Since the beginning of the International Consulting Project, our team has dived into Bystronic’s metal sheet world. The 5 engineers coming from Europe and Asia, quickly discovered with interest the areas of expertise: laser cutting and bending machines and automation solutions. Bystronic evolves quickly from a machine builder into new business models including service as a business and software as a service. Nowadays, the company offers smart factory software solutions to optimize data and material flows for an entire company. At the beginning of September, we were invited to the company’s Competence Days, as if we were customers, to see from the field the fully automated smart factory. This illustrated the importance of software in the future of this industry. The Competence Days was also an incredible opportunity to get a sense of the values of the company and feel the connection and openness among the “Bystronic’s family”.
Extending our learning
With the ICP, we focus on areas that we have not detailed during the year at IMD. We learn by ourselves but also by inviting IMD experts. Since July, we have skimmed multiple articles, books, industry reports, competitor’s websites to understand the industry and get immersed in the topics a few months ahead of the project beginning. Thus, we were prepared to work from the first week of the project. During the learning phase, we could rely on the active support of the IMD top professors like Ivy Buche, Vanina Farber, and our faculty director James Henderson.
Until now, the team collaboration has been smooth: we quickly agreed on the tasks and how to split them. 5 engineers are easy to align: involved and well organized. In addition, we support each other and this has been particularly important during job search time. Our main client, Michael Praeger, has been very helpful to get in touch with any contact in the company and to instore a pleasant working atmosphere. We appreciate his openness and his engagement in the project as well as his open feedback. We had several open talks about determining the best strategy to approach the problem and learned also from his expertise. We went to the first client presentation well prepared and serene to present our first result to Bystronic’s executive committee.
The ICP is a great opportunity to have a quick immersion into an unfamiliar area within a new company. This dive has been highly facilitated by the openness and transparency of Bystronic’s management team and by the support of the IMD professors.
Author: Pierre Carles
Team: Andri Fritz, Antonio González Hijas, David Roe, XiaoYang Wu