“The faster companies are able to interpret and adapt to customer preferences, the better chance of success in the future.”


An Alumni success story: Rubén Andía, Spanish

ZLC Graduate 2011
Global Production Strategy, MANN+HUMMEL Group, Germany

More than 1,000 R&D specialists, 16 filter components manufactured each second, and 15,000 employees, MANN+HUMMEL has presented an impressive curriculum for 70 years. How did you manage to join a corporation of such great magnitude?

It was 2010 and I was studying my Masters Degree at ZLC. I expected to start my professional career working for a company whose business strategy included SCM in a relevant way. The opportunity to work for MANN+HUMMEL arose and I didn’t think twice.

Three countries in three years. Your professional journey so far has been brief yet intense. What have you gained from this international experience?

When I started working in Zaragoza, I would never have imagined I would live in different countries or that I would have to visit factories all over the world. This proved to be a very intense but at the same time enthralling.

For me, the most meaningful thing to get out of an international experience such as the one I am currently living, is knowing how to adapt to new multicultural surroundings. It is absolutely essential to know how to communicate with other cultures to work together successfully.

Lean is the management of the moment. It seems to be here to stay. How has this benefited such a global company as MANN+HUMMEL?

Yes, lean is in vogue but it must be pointed out that in companies which such magnitude as MANN+HUMMEL is very difficult to implement. It requires complete cultural transformation across all levels, as well as dealing with a serious of external factors which produces an impact on the performance of the company.

Since adopting the lean philosophy, we have been working on the reduction of lean times by means of identification, reduction and elimination of those activities that don’t provide added value to our clients. We have seen a considerable rise in our efficiency, which has positively improved the level of customer service and statement of account.

“Innovation is our way forward”, is one of your maxims that the corporate culture of MANN+HUMMEL is based on. Do we have to look to the future through innovation to face the challenge of the continually improving supply chain?

In my opinion, innovation is and will be what keeps most companies going. In other words, “innovation is the creation or modification of a product or service and its initiation into the market”.

To promote it, we have to be capable of understanding the expectations of our clients.

Other variables then come into play: quality, time and cost. The faster companies are able to interpret and adapt to customer preferences to the above variables, the better chance of success in the future.