Design, engineering firm Edag sees fitness in realignment

Fulda, Germany. Contract design and engineering company Edag has reorganized its operations as part of its program called 2010 Fit for Future.

Since early June, all engineering activities have been combined into a unit called "engineering" and all plant and production-related activities have been put into a group called "manufacturing."

Edag reported sales of 572 million euros ($681.9 million at current exchange rates) in 2004, more than 75 percent from the auto industry.

Previously, Edag had separate sections of the company devoted to product engineering (including vehicle development, plus model and prototype creation) and production engineering (the development of production equipment). Its plant construction unit, which focused on production systems, also was separate.

Under Edag's executive board, a new business category -- aviation -- is being managed separately. This area is expected to be expanded and internationalized.

Reorganization around key accounts

Edag Chairman Hemjo Klein is convinced the new structure will help the firm react "more quickly and precisely, and with a greater customer focus" in the future.

"Our goal is a breathing organization," said Klein, who has been chairman since Feb. 18. The former Lufthansa executive wants the company to better cope with fluctuations in auto-industry demand.

In the coming months, about 100 of Edag's 4,200 employees will be retrained. They will be assigned to high-growth areas, including electronics, simulation and vehicle-module development.

Klein also wants to build up Edag's Asian presence, but only in response to customer demand. "We don't want to be out front internationally," he said.

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