CHANGE MEANS OPPORTUNITIES
ACTION FIELD CONTENT CAN BE ADAPTED TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC BECAUSE THE FORCE PROGRAM IS TIMELESS
Trough efficiency towards flexibility for globalisation
Simply Clever solutions
Changing mindset to secure the future
he objectives and tasks of the FORCE Program laid down in action fields F1–F8 also apply at a time when both industry and the market are recovering from outages in the first half of the year. Not only field F5 (Competitive cost structure) but also all the others are related to making financial savings and maintaining cash flow and liquidity. In production processes, this means accelerating towards the onset of a higher degree of digitisation within the F1 (Future factory) field. Furthermore, the challenge regarding F2 (Customer-oriented quality) is to continue to look for ways to avoid additional costs this year to reduce control activities by 5.2%. Reducing activities that do not add value (the goal is a 6% improvement in 2019–2020) and decreasing the underuse of employees, for example as a result of the sub-optimal sequencing of special equipment, will also help to save money and to streamline, which is addressed by action field F3 (Value creation). The gradual start of production and fluctuations in demand changed the market structure and have led to a quick adjustment in the range of manufactured cars. Action fields F4 (Capacities) and F6 (Ramp-up challenges) will, therefore, be focused even more on assessing capacities and ensuring the smoothest possible path to other projects – especially when it comes to new cars literally crammed with control units and software or electromobility.
Measures to combat the pandemic have also led to restrictions on personal meetings or business trips; however, modern working and communication methods started to be fully used. These are now playing a fundamental role regarding field F7 (Regionalisation) and the management of foreign projects. While 15 lectures were held at foreign universities last year to spread awareness about the carmaker among students, working meetings between Czech and Indian plants are now held exclusively online, which saves time and money. Additionally, the carmaker pays great attention to reducing the impact of its activities on the environment and within the action field F8 (Green future – environment). It has managed to make significant improvements in recent years, and this year’s goal is zero landfill waste per car. Despite the negative impact of COVID-19, the topic of environmental protection is at the forefront of its activities, just as it is with competitors or key economic units, such as the European Union. However, further steps will not be possible without new technologies on which ŠKODA AUTO employees are actively working, such as electromobility, biomass combustion and the use of solar energy. MIroslav Kroupa