Thursday, December 19, 2013

Goodyear reinvents the wheel with innovation-oriented culture

New markets for existing products, expansion of product categories and economy with the adoption of technologies were some of the gains of the manufacturer
The rooms without walls-divided by a few stalls-dominate the sixth floor of the building in a noble area of São Paulo. At first, the costumes and informal gestures refer to the typical environment of technology companies. The location, however, is home to the Goodyear headquarters in Latin America. And synthesizes a great transformation of the company in the region, expressed in the words of order arranged soon at the reception: making better, faster and cheaper.
"Historically, Goodyear has always been known for innovation, but very focused on product. We want to expand this concept beyond the tire and extend it to all processes and to the everyday life of the company, "says Jaime Szulc, Goodyear's President for Latin America.
This movement began to be drawn a little over three years ago, when Szulc took office. Substantial changes in the industry explain that yaw. The fierce competition-with new groups investing in factories in Brazil-and the increase in the volume of imported tires in the country were some of these factors. "At the same time, the world has changed. Ten years ago, there were few options to choose from. Today, consumers are increasingly demanding and any product is much more customized, "says Szulc.
One of the key initiatives in this strategy was the creation of an innovation Committee, the first of Goodyear worldwide and not restricted to product and technology. Among other actions, the Committee created a program to capture the ideas of employees of the factory in Americana (SP). Only in 2012, the company collected 35 thousand ideas related to productive processes, of which 12 thousand were deployed. "In some cases, had a 90% cost reduction," says Fabio Dantas, Goodyear's innovation leader for the AL.
The same approach was adopted in the strategic areas of Goodyear. Today, each business unit is stimulated to release a challenge with demands of their division. The discussion is open to proposals for professionals from other units and countries. "When I arrived, we had two projects being tested. Today, we have 60 projects in the region, "says Dan.
On another front, Goodyear has been investing in a more refined dialogue with consumers, is to identify specific demands or even to discover new business opportunities.
One of the highlights of this guidance was the identification of overlapping products in some categories and, at the same time, the absence of deals on other aspects. The result? In the first months of the year, Goodyear reported an operating profit of $ 231 million, above the figure registered in the year 2012. "Deploy this philosophy is a constant challenge. We're reaping the results, but we are still only at the beginning of this journey, "says Szulc.
Games helped disseminate the change process
The human resources area has been an essential element in the culture shift of Goodyear. To communicate and introduce the new targeting, for example, the Department launched a differentiated approach: teams games, simulating a race, which brought together since the history of shares of Goodyear until the new challenges imposed by the market. "This is the phase that we call Pit Stop, where were questioning whether the formulas that the company adopted until then would be suitable for this new reality," says Denise Andrade, HR Director of Goodyear in Brazil.
The process covered all six thousand employees in the region. One of the projects that were born in this environment of cooperation was the adoption of iPhones for executives of all levels of the company. Until then, there was no standardization of devices and applications, in many cases, were restricted to text messages. "We were able to reduce telephony costs by 25%, with various applications and to almost double from users," says Sergio Rosa, Senior Manager of Goodyear for Latin America.
Brasil Econômico – 18/12/2013
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