Whereas MAN Diesel &Turbo’s big European sites often employ thousands of people, the branch establishments around the world, the International Group Companies or IGCs for short, frequently only have 20 or 30 colleagues working for them. Building up knowledge of the company and its products or establishing networks is a great deal harder in the IGCs. And finding a colleague in Augsburg, Oberhausen or Zurich to help with a specific problem is virtually impossible. At the same time, however, the International Group Companies often have a direct line to the customer and are therefore reliant on presenting rapid solutions, particularly when it comes to sales.
For that reason, MAN Diesel &Turbo is increasingly sending experts from the European sites out into the world. Postings can last between two and five years, and are intended to promote knowledge transfer to the International Group Companies. Know-how concerning the product portfolio and the company’s internal processes is easier to communicate in direct conversation with colleagues, while the best way to cultivate customer intimacy is through personal contact. “Clear objectives ensure that knowledge transfer is customer-oriented, effective and ongoing,” says Christian Garreau, Head of HR International (HGI). “The expats deliver expertise to the right places, there by strengthening the IGCs long term.
They improve communication, make important contacts, and assist their success or by providing intensive initial training,” says Garreau.They are in close contact with their home site and the human resources department there throughout their stay abroad. Around 50 MDT employees from Europe are currently engaged on similar missions.
That is what it is about in the final analysis: we bridge the gap between the regions and Augsburg.
Tendering Manager Thomas Rücker is one of the pioneers: he is spending two years at the Houston site sharing his knowledge, supporting sales staff in North and South America, and training his successor. At the same time, Rücker is doing his regular job, preparing tenders and developing special strategies for different countries. He coordinates in Houston, while Augsburg provides support in the form of three tendering managers and the human resources department. With a seven-hour time difference, good time managemen tis required in order to coordinate with German colleagues. Rücker and his colleagues turn the time difference to good account: customer inquiries, for example, can be sent in the evening American time and, with the time shift and the assistance of colleagues in Augsburg, the answers will be ready and waiting the next morning, even with more complex issues. “That is what it is about in the final analysis: we bridge the gap between the regions and Augsburg. For one thing we take our experiences and mindset to the regions, for another we ‘translate’ regional and cultural peculiarities so as to convey our customers ’requirements better in Augsburg,” says Rücker.
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The expats deliver expertise to the right places,
thereby strengthening the IGCs long term. They improve communication, make important
contacts, and assist their successor by providing intensive