Sustainability report 2017/18

"Go through life with your eyes open"

Even as a grease monkey working at his workbench, he combined the best tricks of the trade from his colleagues with his own to achieve highly efficient results. As a project manager for cross-divisional Industrial Engineering, he has recently been responsible for the sustainable large-scale project "relocation of the pickling shop" combining the best ideas of his team.

"You have to listen to employees that have ideas," says Jürgen Boos. And adds full of conviction: "If the ideas are good, they should of course be pursued - and the name the source of idea clearly stated." Exactly following this principle, he has recently successfully managed and implemented the large-scale "relocation of the pickling shop" project . Today's cross-divisional Industrial Engineering project manager joined KHS twenty-one years ago and in his various positions and activities has always emphasized making a convincing "bigger whole" from many small steps. He began his career in a traditional way at the workbench: "Even back then, I was always looking to the left and to the right and adopted the best tricks of the trade from my colleagues," he says. "Using these tricks combined with my own ideas, I was then able to assemble components very efficiently." In this way, he quickly became a group supervisor and specialized in optimization processes. "It simply interested me from the beginning how to combine the best techniques and ideas in such a way to make something efficient," says Boos. He has pursued this approach throughout his time working at KHS. It is also important to have a high level of commitment and to gain a well-founded overview. "My basic principle is to always go to where things are happening. Contact with colleagues is essential if you want to understand the relationships."

Taking ideas seriously, gathering the advantages and drawbacks

This is how he has also successfully implemented the pickling shop relocation project in Bad Kreuznach. He spent well over three years in the planning phase and attached great importance to the opinions of his team members. For example, some colleagues came up with the idea of covering the floor of one section of the newly constructed picking shop with plastic floor covering. He collected the advantages and disadvantages, let the both the critics and the proponents have their say and then weighed the results. Ultimately it became clear that the best option was to actually use PE boards - and thus the idea was successfully implemented. "Every idea is basically good," says Boos out of conviction. "We of course want to get the job done in a joint effort and pull together. There's great deal of momentum when the relationship of trust is good and you can express new ideas, even if they aren't fully developed yet." It's sometimes challenging to sit in the what is referred to as a 'sandwich' position, he says: "I have to look both 'up' towards the people in charge of the site and 'down' towards my project colleagues and sometimes have to mediate between the two." Ultimately, however, he benefits from the great amount of trust he has from both sides.

Focus on sustainability aspects

Relocation of the pickling shop was basically completely driven based on analyses of the production facilities and independent of external requirements. "The facilities were simply no longer up-to-date," explains the project manager. The result is a highly efficient revision of the process, the shop, the materials - and always with the aspect of sustainability in mind. The new LED lamps, for example, are not only compelling because they are automatically controlled by daylight and therefore use less energy - but also because they cannot be corroded by the pickling gases and thus conserve on resources as well.

"When requesting quotes, we always asked about energy requirements because it is important to us to pay particular attention to the environmental friendliness aspect," says Boos. Personally, he has been become increasingly sensitized to the subject of sustainability for many years. Years ago, the 'Energy and the Environment' initiative established by KHS' Building Management gave him a thought-provoking impulse. "This campaign has really brought about a noticeable change in me," he says. "Since then, I've been watching for little things like switching off the lights in my office when I leave, or closing the door when the heat is on. I have internalized this attitude in the meantime and convey this attitude clearly to colleagues." It is also important to pay close attention to the sustainability principles of suppliers and to inquire about the resource efficiency of projects even during the offer phase.

Motivation through human relations

There are three aspects that continuously renew Jürgen Boos motivation for each project: social responsibility - which includes not only the important aspect of sustainability but also close contact with neighbors, for example - the added value for the company, and the enthusiasm and involvement of its colleagues. "Ultimately, it is always a matter of going through life with your eyes open. It is so very important to listen to the ideas of colleagues and then ask yourself how can these ideas be implemented most effectively in the interests of the company. I always try to bake a delicious 'cake' using the best ideas as 'ingredients'. I consider it my job to provide a future-oriented workplace!"

With this attitude, Boos lives up to exactly those principles that are important at KHS in terms of  Personnel development and Employee loyalty. Teamwork at eye level, motivation, and appreciation are the cornerstones on which sustainable success is based - for both individual projects as well as for the entire company.