After a successful introduction to the programme and to Düsseldorf as business location, our delegation from Chile has completed the first half of the programme in the past week. Various competencies conveyed in trainings and company visits as well as numerous individual business meetings have further contributed to the goals of the programme to prepare the Chilean executives for business initiations with German companies.
The development of management and leadership skills take a central role in the programme. Hence, the second week started with a training on innovation management delivered by Mr. Simon Schopp (4 advice GmbH), trainer and consultant for change processes, digital innovation and digital transformation. The training demonstrated the development of business concepts in times of digitization and how to address the different generations of digital costumers considering their specific demands.
For further practical insight into the operation of German companies the group went on a company visit to Remscheid on Tuesday: The discussion with D&D Trading, specialised in companies from Latin America exporting to Germany, focused on corporate management at an international level. While touring through the premises, participants had the opportunity to learn more about the warehouse logistics system and talk to various employees with multicultural backgrounds.
The second company visit to Flott GmbH, a family run business in the 5th generation developing high quality machine tools, emphasised the relevance of quality management at industrial level to compete on a global market utilising German craftmanship.
Franz Hund, Brand Manager of Metalurgica Hund Ltda. in Temuco, described his experience at Flott GmbH as follows: “The visit was very interesting for me personally as the company is a family-run manufacturing company just like mine. I got a lot of ideas just by observing the processes on the ground and thinking of improvements in my own company. Flott GmbH showed us why they are the best at what they do and why they are not afraid to manufacture an expensive product for the needs of the customers. That relates a lot to the “Made in Germany” brand.”
The following day offered further company visits to the participants. At Zülow GmbH, a provider of technical assistance in the sectors of telecommunication and electronics in Neuss, the delegation discussed important aspects of marketing and logistics, such as customer relevance and market analysis to identify demands and translate them into potential company goals. Hugo Mora, CEO of LGM Data in Santiago, remarked the following observations: “The main office of the company is in an old abbey which made it a nice visit. During the presentation we learned about the quality services, particular customers and the specific focus of the company. In Chile, we evaluate opportunities to cater to the demands of customers while here the message was rather to focus on the company’s capabilities. It was a good visit to understand the German Mittelstand better.”
The day continued with a visit at Walter Pott GmbH in Leverkusen, who is an importer for fruits with ripening chambers for bananas. The representatives demonstrated the process of finding and doing business with international partners. While visiting the ripening chambers, the delegates could inquire about questions of certification, conditions for import and exports as well as the impact of internationalisation for small and medium sized enterprises.
On Thursday morning, our executives had the opportunity to chose between two different programme agendas according to their fields of interest. The first group visited the Media Harbour district a redeveloped business area and home to numerous innovative communication, IT, design, architecture and fashion companies in Düsseldorf.
The participants were welcomed by Digihub Düsseldorf, a digital accelerator and matchmaking platform which is supported by the government of North-Rhine Westphalia. The participants were able to have a professional exchange with the start-up company IOX Lab and learn about innovation management from first-hand experience. Curious about business models and innovative processes of start-up companies, the group discussed questions with representatives of digihub and IOX Lab while visiting the premises and studying various work samples.
The second group had the opportunity for an exchange with Mr. Rudolf Olejnik, managing director of Linkin Partner GmbH and specialist for logistics, in particular international freight by air, sea and road. Mr. Olejnik provided the group with a presentation on logistics as an instrument of marketing, the practice of international logistics with a focus on South America as well as challenges connected to bridging logistics and quality assurance, customer proximity and production schedules.
Marketing and corporate communication was made the subject of the visit at the local brewery Kürzer GmbH in the afternoon. Despite a relatively saturated Alt beer market in Düsseldorf, the company demonstrated its success by creating a niche through new marketing concepts. With some participants having a professional background in brewing, the visit turned later into a shoptalk in a cosy atmosphere lasting until late in the evening. Ignacio Daneri Castro, owner and head brewer of Intrinsical SpA in Santiago, emphasised the following: “The most interesting information for me was how the company entered a really traditional market with a really traditional product that has been made by centuries but giving it a new approach. It was impressive to know the exact market you are aiming at. What I take with me is the need to have good quality but also to aim for a certain vibe in your place.”
Back in the conference room on Friday, the group was welcomed by Mr. Dietmar Stinn, senior manager at Beck & Stinn Consulting. As an expert for negotiations with international business partners Mr. Stinn offered the training with a very practical approach. Through presentations, group work and simulations, the executives learned about significant factors of business negotiations, such as structure, strategy, style, communication and culture, in particular when negotiating with German companies – and also had a lot of fun with it.
For the upcoming week, IMAP has scheduled company visits addressing certification processes, the development of business plans, global business process management as well as training courses on leadership skills for managers and change management.
Initiated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and coordinated by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), IMAP is supporting the Manager Training Programme as a training centre for international delegations.