Perfectly running processes
Interview with Dr. Ralf Hofmann (Chairman of the Board of Management) Mieschke Hofmann und Partner (MHP)
To achieve the greatest possible added value for our customers - this is the mindset with which the Porsche subsidiary Mieschke Hofmann und Partner (MHP), one of the leading German process and IT consultancy firms, approaches each new project. In this connection, MHP carefully examines the overall customer company, i.e. the organisation, processes and IT.
Mieschke Hofmann und Partner (MHP) refers to itself as a process supplier. What exactly is meant by this?
The basis for this self-conception is the basic realisation that IT is not be all and end all for our customers. It is much more a means to an end. The main goal of our customers is to work as productively as possible. It is, however, not enough to merely implement a new IT system in order to achieve this. What is needed is to establish stable and efficient processes company-wide and to optimally use the deployed IT to achieve this. We are successful in achieving this, time and again, thanks to our symbiosis of process and IT consultancy. We don't just provide our customers with IT, rather optimised processes, which have been customised to precisely suit the needs of the respective company. We are only satisfied when these are running perfectly!
How does MHP proceed in this connection?
In contrast to many other consultancy firms, we don't just focus on isolated objects, rather step back and examine the overall customer company in a holistic manner. This means that we scrutinise the three "pillars" of a company, which are crucial to its success, namely the organisation, processes and IT as well as how they cooperate and interact with each other. After this initial analysis, we explain to our customers how these factors must be changed in order to achieve the best result. I'll give you an example: In a project, which we had with a automotive manufacturer, on customer relationship management, we initially checked how the customer data had previously been recorded, managed and used for further customer approaches. This is how we identify untapped potential; we then work out, together with the customer, how this process can be best optimised. This usually also involves organisational changes - simply because the individually tasks need to be allocated to the employees in a different manner. In parallel to this, we select an IT solution, which satisfies these new requirements and would ideally fit into the existing system landscape. We then adapt and implement this customised IT solution. We also accompany the overall project with a Change Management in order to ensure that the employees accept the changes; this is a key success factor!
Extensive expertise is required for such a holistic approach. How is it ensured that each customer is advised in a competent manner?
On the one hand, all prospective employees have to undergo a careful selection process, which ensures that we hire well trained and highly qualified personnel. They have specific competencies and expertise as well as experience, but also have to be able to keep an overview of the overall situation at the customer, understand the interaction of the individual factors and thus be able to accompany a project from the first meeting right through to its conclusion. This also means that each consultant must understand their role as a process supplier and never lose sight of the objective, namely to generate the greatest possible added value for the customer. On the other hand, we are constantly expanding our sector and IT-specific best practice knowledge in the company. We subsequently make this available to everyone and thus enable our over 900 employees to be able to holistically and competently advise our customers.
How do you bundle your knowledge?
The prerequisite first and foremost is that MHP, as a consultancy firm in the complex automotive market, is familiar with and understands the intricacies of our customers' processes. Based on this, we have built up detailled process models, which contain all the required work steps, for the different activities along the entire value-added chain. What the standard solutions cover is also presented here as is where there is still a need for customised development. In addition, we work with numerous best practices in which we incorporate all the experiences we have gathered over the last 15 years as a process and IT consultancy firm and which we adapt to best suit the needs of our over 200 customers (which include, amongst others, one third of the top 100 German companies, 40% of the DAX companies and 90% of the largest automotive companies).
Could you finally give us an example of a successful process delivery?
At the production location of a German automotive manufacturer, we implemented, for example, a completely new logistics concept for the assembly of a premium vehicle. With the processes and IT components provided by us, it was possible to realise a much more lean supply chain than is normally the case. This also included, for example, a single-step delivery of goods, whereby the required parts are directly delivered to the assembly line. Stockkeeping is thus reduced to a minimum, something which allows for a significant reduction in the range of stock and thus in the capital commitment costs.
We were also, in the case of this project, able to do justice to our claim of always generating the greatest possible added value for our customers as it was once again a case of providing the right solution, implementing said and ensuring its smooth running. The processes you have always wanted...