Lufthansa Technik adds fresh impetus to idea management
Employee ideas contribute ten percent to result
The employees of the Lufthansa Technik Group in Germany contribute almost ten percent to the company's result through savings from ideas they have submitted. Lufthansa Technik saves around 40 million euros each year by implementing creative ideas for improvement suggested by the teams in the hangars, workshops and offices. And this potential is set to be exploited even more in the future thanks to the new idea management concept "my ideas". Some 2,000 ideas have already been submitted.
"Engineers want to make things better. It's in our DNA. The rollout of the ‘my ideas' concept is the starting signal for a new ideas culture. Even more streamlined processes and a modern IT tool will accelerate the process of submitting an idea, verifying it and deciding on its implementation," says Dr. Oliver Reichel-Busch, Head of Corporate Idea Management at Lufthansa Technik. "It is important to us that all those involved in the company, from the idea generators to the experts and company executives to top management, devote the necessary attention to the topic. Only then can the enormous potential of employee ideas be made permanently available to the company."
This is not the only reason why Lufthansa Technik is by far the most important ideas generator within the Lufthansa Group. The ideas submitted yielded 10.5 million euros in first-year benefits alone over the last twelve months and will be felt for a good four years averaged across all projects.
While Lufthansa Technik has always offered attractive monetary incentives for submitting suggestions for improvement, the new approach with "my ideas" ensures that decisions on ideas can be made faster so that the team's knowledge can be funneled into specific measures.
The new process ensures, among other things, that a suggestion for improvement lands promptly on the table of the manager set to gain from the described solution. "We have therefore been able to significantly optimize the often tedious and protracted search for the right decision-maker," says Peter Schuerholz, Idea Manager at Lufthansa Technik. The decision-maker can include additional experts in the decision, since many suggestions for improvement involve complex processes or repair procedures.
One example of the program's potential: A team of mechanics at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg was bothered by the considerable effort required in their workshop for recording data from damage analyses. A photo of the damage taken by a camera first had to be transferred to PC, then converted to a pdf document and finally incorporated laboriously into the damage report created in SAP. The team developed an app that allows a photo taken on a tablet PC to be linked automatically with a second photo of the barcode of the associated order sheet and then added to the report in the system.
Instead of up to ten minutes per process as was previously the case, the new app only needs between one and three minutes. This in-house development – now named „t/complaint"– spread very rapidly through Lufthansa Technik's specialized workshops, and is already being used by more than 50 departments. With thousands of recordings like these every year, the savings potential is enormous.