It’s a sunny Sunday afternoon and I’m now relaxing, having fun going through photos and notes from the Grundfos Media Tour I participated in last week in Denmark and Hungary. It is truly a privilege to be invited on such a media tour. For three straight days John Mesenbrink, CONTRACTOR’s editor at large, and I, plus other media members, learned about all things Grundfos.
On the first day of the media tour we toured the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers Hotel. This Copenhagen hotel is known as the world’s greenest hotel. It is one of the first hotels to meet the EU Green Building Programme standards. The hotel uses an Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) system for heating and cooling, and Grundfos pumps were specifically supplied for this system. Make sure to check out the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers photo gallery to learn more about the sustainable features of this hotel.
The following day, Wednesday, we arrived at the Grundfos Center in Bjerringbro, Denmark, and met with Mads Nipper, group president and CEO, Jorgen Bjelskou, global public affairs director, and Hans Brink Hansen, business development manager.
During the morning press conference Nipper gave us an overview of Grundfos’ history throughout the decades and the company’s business philosophy. Bjelskou discussed Grundfos’ focus on sustainability and energy efficiency and Hansen discussed smarter buildings. That afternoon we took a tour of the factory that manufactures industry pumps. On Thursday we toured another manufacturing facility – this one is in an industrial complex in Tatabanya, Hungary, which is about 60 miles west of Budapest. Both manufacturing plants are impressive facilities.
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After going through my notes and photos today, I realized there are many different articles I can create and angles I can take regarding what I learned about Grundfos on this media tour. However, there are a few items that are top of mind for me at this moment. First of all, Grundfos has six values, which are:
- Sustainable – The business is run in a responsible and sustainable way, thus the company is socially responsible. Products are made to help customers save natural resources, and Grundfos takes care of its employees.
- Open and trustworthy – Grundfos is transparent, and communication is open and honest.
- Focus on people — Grundfos develops its employees; everyone employed by Grundfos has potential, and everyone has the power to influence, and is respected and valued.
- Independent — The Poul Due Jensen Foundation is the main shareholder of Grundfos.
- Partnership — Grundfos believes diversity drives innovation and growth, and that relationships with customers, suppliers and stakeholders are key.
- Relentlessly ambitions — Grundfos is always creating better solutions faster, and it is takes pride in delivering top quality products.
As a journalist I have reviewed many company mission statements and value statements. What impresses me about Grundfos’ values is that they are specific, to the point, clear, concise and easy to understand. It’s also impressive that these value statements are applied throughout all the departments at Grundfos. It doesn’t matter if you are employed in a corporate office or in one of the many manufacturing facilities. These six values are implemented across the board at Grundfos.
For example, at the manufacturing facilities, there are specific areas on the floor where shift managers meet during shift changes. Managers talk to one another about what happened during their shift, noting production problems, what needs to be fixed, how many products were produced, etc. Transparent communication in the factory leads to everyone being more efficient and creates a productive environment. Also, in the Tatabanya, Hungary, manufacturing facility we learned about the Kaizen process that is used. Kaizen means continuous development; a series of improvements; actions that are introduced to solve a problem in a sustainable way.
The Kaizen process is a great example of how employees make a difference, are innovative and respected at Grundfos. In 2013, 5,483 proposals were submitted and out of those proposals 3,520 were implemented. Employees can give more than one proposal and a group of employees can come up with an idea and give a proposal. Employees are also paid for proposals that are introduced (implemented).
The Kaizen process is one of the many initiatives Grundfos employs in which the company is acting on its values, and this creates a really productive work environment!
Also, on a more personal note, during this media tour I realized some basic characteristics that can be found in all people. Regardless of where you live, the background you are from, and what you do in your life, all people want to be respected, looked at in the eye when having a conversation and greeted pleasantly with a smile. If you keep these three simple things in mind and actually do them when meeting others, people will most likely be receptive and appreciate being treated kindly and with respect (this goes back to Grundfos’ six values).
It sounds so simple, but it’s easy for us to get wrapped up in our daily routines and go from one task to another or one place to another and not even think about whom we are crossing paths with, etc. I know I am often guilty of this.
Thankfully this media trip made me stop and think – I realized that people are people. Everyone wants to be treated with respect, it doesn’t matter if you are a CEO, teacher, engineer, student, lawyer, doctor or nurse, janitor, assembly line worker, etc. – everyone wants to be respected and if you treat others well they will appreciate it. You may just make someone’s day brighter too!
I would like to thank Helen Mubarak, public affairs coordinator at Grundfos, and Dorte Maach, department head corporate communications, for planning this media tour. I learned so much about Grundfos, its products and culture in three days. It was truly an amazing experience. Thanks for the memories!