BOMAG is on a mission to become the top player in its industry, and to get there it’s putting staff at the forefront.
The colour of BOMAG is yellow. Each piece of construction equipment that the business manufactures and distributes wears the signature hue, and its marketing collateral bathes in the brightness.
It permeates all facets of the organisation and has become a signpost to the culture that BOMAG’s 2,500 employees live and breathe. “The commitment our people give to this company is very strong,” says Joerg Unger, BOMAG’s CEO.
“They are honest to BOMAG, and when I say that I don’t mean to me, the CEO; I mean that they give a real commitment to BOMAG as a company. We have second-generation family members working with us, and we have staff members who have been with us for more than 50 years. This commitment truly gives me a lot of pleasure. It’s a great place to be.”
This year, BOMAG celebrates its sixtieth anniversary as a producer of road machinery equipment, specialising in the compaction of soils, asphalt and refuse, stabilisers/recyclers, land milling machines and finishers. The company’s roots are in the German countryside, and for the local people who come to work every day, it’s an especially important part of their lives. “We all share the same values and work together to achieve the best outcomes for BOMAG,” Joerg says.
A global presence
But despite having this small-town feel, the business has global presence and factories in other parts of the world outside of Germany too, namely Brazil, China, Italy and the US. This has required BOMAG to adapt its approach over the years to cater to the demands of the international marketplace and to keep internal communication lines open.
“Our sales and service colleagues work nearly everywhere,” Joerg explains. “Communication is the key to success. People have to know each other, and instruments like email, Skype, Whatsapp, and SAP help, but what is actually more important is the personal relationships that are formed. We all try to find best solutions for BOMAG and for our customers, and as long as we are all in it together and have this understanding that our colleagues in other countries are also looking for the best technical solutions we can offer our customers too, then we will achieve success.
"For example, if we’re looking to find the best solution for a Chinese customer, a BOMAG colleague based in China has the best chance of finding that solution. We all have a unique competence in our given regions, and this helps to garner the respect of others.
“Every day, there are going to be misunderstandings due to language barriers and different cultural backgrounds. However, it helps a lot if people don’t see themselves as being above anyone else. From my point of view, this starts with the management team, myself included.
"The managers cannot take themselves too seriously; they need to be able to smile about these little misunderstandings which we have and move on. In fact, these misunderstandings often make us laugh a lot together. This is how we handle the BOMAG business in such a complex world.”
We don’t focus on the activities of our competitors; we focus only on our customers.”
A core part of BOMAG’s approach to employing and retaining loyal staff is its commitment to training and development. It has an apprenticeship program for school leavers, which more than 90 people are currently part of. Additionally, every second year it runs a traineeship program for university graduates to learn about what the company does, its values and ambitions.
“Training is so important,” Joerg says. “For the traineeship program, people come to us with a university diploma in their hands. They are already qualified to join our team, but first they need to learn specific things about our industry and workplace. We run trainings in a variety of languages, and we even offer cultural trainings if it is required.”
Turning strategy into success
Once everyone is on the same page, it gives BOMAG the best possibility to turn its strategy into success. According to Joerg, its overarching vision, as part of the FAYAT Group, is to become the number one solutions provider to the global construction industry. To achieve this, it’s putting its product and application solutions above profit, focusing on delivering the best technological solutions to its customers, and working as a team.
“BOMAG is a strong engineering- and technology-driven company,” Joerg says. “This is the first value that we hold and where our biggest focus lies. The second one is that we are a team-oriented company. The result that comes out of a group discussion is always going to be better than what every single person puts in individually.
The commitment our people give to this company is very strong.
Even if you believe you have the best idea when you walk out of a creative team discussion, by cooperating with your colleagues the output will be far better than that individual idea ever was. Everyone who wants to work for BOMAG needs to understand these things. If somebody only wants to optimise profit, they are in the wrong company. If somebody believes that only they have the best idea, they are in the wrong company.”
Under the direction of Joerg as CEO, BOMAG’s strategy comprises 4 strategic goals. The first is to position itself as number one in the world for compaction products and services. Second, it wants to become the number 2 global player in paving, and, third, to become the number 2 global player in milling.
Its fourth strategic cornerstone is to offer the best customer service possible, better than any other company in the industry. “We don’t focus on the activities of our competitors; we focus only on our own customers,” Joerg states. “If they are happy, then I’m happy. There are so many things that will change in our industry during the next 10 years, but ultimately I believe roads are important today and roads will connect people tomorrow as well. BOMAG sees itself as the provider of these road solutions for the construction industry.”
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