Dr. Oliver Greiner
Safety is a megatrend – and DEKRA’s mission is a world without accidents. This expert organization wants to become the global partner for a safe world, and is in the process of implementing a future-oriented transformation in the context of its Vision 2025 program.
Did you know that around 1.2 million people worldwide die each year in traffic accidents? And that 860,000 people have accidents at work every day? And that in the German-speaking world alone, there are more than 10,000 fatal accidents at home each year? Despite these terrifying figures, in some ways the world today is safer than ever. Testing company DEKRA makes an important contribution to this, serving a basic human need in doing so. There continues to be significant demand for safety, including and especially in the context of technological change and global economic interaction.
In 2015, DEKRA interrogated its founding fathers’ mission to achieve greater safety and, in devising Vision 2025, aligned it to the future. Stefan Kölbl, CEO of DEKRA, emphasizes: “The aspiration to become the global partner for a safe world on the roads, at work, and at home by 2025 – by which time DEKRA will have been in existence for 100 years – has been shaping our self-perception since it was set out.”
This not only requires changes to products, technologies, and markets, but also means shining a light on all areas in which the company could be better. Contemporary approaches to shaping organizational structures, processes, and IT infrastructures, as well as new workforce skills and employee expectations, offer opportunities for this. DEKRA consistently engages with these possibilities.
This includes strengthening collaboration between all employees. In 2018, the company grew for the 15th year in a row – both organically and through acquisitions. The expert examination, testing and certification company expanded into 30 countries, transacted around 100 acquisitions, and increased their headcount by almost 35,000. Today, DEKRA is a global player with a total of more than 45,000 employees in 60 countries, across five continents. Its success is undeniably impressive. However, looking forward, the company’s growth also posed a risk that it would not be able to fully exploit its strength in pursuit of its vision. This is because it was in a situation where many of its sub-companies working in parallel were not operating on a sufficiently networked basis, resulting in insufficient technology transfer, a range of different customer approaches in sales, and an inconsistent data landscape.
The organizational transformation is consistently driven
by the corporate strategy, with the corporate statement
serving internally as a cornerstone creating an identity
In order to become better, DEKRA initiated an organizational transformation systematically driven by the corporate strategy, and supported by an intensive change management process. The core idea was to bring key elements in the value chain together under standardized management. To this end, DEKRA scrutinized the existing organizational structures’ strengths and weaknesses, derived various options based on what it found, and tested them in the context of strategic requirements. In this process, the key measures derived were to adapt the regional structure, and to realign the portfolio using parameters oriented both on the customer and performance. This work would necessitate the assignment of employees, optimizing of processes, and adapting of management systems.
Today, eight service divisions that report to a Board of Management work to further develop the content of the company’s services. In addition, responsibility for global business is assigned to eight regions. Sales and completion are locally executed on a more standardized basis, enabling concentrated market cultivation and further improving delivery capacity. The company’s internal cornerstones form the corporate statement that not only creates an identity but also spells out the company’s purpose.
The transformation is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2020, enabling DEKRA to continue to benefit from the megatrend of safety in future, and by 2025 to fulfill its vision of being a global partner for a safe world.