Implementing a company-wide Innovation Management

Innovations are an essential prerequisite for sustainable growth at GEA Group. The new organizational structure “OneGEA” enables the company to develop innovations beyond locations and functional areas.

GEA had already commissioned UNITY in 2015 to conduct an innovation inventory for the collection and evaluation of all innovation activities and structures. Based on the resulting recommendations for action, GEA began an initiative to develop its global and company-wide innovation management in mid-2016. This was conducted by UNITY from the development to the rollout of the innovation program. Among others, a valid, company-wide innovation process was defined, and methods and tools to generate and further develop ideas were developed and piloted in specific projects. In addition, an IT platform was selected, configured and implemented to support innovation management. 

The new innovation organization takes not only the specific characteristics of 20 organizational units into consideration but also the requirements of a central innovation management office. Within the scope of the rollout, UNITY supported GEA by linking all locations – for example adapting the organizational model locally, developing and conducting training, selecting and implementing formats of communication, drawing up initial idea campaigns, as well as organizing roll-out events.

“We set a very challenging goal for ourselves in the realization of innovation management across GEA. The expertise of UNITY’s consultants helped us to start this comprehensive innovation program and process it in a structured manner. In particular, the use and implementation of innovation tools, processes and structures in specific pilot projects ensured a high level of acceptance for innovation management in all areas of the organization.”

Heinrich Meintrup, Executive Vice President and Head of Technology Centers (on the left) & Dr. Armin Tietjen, Executive Vice President Product Engineering & Development (on the right), GEA Group

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