How we moved CFE production from Germany to Romania in the middle of the pandemic: A story of focus

2021-07-08

The last year has put all of us into challenging times, whether on the business or the private front. The pandemic has definitely changed our lives and impacted our business in every way. Considering the circumstances, I am impressed and proud of all the things our teams have accomplished during the pandemic. I want to reflect on one example which stands out to me; it illustrates that we can achieve the “impossible” if we focus on the things that matter and believe in ourselves.

Beginning of 2020 we announced that we are moving our CFE production from Salzgitter, Germany to Timisoara, Romania. Those decisions are never easy. A successful relocation depends on many key topics—most importantly, you need the right team and the knowledge transfer between sites. I can still remember the project kick-off at the Frankfurt airport vividly. This was the first and only time the whole project team met in person.

Even in the best of times, a relocation like this would be a major challenge, requiring immense focus, discipline and coordination. If you had asked somebody a few years ago whether it was possible to do this in a completely digital way, the clear and straight answer would have been: No, that is impossible, we have to meet in person!

But our team in Salzgitter and Timisoara did it!

Gunnar Halden, President FG Industrial

Shortly after the project started, our team was forced to stop all travel between locations due to travel restrictions. We quickly shifted all our efforts to digital platforms, using Teams, online videos and trainings to transfer the process knowledge to the team in Timisoara. The team’s full commitment and dedication to the project made this a successful project, even though we faced many obstacles. The switch to the digital world is only one example how a clear focus on the critical few tasks at hand makes us successful; we knew that this move was one of our critical few, and required incredible focus in order to bring it to fruition.

Today it makes me proud to see how the colleagues in Salzgitter and Timisoara helped to set up an optimized smooth production line in Timisoara. Even more we were able to improve our product quality and received very positive feedback even from our most critical customers who thought that this mission is impossible.

I am looking forward to many more of those great examples.


President FG Industrial, Gunnar Halden

Contact

Gunnar Halden
President FG Industrial