K+S AG

Continuous Improvement Process (CIP)

 

At a Glance

Company

  • Name: K+S AG
  • Location: Kassel (headquarters)
  • Industry: Mining
  • Revenue: €3.6 billion in 2017
  • Employees: Approximately 15,000 worldwide; around 10,000 in Germany

What They Needed

  • Treat the creative potential of employees as an economic resource
  • Optimize idea management process with sophisticated software
  • Implement more future-proof technology

Why They Chose target Idea Management

  • Solution fit with the company’s IT strategy and was not a silo solution
  • Standard solution offers comprehensive functionality
  • Solution can be flexibly configured to map requirements

“The continuous improvement process is an important element in increasing our competitive edge. With the target solution, we are able to successfully map a variety of valueadded activities in our CIP teamwork with full transparency, and in particular, were able to set up valuable workshops at additional locations.”

Markus Bock
Head of Knowledge and Idea Management

The challenge

The idea management/continuous improvement process at K+S has been recognized numerous times for its excellence. In 2012, the company received the award for “Best Idea Management in Germany” from the German Institute for Idea and Innovation Management. The key figures (idea rate of 1.2; 60% participation and conversion rate; first-year use at more than €6 million per year) underscore the leading role that idea management from K+S has enjoyed for years. The company wanted as many employees as possible to be included in the CIP process. The company set up each CIP area according to locational and functional criteria for groups of approximately 60–80 employees each, for which the CIP team based concrete tasks such as topic workshops and process optimization. A software solution was needed to support the entire CIP process in the best way possible.

The solution

K+S put its trust in the standard solution target Idea Management. The use of the software has gradually been extended throughout the company. At first, the focus was on data storage in the back-end system, and the use of SAP Business Warehouse software for reporting in the front end. In one enhancement, the entire workflow, from idea submission to idea completion, was mapped for all roles and Web-based. Later, an externally provided premium shop was integrated in which employees could redeem their idea points for cash or prize rewards (in the meantime, the shop is also being used by occupational health and safety). To support the transfer of ideas in the system, an IT-based idea copier was introduced that included a streamlined transparent workflow. In 2014, the CIP organization itself was integrated, with additional options such as action plans, incomplete ideas, topic workshops, and the like. The Morton Salt subsidiary in the United States and Canada has also implemented the system and the company plans to roll it out in other international locations.

“The software offers us an attractive platform integrated with SAP software for our improvement process. We have an outstanding tool for analysis that helps us target measures in the continuous improvement process. target has repeatedly proven itself to be a dependable partner that listens to customer needs and includes them in its further development. CIP is an important element in our ability to compete,” says Markus Bock, Head of Knowledge and Idea Management at K+S.

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