbH.
As before, Dr. Dirk Hoheisel will be responsible for the Chassis Systems Control, Car Multimedia, and Automotive Electronics divisions, as well as for Automotive Systems Integration. Effective April 1, 2015, he will also assume responsibility for the Automotive Steering division.
Stuttgart – Wolf-Henning Scheider (52) is leaving the Bosch Group effective March 31, 2015, and joining MAHLE GmbH. Effective July 1, 2015, he will become chairman of its board of management. For some years, Bosch and MAHLE have enjoyed a close business relationship. Since 2008, they have run the Bosch Mahle Turbosystems joint venture, which develops and manufactures exhaust-gas turbochargers. Scheider is spokesperson for the Automotive Group and has been a member of the Bosch board of management since 2010.
The shareholders and supervisory board thank Scheider for his many years of good service in various functions with Robert Bosch GmbH. Over the course of his career, Scheider was president of the Car Multimedia division, as well as president of the Gasoline Systems division from 2006 to 2010.
Effective April 1, 2015, Dr. Rolf Bulander (56) will assume responsibility for the Mobility Solutions business sector. Operationally, he will be responsible for the Diesel Systems, Gasoline Systems, and Starter Motors and Generators divisions, and will also have corporate responsibility for quality. In addition, he will be responsible for the Electrical Drives division in the future. Bulander, who has a PhD in mechanical engineering, has been with the company for 26 years and was appointed to the board of management in 2013. Prior to that, he was president of the Gasoline Systems division.
At the same time, Dr. Markus Heyn (50) will be joining the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. Following a proposal by the shareholders, this was decided by the supervisory board. His future areas of responsibility will include Automotive Original Equipment Sales and Marketing and Sales. He will also be responsible for the Automotive Aftermarket division and the ETAS GmbH and Bosch Engineering GmbH subsidiaries. Heyn, who also has a PhD in mechanical engineering, has been with Bosch since 1999. Most recently, he was president of the Diesel Systems division.
As part of the reshuffle of responsibilities, Dr. Dirk Hoheisel (56) will retain responsibility for the Chassis Systems Control, Car Multimedia, and Automotive Electronics divisions. He will also assume responsibility for the new Automotive Steering division. The latter change is subject to the antitrust authorities approving the complete acquisition of ZF Lenksysteme GmbH. In addition, Hoheisel will remain responsible for Automotive Systems Integration. Hoheisel, who has a PhD in electrical engineering, has been a member of the board of management since 2012. He was previously a member of the executive management of the Car Multimedia and Chassis Systems Control divisions.
The shareholders and supervisory board wish Dr. Rolf Bulander, Dr. Markus Heyn, and Dr. Dirk Hoheisel every success in their new functions.
Company founder Robert Bosch introduced the suggestions book in 1924
Two associates at Bosch foundry have received the highest possible cash reward of 150,000 euros
Christoph Kübel, Bosch director of industrial relations: “Associates' ideas enhance our innovative strength”
Stuttgart – For 90 years now, Bosch has systematically benefited from its associates' creativity and innovative spirit. In the past ten years in Germany alone, the company has saved some 395 million euros thanks to suggestions for improvement made by its associates. Last year, the global supplier of technology and services paid out 7.7 million euros to associates at locations across Germany in reward for their ideas, which had saved Bosch some 33 million euros. In total, a good 21,900 associates submitted their suggestions, an increase of 2.4 percent over the previous year. In the fall of 1924, Robert Bosch announced the launch of a company suggestions book. In so doing, he laid the foundation stone for what has since become a global ideas management program. His aim was to “perfect work processes and improve products, or reduce the cost of producing and managing them.” Bosch recently received the 2014 DeutschenIdeenPreis (German idea prize) for the best ideas management program in the automotive supplier category.
“The creativity of our associates continues to fuel our innovative strength,” said Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH, on the occasion of the anniversary. “The experience, creativity, and proactive thinking of each associate makes us more competitive and leads to better products. Often, small ideas that are beyond the scope of everyday tasks can make a big difference,” Kübel said. According to Kübel, such ideas are also the product of a working culture that values cultural diversity and promotes creativity.
Ideas management: more than making suggestions At Bosch, associates at every location are encouraged to submit suggestions for improvement. Ideas can include, for instance, ways of optimizing operations, improving product quality, avoiding waste, or promoting environmental protection. Associates are also encouraged to submit ideas that may even go beyond their direct areas of responsibility. If an improvement is implemented and results in cost savings, the associates concerned are given a cash reward of up to 150,000 euros. In addition to this company suggestion scheme, Bosch also relies on systematic ideas generation. “We don't just submit suggestions, but also generate ideas,” said Peter Schmid, who is charge of the Bosch Group's ideas management program. “For example, coordinators attend workshops to learn how they can use creativity techniques to actively support associates at their locations. Knowledge platforms, advisory services, networks, workshops, and further training can contribute to continuous improvement.” Associates can even train to become “Bosch Innovation Agents.”
Clever ideas – making clogged pipes a thing of the past Two associates at the Bosch site in Lohr, Germany, received the highest possible cash prize of 150,000 euros. Ferdinand Schneider and Xhafer Istrefi, who work at a foundry of the Bosch Drive and Control Technology division, came up with an inexpensive way to clean pipes through which molten steel flows: they use oxygen. “In the past, clogged pipes resulted in frequent down-time, and there were often delays before the next processing steps could take place,” Schneider says. The two associates went ahead and improved the process, without thinking of a potential cash reward. “We didn't submit our idea as a suggestion for improvement until we noticed while testing it out that production numbers had improved,” Istrefi says.
U.S. plant in Charleston: leading the field in ideas management The suggestions scheme that the company founder Robert Bosch introduced in Germany is now part of a comprehensive ideas management program. Designing and implementing customized idea generation shapes the basis of innovation. Today, Bosch ideas management is successful around the world. The program comprises a network of more than 60 coordinators, who support Bosch locations in systematically coming up with ideas for improvements. This is in addition to the ideas that associates come up with by chance. The Charleston location in the United States has been especially successful of late. HR boss Kübel described the plant as having by far the best ideas management. In Germany, the Ansbach plant leads the field.
Suggestions for improvement 2.0 – standardized ideas management around the world In the future, ideas management around the world will be even simpler. Many associates can already submit ideas electronically, and now the different IT systems used at Bosch locations in Germany and beyond are set to be standardized. At the Jaipur site in India, for instance, an online system has already been introduced. At easily accessible terminals, each associate can see whether or not their supervisor has already looked at their idea, and whether it has already been put into practice. At Bosch, today's ideas management program reflects the words of Robert Bosch, which continue to inspire associates around the world: “We should all strive to improve on the status quo: none of us should ever be satisfied with what they have achieved, but should always endeavor to get better.”