Onsite Visit Bridges Gap Between Theory and Practice

A group of Ukrainian managers discovered how product and lean management work at a German medium-sized enterprise during a visit to SATA, a market leader in the painting industry.

SATA GmbH & Co KG is a family-run business with more than 100 years of tradition. It specialises in the production of paint guns, cup systems, respiratory protection, filter technology and related accessories and generates an annual turnover of €92 million with around 280 employees. During the onsite visit to Kornwestheim in Baden-Württemberg, the MP participants from Ukraine were given an insight into production, from incoming supplies through to the outbound logistics. The group also became acquainted with SATA-SYNCHRO, a system that optimises work structures and makes processes simpler and faster. The premise at SATA is that order at the workplace and clearly assigned areas of responsibility increase the sense of duty among employees and contribute to a pleasant working atmosphere and environment.

The Ukrainian executives also discovered how the needs and wishes of the customers can be met with the enterprise’s products and services. On the one hand, SATA offers standard design products that are available in several colours, and on the other hand, each customer can have their spray gun individually decorated. To ensure an appealing product design, SATA is supported by designers from the car manufacturer Porsche. Another service: Delivery within 24 hours of receipt of the order is guaranteed. All orders received by 2 p.m. will be shipped on the same day; for individually decorated painting guns, a processing period of up to five days applies.

At about 70 per cent, exports account for a large part of SATA's sales. In order to be able to deliver the goods, which are usually ordered in larger quantities, abroad on time, the enterprise has agreed special conditions with major customers and has developed its own ordering-cycle procedure. This ensures that all customer enquiries are processed on time and that there are no delivery bottlenecks.

For the Ukrainian managers, the onsite visit was a fitting addition to the theoretical material of the training in Germany. The management tool Kanban, for example, which was presented at SATA, was discussed intensively a few days later during the international project management training. Another memorable point for the Ukrainian managers was that both products and processes can be innovative. Some MP participants concluded after visiting SATA that change management and project management require a long implementation phase in order for employees to accept the change. A significant insight for the group: product quality is a minimum requirement; competitive advantage however is achieved through product innovation.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Stuttgart Region