ANNUAL REPORT 2019
The year 2019 was marked by the implementation of measures to deal with the weaker market situation, but also by promoting international cooperation. This is demonstrated by the company’s annual Best Achievement Awards, the successful exchange of knowledge in the field of electrolamination stamping, and the introduction of digital workplaces.
The global market situation made the past financial year difficult. Feintool adapted to this situation and implemented appropriate HR measures at the respective plants. We were able to counteract short-term and medium-term economic fluctuations through traditional means such as reducing overtime and eliminating temporary positions or by introducing reduced working hours. We were able to hire employees with specific expertise at some plants, while elsewhere the number of employees stagnated or was prudently reduced.
Feintool had a total of 2 641 employees worldwide on December 31, 2019. At the same time, it was important for the company to continue to expand its expertise and make it available digitally, as well as pass this knowledge on to trainees as early as possible.
Focus on vocational and advanced training
Feintool invested in trainees in every region during the reporting year in order to secure a future supply of young talent. For example, the German fineblanking plant in Jena was awarded the title of “Top Training Company” by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Eastern Thuringia. The many years of comprehensive assistance, the individual support provided to trainees, as well as the plant’s exemplary commitment to promoting its own junior staff were the reasons behind receiving this award. Since 2006, Jena has trained 29 young people in six metal and electrical engineering professions as well as in business administration and impressed its employees with in-house advanced training programs.
In China, the company established a new partnership with the Yantai Vocational Technical College. As a result, seven trainees will, for the first time, be able to benefit from the cooperative education system and combine theoretical knowledge with hands-on training at Feintool during a shortened vocational training program. The trainees will begin working as press operators, tool maintainers, and coordinate measuring machine operators in 2020. In the United States, Feintool also intensified its partnership with Butler Tech. Butler Tech offers career training and brings students into contact with a technical education. The partnership allows Feintool to recruit highly talented young people with a technical background for its vocational training program.
All our employees had the opportunity to participate in advanced training programs during the previous financial year – an offer that many took advantage of. Training at Feintool also takes place on the job, such as through the transfer of knowledge between different locations. Employees from Japan and China acquired knowledge of electrolamination stamping technology in Jessen in order to progressively expand this expertise in China. The plants were also able to contribute their respective areas of expertise within the group to customer projects, thereby helping ensure that these projects were a success.
Impressive team performance
Such investments pay off, as demonstrated by the winners of the “Best Achievement Awards” that Feintool presents to its employees in recognition of their work on internal projects. In order to successfully design formed parts for a customer’s new eight-speed transmission, Feintool employees had to work together from plants located all over the globe. A total of four plants on different continents were involved in technical support and production.
In Obertshausen, Germany, a team developed a new optical inspection method for plate carriers. As a result, quality control procedures have become faster and easier and the quality of the parts has improved significantly, which is also reflected in higher customer satisfaction. Feintool Japan achieved the highest level of customer satisfaction thanks to optimized processes. The Japanese plant in Tokoname produced 50 million parts within one year without a single quality complaint.
Most recently, the FB one development team from the Swiss plants in Lyss and Jona also received an award. In this project, development engineers, software developers, and other experts worked hand in hand on a press that is one hundred percent “Swiss designed.”
Digital transformation at Feintool
The importance of international collaboration for Feintool is also demonstrated by the company’s introduction of digital workplaces. This project is designed to increase transparency and efficiency in digitally connected project work, resulting in the implementation of harmonized standards and working methods across the entire Feintool Group. During the reporting year, international teams worked on the individual features of the system, which is scheduled to be rolled out worldwide in 2020. In this context, providing careful support and training for all of the employees involved is one of our top priorities.
Updated mission statement for future success
A company’s mission statement is a central element of its corporate culture. A team from different plants studied the existing mission statement in detail and updated it to reflect a more modern perspective. The new version places the emphasis on our motivation, our approach, and our success. In 2020, we will take steps to bring the mission statement to life. For example, various employees from different business units will explain what the mission statement means to them personally and how they put it into practice on a daily basis together with their colleagues.