The company managed to secure second place by receiving the highest score on innovative product development, coming in before Europe’s winner, Siemens, and the other second place winner, DaimlerChrysler.
As WirtschaftsWoche, Germany’s equivalent to Business Week, reported in its April 16, 2007, edition, SCHOTT-Rohrglas ranked among the top eight plants in Europe in 2007. The competition entitled “The Best Plant” that covers Germany, France and Eastern Europe and is sponsored by WirtschaftsWoche and the magazine “L’Usine nouvelle” together with the Insead School of Management in Fontainebleau and the WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar recognizes companies that are capable of demonstrating that Europe will remain a strong manufacturing region in the future by effectively taking advantage of opportunities.
According to jury member Arnd Huchzermeier, Professor at the renowned WHU Management School, SCHOTT-Rohrglas impressed the jury mainly with its “extremely high tempo of innovation”. “SCHOTT-Rohrglas GmbH, a subsidiary of the SCHOTT technology group based in Mainz, Germany, has been pursuing promising new high growth fields mainly due to foresight, not economic necessity,” he says.
SCHOTT-Rohrglas uses a carefully defined evaluation process to promote ideas that promise to deliver the highest return in comparison to the total effort involved and pay off quickly. “This has enabled us to improve our innovation efficiency quite significantly,” reports Managing Director Andreas Reisse with great satisfaction.
By continually optimizing both products and working processes, the company based in Upper Palatinate has ranked among the leaders in quality in its core business, manufacturing specialized glass tubing for use in making primary pharmaceutical packaging, for many years. Now, specialized tubing for use in illuminating the backgrounds of LCD monitors and absorber tubes for solar thermal power plants rank among the latest growth drivers. When it comes to process optimization, SCHOTT-Rohrglas mainly relies on its own employees. “According to past experience, when a company mobilizes its own people, this accounts for half of the gains in productivity,” emphasizes jury member Christoph Loch, Professor at the Insead School of Management. All of the latest methods are being tested and perfected in Mitterteich so that they can be applied later to the plants run by subsidiaries in Brazil, Spain, India and the Czech Republic.
According to the jury, SCHOTT-Rohrglas demonstrates that Germany can be an attractive manufacturing site, provided that plants have done their homework. This includes developing new markets and superior products, reducing costs and maintaining a high standard of customer service.
The “Best Plant in Germany” competition has now been held 11 times in Germany, 13 times in France and 3 times in Eastern Europe. On September 24 and 25, 2007, all eight award winners will present their recipes for success in Cologne and be awarded their prestigious prizes during a gala celebration that will take place at the 4th conference held by WirtschaftsWoche.