“In Malaysia, all three manufacturing plants have their respective R&D teams, developing and manufacturing products locally and for the worldwide market. ”
Robert Bosch GmbH (Bosch} was founded in Stuttgart, Germany in November 1886 where it is still headquartered today.
Bosch’s foray into Malaysia began in 1923 when its products were first introduced in Penang. Today, Bosch is represented in Malaysia by Robert Bosch Sdn Bhd, based in Petaling Jaya, with offices located in Selangor and Penang. The company has three local manufacturing arms in Penang providing car multimedia systems, power tools, and automotive steering systems.
Bosch is where it is today due to its independence in financial management, strength of innovation, quality and reliability, global presence, efficient processes, and forward-looking human resource development.
Interestingly, Bosch is not a publicly listed company. 92 percent of the company shares are held by Robert Bosch Stiftung, a charitable foundation. This structure ensures the Bosch Group develops and implements long-term strategies while staying socially-minded.
In 2014 alone, Bosch invested more than 4.9 billion euros in research and development and applied for nearly 4,600 patents. Globally some 45,700 associates work in research and development at Bosch, including 1,300 in corporate research. In Malaysia, all three of Bosch’s manufacturing plants have individual R&D teams, developing and manufacturing products both for the local and worldwide market.
The company’s founder, Robert Bosch once said, “It has always been an unbearable thought to me that
someone could inspect one of my products and find it inferior in any way. For that reason, I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny – products which prove themselves superior in every respect.” This core deliverable is one of the company’s guiding principles in its mission to stay ahead in the businesses it is in.
Bosch’s global network means it is able to offer global products, solutions and services to its customers, utilising constantly improving, efficient processes developed by its forward-looking Human Resource Development programme which is based on systematic training and cultural diversity.
With a mission statement proclaiming that Bosch is
‘Invented for Life,’ the company wholly focuses on its products being able to spark enthusiasm, improve quality of life and help conserve natural resources. This mission guides the company in all its business, including product development, manufacturing processes, its marketing approach and all its corporate activities.
While noting that it faces more and more competition in most of its business fields, Bosch believes that innovative products will keep it ahead of the competition. It cites innovative and superior products which are developed with excellent quality, and tailored to local market needs and demands as their key competitive advantage. Other strengths include its, strong creative team and customer-oriented services.
This year, Bosch’s car multimedia plant in Penang was recognised by the Malaysian government through the prestigious Industry Excellence Award (IEA). Organised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry Malaysia, IEA recognises outstanding companies operating in Malaysia in order to encourage continuous improvement in products and services. IEA has gained a reputation for being the nation’s premier corporate recognition award.
Awarded the best in ‘Manufacturing – Open Category’, Bosch’s IEA recognises the company’s role in helping local companies in best management practices through partnerships such as the one with the Malaysia Productivity Cooperation which focuses on continuous improvement on operational performance, service delivery and the development of business excellence culture.
The diversified business of Bosch in Malaysia means that its customer bases are also diversified. Bosch is a leading player in automotive, security systems, power tools, home appliances, and thermotechnology, hydraulics and factory automation industries. As industry partners and providers, Bosch insures that it understands each individual customer’s needs, and develops and delivers products and solutions which cater to those needs. Bosch also provides
customer-oriented services including training, and continuously introduces new, innovative products and solutions to the market. The company presently sees a growing middle-income sector in Malaysia, and will hone in on this emerging target group by developing products and solutions catering to this growing customer base.
Growth will also come with its set of challenges. In the next five years Bosch expects stiffer competition for its market lead position in all its business fields. It will rise to the challenge by continuing to invest in innovation and technology, and expanding its Malaysian footprint to tap on new segments in the now mature local market. With competitive labour within the country, Bosch is promoting initiatives such as work-life balance, training and career development and diversity at workplaces.
Bosch provides competitive employment packages which include staff benefits, career development programmes and training opportunities. Benefits include flexi hours, the possibility of working from home and/or in a new generation workplace, which allow associates to strike a work-life balance.
Bosch also has several training programmes which are tailor-made for associates who are striving to achieve their career aspirations. Human capacity development also ensures the provision of programmes for new graduates, such as internships and the Junior Manager’s Programme in which trainees will have the opportunity to work in various divisions and will be given at least one opportunity to work abroad.
Bosch believes that being an industry champion means a company can and must develop and launch innovative and high quality products and solutions. Industry champions need to cultivate an inclusive and long-term oriented company culture which hires and develops talent who then help to take joint responsibility of the community in which the company operates in.
As models of good governance, Bosch believes in process oriented management, continuous improvement of process, a strict compliance practice, and responsible and ethical business conduct.
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