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Change management at the photographic and online printing company CEWE

Case Study

Challenge

Innovations have been the main driving force of the company’s transformation in recent years from the analog to the digital photo business. The assignment for Atreus was to optimize the product supply chain for the CEWE PHOTOBOOK. Among the focal points here was establishing more efficient production systems for the CEWE PHOTOBOOK and the CEWE WALL PICTURES. 

Success

Atreus set up a new central function and introduced comprehensive production controlling. The process improvements that Atreus realized formed the foundation for earnings-oriented growth in the future.  

Interview with Dr. Rolf Hollander, CEO of CEWE

What was the situation at your company that prompted you to call on Atreus?

We wanted to make our manufacturing processes more efficient and introduce new impulses. For that reason I was deliberately looking for a management personality from outside the company who wasn't from the printing industry, but who had proven in other enterprises that he could master complex projects and innovative technologies. The Atreus manager united these characteristics in a very special way. A PhD in the field of process engineering, he had in the past already optimized product development and production processes as the CTO of a large manufacturer of medical and personal care products.

 

"We found ourselves faced with the challenge of still being the market and quality leader, as we were before the analog/digital transformation, but no longer the cost leader. I wanted to change that."

What was the biggest challenge?

Most of our customers order only one or two copies of their CEWE PHOTOBOOK. That is an enormous challenge when you have a product portfolio as broad as ours, which is constantly growing. The difficulties lie less in the printing than in the further processing phase, in which the books are trimmed and bound. All told, there are more than 20 steps in the process. The Atreus manager recognized this dilemma and advised us to design a new kind of production system for the automatic manufacture of CEWE PHOTOBOOK copies. He then helped us find the right companies to build the system for us.

How did the Atreus manager master these tasks?

He formed a steering committee for the project and developed concept alternatives with a team of up to 12 experts. The steering committee determined the quality, service and cost goals CEWE had with a batch size of one, and which technologies we required to achieve them. With a small team built around a core of three specialists, the Atreus manager searched the mechanical engineering market for suitable technical innovations.

"Thanks to the Atreus manager, we now also have concepts for linking up the old machines that have their strengths in peak season and therefore generating outstanding synergies in conjunction with the newly created technologies."

Dr. Rolf Hollander has been CEO of Neumüller CEWE COLOR Stiftung and CEWE Stiftung & Co. KGaA since 2002. In this function, he realized the transformation from analogue to digital photo service provider and extended the traditional Oldenburg company's leading position in the European photo finishing market.

Dr. Ralf Hollander

Dr. Rolf Hollander has been CEO of Neumüller CEWE COLOR Stiftung and CEWE Stiftung & Co. KGaA since 2002. In this function, he realized the transformation from analogue to digital photo service provider and extended the traditional Oldenburg company's leading position in the European photo finishing market.

 

"Atreus created the basis for a high degree of self-organization and continuous process improvements in production, and hence for future, earnings-oriented growth."

Dr. Rolf Hollander, CEO of CEWE

What is your final assessment of the Atreus manager’s performance?

He made full use of his strengths as a manager, and as a specialist in the successful deployment of new technologies. For decades now, CEWE has had a large base of know-how in the automation and process management of our production facilities. Time and time again, we have built our own machines, many of which we patented. With the Atreus project, we have taken another big step in this direction and considerably improved the quality and efficiency of our production processes. 

FURTHER CASE STUDY: Brand building
Case Study “Brand building at photographic services provider CEWE”

Atreus is the leading interim management provider in Germany and one of the largest in its field in Europe. We solve difficult operational management and transformation problems quickly and reliably. Contact us and find out how we can help you master your situation with management expertise that is available at short notice and that is the perfect fit for you.

Atreus is a co-founder of Globalise – the market’s leading and largest provider of international interim management. Accelerating change and delivering success. Worldwide. Structured as a global group of leading interim management firms, Globalise has the reach to support you in solving your company’s most important issues around the world.