Patrick Kaufmann and Michael Börner, energy management in Waltershausen

Patrick Kaufmann (left), head of energy management in Waltershausen, and Michael Börner, project engineer for the technical team in Waltershausen, submitted the Best Employee Idea 2016 with increased efficiencies in the combustion process.

© Continental AG

Ideas Are Welcome Worldwide at Continental

  • Continental employees have saved around €550 million over the last four years through Continental Idea Management – saving approximately €124 million in 2015
  • Over 470,000 ideas – more than two ideas per employee
  • “Best Idea 2016”: employees in Waltershausen reduce emissions

Hanover, July 27, 2016. Employees working for the international technology company Continental are creative and overflowing with good ideas. The Continental Idea Management (CIM) program reflects this every year. Last year, employees at over 160 locations around the world helped boost the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the company with more than 470,000 ideas. The over 212,000 employees had more than two ideas each on average. This led to Continental making global savings of around €124 million. Over the last four years, Continental employees have generated savings in the region of €550 million as a result. “Good ideas are our most valuable resource. Our employees’ skills and capabilities and their wealth of ideas are what safeguard our competitiveness. This is why we instill a culture that welcomes their ideas,” stated Dr. Ariane Reinhart, Continental Executive Board Member for Human Relations .​​​​​​​

“Our employees not only support Continental with the outstanding work they do, but they also make an equally valuable contribution to the company with their creativity. The ideas range from process and quality improvements, knowledge exchanges, and collaboration across national borders through to developments in the spheres of environmental protection and occupational health and safety. Continental employees worldwide are thus demonstrating the intensity of their commitment to their technology company. Mutual networking also means that everyone can benefit from the ideas of others,” explained Reinhart.

The number of participating locations has risen from 156 to 161 in 2015. The most successful international locations are Icheon and Sejong (both in South Korea) and Guadalajara (Mexico). The Roding, Regensburg, and Rheinböllen locations contributed the most ideas in Germany.

One idea in particular received special recognition. It came from the clever minds at the German ContiTech location in Waltershausen. Previously, the combustion furnaces for steam generation with oxygen were heated using a cold air supply close to the ground. In the future, Continental employees will use warmer air from the ceiling. Prewarmed air increases the efficiency of the combustion process resulting in decreased energy expenditure for the same amount of steam.

This saw the ideas team from Waltershausen win the award issued by the German Institute for Idea and Innovation Management in the category “Best Employee Idea 2016.” The team beat all other competitors in a nationwide competition comprising a number of industries including automotive, mechanical engineering, chemicals, and electrical engineering.

“This idea can be implemented worldwide – both at Continental and other companies, too. It therefore makes an immeasurable contribution to protecting the environment and conserving resources. This is testament to how diligently and consciously our employees follow our sustainability targets in their day-to-day work, in terms of cutting energy and costs and protecting the environment,” expressed Reinhart.

Continental Idea Management

CIM is a tightly organized and structured process that addresses employees directly. Creativity and resourcefulness are the key, because the suggestions made should always encompass more than the employee’s own area of responsibility. CIM thus also plays a key role in boosting the company’s competitiveness and added value.

The CIM program has been in place in comparable form since as early as 1930. The basic idea was born 85 years ago when employees from all over the world used to submit their ideas by post. To retain this scheme within a globally networked company structure, Continental is making CIM fit for the future. The corporation is in the midst of a digital revolution here, too. The more than 212,000 employees will have access to an online ideas management system in the future, thereby standardizing and hugely simplifying the previous access.



Contact

Nicole Göttlicher

Nicole Göttlicher Spokeswoman, HR & Career Corporate Communications Phone: +49 511 938-1640 E-mail: