Pump Supplier Grundfos Optimises Stakeholder Management with Surwayne
With 18,000 employees and more than 16 million pumps produced each year, Grundfos is one of the largest pump suppliers in the world. However, just talking about size would not be a fair characterisation of the Danish company. Grundfos is the innovation leader in circulator pumps for homes and apartments – and even if it is not obvious at first glance: Digital transformation is also creating new challenges in the pumps business.
Managing the Interface between Development and Production
“The pace of innovation has increased. The life cycles of our products, which used to be around ten years, have been significantly reduced,” according to Thorben Looft, who is responsible for the interface between development and production at the Grundfos site in Wahlstedt. New Product Introduction is the name of his division and it always comes into play when the head office’s research and development department in Denmark develops a new pump model.
Wahlstedt is located between Hamburg and Kiel and is one of the company’s most important production sites in Europe. MAGNA3 is Grundfos’ flagship product. In parallel to the development of new models, Thorben Looft’s coordination work begins. “Which changes do we have to make in production? Which resources do we need? When can we start manufacturing? These are all questions that cannot be answered within a few minutes. That’s why we manage every major new product launch or product change as a project. Overall, we oversee an extensive project portfolio,” says Looft.
Bridging the Gap between Numerous Stakeholder Groups
Each one of these projects involves numerous stakeholder groups: from site management and engineering departments to production technology. In addition to the demands of digitalisation, there are new customer requests that Grundfos closely monitors and incorporates into its product range. The increasing pace of innovation means that the number and complexity of new projects is growing for production in Wahlstedt.
When looking for a solution that allows new developments to be coordinated more efficiently in production, classic project management tools were among the options worth considering. “The focus for us is building a bridge between all the stakeholder groups involved. On the one hand, project management solutions provide many functions that we do not even need – on the other hand, most of the solutions lack distinctive features for stakeholder management that are important to us,” says Thorben Looft.
Open Team Culture and Objective Feedback
Grundfos eventually decided to test Surwayne. “We foster a team culture that thrives on open feedback. Already from a purely philosophical point of view, Surwayne perfectly fits our needs,” says Looft, describing the rationale behind his decision. “There are hundreds of project management and survey tools, but only Surwayne has enabled us to bring a new quality to our stakeholder management.”
While in team meetings many participants tend to quickly agree with one another depending on the situation, Grundfos uses Surwayne to gain objective insights into the actual state of mind of all stakeholders. The first survey already brought about some differentiated feedback. While project stakeholders and sponsors have tended to have the same view, the scope of the feedback has increased significantly – from “I wholeheartedly support” to “We still lack some information.”
A Faster and More Seamless Project Launch with Surwayne
As the one responsible for the product launch in production, Thorben Looft is now able to respond more specifically to open questions and to provide information that the project participants need in order to make an informed decision. Looft: “It was the simplicity of Surwayne that impressed me. The set standard questions were 90% suitable for us which meant we could start the first survey in no time. Answering the surveys is quick and intuitive thanks to the smiley-based system – and it’s obviously no disadvantage that Surwayne hosts its software in accordance with the German data protection law.”
Summary: As the link between development and production, the New Product Introduction division at Grundfos is responsible for preparing the production of new product models. With Surwayne, the pump supplier integrates all the involved stakeholders into new product projects. With Surwayne’s survey features, Grundfos quickly finds out if all divisions are prepared for a new project and will continue to keep on top of this during the project. Register today for our free live demo to learn more about Surwayne!