"In the face of digitalization and accelerated workflows, being dynamic is essential."

Jochen Schaller, Director Operations and Logistics 47 years old, Dipl.-Betriebswirt (FH) Diploma in Business, joined Jacob in 2008What makes Jacob GmbH special in terms of production expertise? The foundation for all our production expertise is the way that all our departments work together under one roof. In addition to metal turning and plastics technology, these include our in-house tool and mold making departments, which enable us to put our customers’ wishes and special solutions into effect. The other big factors in our success are our highly experienced and qualified staff and our company training – these are the platforms on which our achievements are built. Jacob has been making brass, stainless steel and plastic cable entry systems since 1951. No other provider on the market has that kind of history. How is this wealth of experience reinvested to give the customer tangible benefits in terms of production? Here at Jacob, we don’t rest on the laurels of our past successes. We are always optimizing our production methods in order to continuously improve our quality and flexibility. These improvements filter through to our customers – in the form of impressive product quality and delivery performance. If you look back at Jacob’s production over the course of the year, can you spot certain cycles? How do you manage peaks in production? Unlike other companies, we don’t have to deal with significant seasonal fluctuation. Jacob offers a wide range of products and services, and acts as a supplier to a huge variety of sectors. On top of this, all of our business processes follow the “pull principle”. This enables us to smooth out our production output. How flexible can Jacob be during production – in terms of responding to last minute changes in customer requirements, for example? Our fundamental rule is that we take every one of the customer’s wishes seriously. We are incredibly flexible when it comes to our standard range; technical alterations of course, that affect the geometry of the parts need to be checked through in detail. Jacob produces several million cable glands every year. How do you make sure that product quality remains consistently high? Standardized production workflows combined with IT-assisted testing procedures ensure that all of our processes are under control at all times. What tweaks can you make to production in order to save time without impairing quality? Here at Jacob, we are great believers in the CIP principle. We apply this principle using conventional lean methods such as TPM, 5S and standardized work. This means that we are always in a position to further our development. The Jacob Logistics Center set up in Kernen-Rommelshausen ten years ago has brought together all logistic tasks for manual and machine assembly, warehousing and shipping under one roof. This is a huge plus for the customer ... Absolutely. The most important factor in achieving our current level of performance has been the automated small parts warehouse (ASPW) we set up in addition to the Logistics Center. This has made all our logistics processes much more efficient. For the majority of our products we keep the components in the ASPW and assemble them upon request from the customer; the high-runners are available ex stock as finished goods at all times. What role does special packaging play in the logistics process? The packaging is part of the product. As such, special packing units and custom labels are services we offer our customers in order to generate effective added value for their logistics chains. What special product-specific and/or logistical challenges have you identified for the future of the industry? In the face of business digitalization and the resulting acceleration of workflows, we need to be even more dynamic in terms of our logistics. The solutions to this issue include ideas like wearable computing and paperless consignment. Green logistics – and everything that comes with it – is also something we’ve been looking at for a long time. But the focus is always on the customer – their challenges are and will always be the most important consideration for us.