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Design Thinking Workshop at MANN + HUMMEL

MBA students were invited to the headquarters of MANN+HUMMEL in Ludwigsburg, located within the metropolitan area of Stuttgart and less than a one hour drive from Pforzheim. The visit combined insightful presentations by professionals, a “Design Thinking Workshop” and a museum and production hall tour.

MANN + HUMMEL Group develops, produces and distributes liquid and air filter systems, intake systems and cabin filters with over 76 years of experience in the filtration sector. Over the past few decades, the German company developed from a small filter plant to a global player as an R+D partner and original equipment supplier to the international automotive and mechanical engineering industries. With over 20,000 employees at 70 sites on 5 continents, the company offers 73,000 different products. This includes powertrain and engine plastic components, such as manifolds, ducts and cylinder head covers with integrated functions for the automotive industry, and filter elements for the maintenance and repair of motor vehicles.

Mr. Wolfgang Skwara, HR Business Partner at MANN + HUMMEL, introduced the company and presented the topic “Leadership in Filtration”. Dr. Patricie Merkert, Vice President Innovation & Corporate Strategy, shared insights of top management approaches to future growth and development of the company. Mr. Pascal Thau, Corporate Strategy Manager, focused on strategy processes of MANN + HUMMEL. Whereas Ms. Mirja Vogt, Senior Innovation & Strategy Manager, explained how an idea was nurtured in the company and how it was going through the steps taken from its generation stage to a market ready solution. MBA students were able to relate to the models as they had been exposed to them during innovation management lectures at Pforzheim University.

After the presentations, students were involved in a Design Thinking exercise themselves. For most of them, this was a new and exciting experience. The activity demonstrated how an idea could be developed by using a given model, by being creative and thinking out of the box.

In the afternoon, the whole group took off for a filter museum and production plant tour. During the tour through the plant, students experienced the production workshop, in which automated and robotic machinery were manufacturing at an efficient production rate. Moreover, the company-owned museum demonstrated MANN + HUMMEL’s milestones and growth since the founding in 1941.

The program variety throughout the day and the opportunity to experience a Design Thinking Workshop with experts in a professional environment was appreciated by all MBA students. Thanks to MANN + HUMMEL for having us!

Find a blog post by MBA student Gagandeep Kohli here: MANN + HUMMEL blog