The 2011 Swiss conference for industrial engineers and MTM practitioners was held in Altstätten, a small town in the Rhine valley in the canton of St. Gallen – in conjunction with the Austrian MTM Association and the Swiss Association for Production Engineering and Company Organization, the SVBF. The target groups not only included MTM users, but also production managers, planning engineers and production planners. About 35 people made their way to EgoKiefer AG, Switzerland’s largest manufacturer of high-quality windows for the construction sector. The fact that the conference was held directly at an industrial company made the event particularly attractive.
The morning was dedicated to an introduction to and a detailed, excellent,
specialist guided tour of the EgoKiefer AG business premises. The company
manufactures high-quality products made of wood, plastic and aluminum on an
industrial scale and they are tailor-made to meet customer requirements.
Incoming orders in 2010 were worth 100 million Swiss francs and the company has
about 1,000 employees, 600 of them based at Altstätten. The main customers are
general contractors, architects and private house builders. The average batch
size is three windows and production takes place on the latest equipment – and
this requires a great deal of flexibility regarding sequences, processes and
deliveries. The participants also discovered from Edmund Gruber, Human
Resources Manager and one of the company directors, that the number of
employees is stable and there is a high level of commitment to the firm. The
specialist lectures were held in the afternoon. Peter Seitz, Head of Cost
Accounting at EgoKiefer and co-organizer of the event, explained in detail the
process of cost accounting, which takes place separately for each order. The
basis for this is MTM-MEK data, which is also used with specially adapted
software for bonus incentives and is well accepted by the employees. Assistant
Professor Peter Kuhlang introduced the special situation for industrial
engineers at SMEs. He is currently working at Dortmund University of Technology
on a scientific paper on this subject where value stream and MTM play a central
role. His remarks included a great deal of information and suggestions for the
participants to use in their own corporate environment. The concluding paper
presented by the President of the Employers Association in the St. Gallen Rhine
Valley, René Wuffli, outlined the economic situation in the prosperous region.
Well-known, fairly large companies on both sides of the Rhine are very close to
each other, which simplifies many business contacts and also the issue of
logistics. Employment in a very attractive scenic region is a local factor with
very positive effects. Migration to other parts of the country is not a
problem, according to him; the employees “remain faithful to their patch.”
Summing up, it was a very successful conference, which not only brought to light many suggestions for everyday business operations, but also triggered a desire for more information about MTM and the way it can be used. The choice of the conference venue at a successful company in a border region in Switzerland was particularly interesting.
“The basis for the cost accounting
work is MTM-MEK data, which is also used with specially adapted software for
bonus incentives and is well accepted by the employees."
Peter Seitz, Head of Cost Accounting at EgoKiefer AG
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