As you know, our APEX performance program is designed to help thyssenkrupp achieve the financial targets it has set itself. To this end, so-called chapters have been introduced, each dealing with different aspects to strengthen thyssenkrupp's financial power. For example, the red chapter deals with increasing sales in quantitative and qualitative terms. The blue chapter deals with direct and indirect material costs and the costs of production, processes and efficiency (OPX) in order to achieve Group-wide cost optimization. The blue chapter is particularly important for the success of APEX, as the Management Board believes it has the greatest potential for improving financial performance. The bar has therefore been set particularly high: At the start of the program, there was a large gap between the cost-cutting measures already initiated and the target expectations. The top team, consisting of Dr. Christian Vinck, Frank Thelen, Ferdinand Wieland, Christoph Liefländer, Andreas Eichstaedt, Dr. Florian Huthmann, Timo Offermann, Jan Schekahn, Johannes Bils, Martin Brücker, Niklas Hönig, Michael von Holtum, Amir Habil and Dr. Markus Westekemper, wants to achieve these goals as quickly as possible with the so-called Blue Chapter Push, i.e. the increased focus on the blue chapter.

Translated with (free version) The Management Board receives regular reports on the current status. The Global Chapter Lead has overall responsibility in the central APEX team, while the Segment Chapter Leads assume this role in the segments.

What have you achieved as a team?

The volume of measures and the resulting EBIT effects were set as targets for financial years 23/24 and 24/25. Our aim is to achieve the highest possible degree of implementation in the segments, i.e. to introduce measures that contribute to reducing costs. As a team, we have succeeded in almost doubling the number of measures within three months. Some segments have already achieved or even exceeded their targets. By sharing best practices, we have made the most of our knowledge and really turned over every stone.

One specific example of a measure is our Supplier Days. In order to improve the efficiency of the supply chain and reduce costs, suppliers of certain product groups were invited to this event, with whom prices were renegotiated and market developments discussed.

"At the beginning of the push, we were somewhat skeptical due to the very ambitious goals. Over time, however, it has shown us: When the goals are high, you can sometimes achieve the seemingly unachievable. We have now been able to significantly increase the volume of measures and will do everything we can to achieve the maximum possible," says Ferdinand Wieland, Senior Vice President Procurement & Supply Management at Automotive Technology.

How did you achieve this?

We were only able to achieve our goals thanks to the increased focus on the topic of purchasing and the strong management support. In addition, the purchasing organizations supported us with an extremely high level of commitment.

In order to do justice to the push, we have intensified the rhythm of our project meetings, the so-called "drumbeat". We no longer just look at the new volume of measures every four weeks, but do so every week. This is sometimes exhausting, but we can see together very early on where additional measures need to be generated in order to achieve our goals. Our openness, the regular exchange of experiences and our speak-up culture help us to work together and also with efficiency in the drumbeat meetings.

What significance does your performance have for thyssenkrupp?

The blue chapter has by far the highest volume of measures. In this respect, we have a great responsibility to define the right measures and then implement them effectively. If we succeed in doing this, we will be making a significant contribution to our shareholders and employees.

We congratulate the #topteam from thyssenkrupp on this great achievement!

Are you also part of a #topteam or do you know people who are? Then send us an e-mail. We look forward to celebrating your successes together!

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