GEA business unit changes take effect as part of ‘Fit for 2020’ restructure

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

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GEA launches two business units in ‘Fit for 2020’ restructure
GEA has restructured its organization launching two business units; Equipment and Solutions as part of its Fit for 2020 initiative and sales and services will be bundled into one organization per country.

The changes were put into place this month and administrative functions will be streamlined and centralized.

Applications, products, technologies, & services

Jürg Oleas, CEO, GEA, told FoodProductionDaily the restructure is based on a ‘simplified, harmonized, and more streamlined organization’.

"Within the framework of the “Fit for 2020“ project, last August GEA decided to introduce a new worldwide group structure for optimizing its current organizational structures and reducing levels of complexity," he said.

"This decision was not merely taken for the purpose of harnessing existing savings potentials, but in particular to create the organizational prerequisites designed to ensure GEA’s future competitiveness and the capability of realizing the company’s growth targets in an increasingly challenging market environment.

"Since last Monday, administrative functions are streamlined, increasingly standardized and much more centralized, which is to give rise to uniform, high process standards worldwide. All in all, the new GEA has considerably flatter hierarchical structures (e.g. there are no segments that act individual all over the world). At the end of the day the old brands – used so far in connection with the brand GEA – will disappear. After a transition period GEA will become the only brand for all products of the group.

"For the customers the Business Areas are not that relevant, because usually they will not have any contact with them (different to the old situation with the segments). By relying on only one country organization covering the full range of products and services as the single point of contact for customers of the individual country, the company will be and operate much closer to the customer in the future.

In the Equipment business area, GEA will focus on standardized and customer-specific equipment activities. Products are manufactured in large quantities as part of large-scale series production on a standardized and modular basis.

The Solutions business area brings together all project-based offerings that cover customer-specific and modular products.

GEA rebranded website

GEA has also rebranded its website dividing it into products, applications, and services. The relaunched site replaces more than 200 separate Group company websites that had previously existed to illustrate ‘OneGEA’.

With project Fit for 2020, the target is to achieve annual cost savings of at least €100m by the end of 2017.

The implementation measures will include world-wide personnel capacity reductions of approx. 1,000 full-time equivalents over the next two to three years.

"Based on current business volumes, the implementation of the project is expected to result in the reduction of around 1,450 full time capacities worldwide. Necessary measures will be implemented in close dialogue with the respective employee representatives and handled in a way that is as socially acceptable as possible," added Oleas.

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