Gerolsteiner: Using continuous improvement for digitalization and innovation
The case study Gerolsteiner shows how companies can use the methods of continuous improvement and innovation to drive digitalization forward.
Can water be digitized? The German beverage manufacturer Gerolsteiner asks itself this question in view of the megatrend of digital transformation.
“It’s obvious that you can’t download water from the App Store tomorrow“
explains Harald Stadler, Sales Director Gerolsteiner Brunnen. “But all the processes surrounding the distribution of our mineral water will change drastically as a result of digitalization.”
On a digital platform, Gerolsteiner called on around 130 employees to rethink sales processes. Gerolsteiner used the Innolytics® innovation management software for this purpose. Sales staff were able to discuss existing processes and submit suggestions for new ones.
The mission of the Gerolsteiner platform:
“Think sales completely new!”
“We didn’t just want to have suggestions for improvement, but to encourage employees to fundamentally rethink what we need in the future,” says Stadler. “For us, it was an experiment. We’ve never done anything like this before. But it seemed logical to us to develop the digital future in a digital way.”
Already in the first seven days of the online campaign, more than 200 suggestions for new processes were received, for example:
- Processes with which Excel spreadsheets can be replaced by standardized smart data formats,
- better communication of best practice examples among each other, and
- innovative approaches to bundling and providing customer information.
The proposals have been commented on more than 1,000 times. Employees showed their agreement with proposals through almost 3849 evaluations in the form of “likes”. “We were surprised by the success,” explains Harald Stadler. “It shows that employees gratefully accept innovative management approaches.
The results were divided into four categories:
Quick Wins: Suggestions that can be implemented at short notice
Small jobs: Process ideas that can be implemented in the medium term through working groups.
Big Jobs: Ideas that lead to larger change and implementation projects.
No Jobs: Rejected proposals.
The Innolytics® technology supported Gerolsteiner in setting up the platform and implementing the campaign.