“The keys to our success will be closeness to customers, the quality of our services and our competitiveness.”
The new thyssenkrupp Services GmbH officially starts operation on October 1, 2020. The process of bringing together under one roof a total of 25 service lines and six independent service companies is already in full swing. In this interview Jörg Hachmann explains what the teams are currently working on, how the future way of working together is planned, and how the businesses can use the new central service point.
Mr. Hachmann, what is the current status of the formation of tk Services?
In the past few weeks we have finalized the consultations on the target organization and team lineups. The focus right now is on preparing the transfers and informing the employees. We’re a little behind schedule, but overall the company will start operation on time on October 1, 2020.
tk Services is to become the central point for internal services at tk. What does that mean?
With tk Services an organization is being created that will adapt to the needs of the businesses. With our services and content, we will be a strategic partner for all tk units – I see us as connectors and supporters in terms of competitiveness and profitability. For this we will continue to rely on our tried and trusted mix of classic services, governance issues and expert knowledge. And now we are adding to this mix, making us even more competitive and attractive to our customers.
Alongside the 25 service lines, six independent companies such as tk Management Consulting and the tk Academy will be part of tk Services. That’s quite a lot and very heterogeneous.
I don’t see heterogeneity as a disadvantage but as “positive diversity” and a genuine advantage. The combination of a wide range of competencies and the knowledge of our experts in their respective disciplines offers very effective support reaching into all areas. It is precisely because we have so many services in our portfolio that we can provide comprehensive customer support across wide areas. We offer services from a single source and have set ourselves up in such a way that our customers can concentrate on what matters: their business.
Who are the services directed at?
Chiefly at all units and employees at thyssenkrupp. But in some areas we are already working with external customers.
Will tk Services be offering its services nationally or internationally?
In some areas we have a more national focus and the corresponding expertise. This includes for example support for the companies based at the Quartier or the German pension plans. But in addition we are active wherever our customers require our support and services. And here our outlook is also clearly international, meaning wherever thyssenkrupp is represented.
In the past it was often said that internal services at thyssenkrupp are too expensive. Why should the businesses purchase services from tk Services and not from possibly cheaper external providers?
Because looking at costs objectively and comprehensively, “cheaper” isn’t always “better”. And because frequently orders are placed without really taking into account all the interfaces, costs and also risks involved when engaging external providers. Even if the cost of an external solution seems more favorable at first glance, as tk Services we still have advantages. To mention just three aspects: Due to our shared history, we know the structures and working methods of our customers very well. We also speak the same tk language and understand our customers in the truest sense of the word, permitting faster and more efficient dialogue. What also distinguishes us is closeness to our customers. We will strengthen this further in the future. Together with our customers we want to develop products and services that add value for both sides. And don’t forget: we also offer organizational and technical advantages. Our teams are already connected to the tk network, many IT systems are compatible, and our compliance and data protection rules are known and adhered to. So in many areas we reduce complexity for our customers. We need to highlight this more. Because one thing is certain: time will remain short and the pressure to succeed will remain great in all areas of tk.
How will customers find out what services tk Services offers? And who can they contact if they are interested in them?
Firstly we will be reporting regularly on tk Services in the internal media. Secondly we will start marketing our services internally. In addition to all these modern digital possibilities we will focus above all on direct, personal contact. Our new structure is particularly suited to this: with the designated SL heads and company managing directors we can increase closeness to our customers, better highlight the added value of our services and guarantee a high level of engagement.
Where do you see tk Services a year from now?
A year is a very short time, we mustn’t expect miracles – especially not in such a volatile environment as at thyssenkrupp. We don’t know today what concrete impacts the further consolidation of the group and newtk Org 2.0 will have. We are in dialogue with all our customers to make it clear to them that we are a good, reliable and competent partner. The keys to our success will be closeness to customers, the quality of the services we offer and our competitiveness. A year from now we will still be delivering our services successfully and looking at the positive results of our work with several new customers.