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ZF Friedrichshafen’s Business Strategy Case Study

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ZF Friedrichshafen’s Company Overview


ZF Friedrichshafen AG, also known as ZF Group, is a German car parts maker headquartered in Friedrichshafen, in the southwest German region of Baden-Württemberg. Specializing in engineering, it is primarily known for its design, research and development, and manufacturing activities in the automotive industry. It is a worldwide supplier of driveline and chassis technology for cars and commercial vehicles, along with specialist plant equipment such as construction equipment. It is also involved in rail, marine, defense and aviation industries, as well as general industrial applications. ZF has 230 production locations in 40 countries with approximately 138.000 employees.

www.zf.com

Country: Germany

Foundations date: 1915

Type: Public

Sector: Industrials

Categories: Automotive


ZF Friedrichshafen’s Customer Needs


Social impact:

Life changing:

Emotional: design/aesthetics, badge value, provides access

Functional: quality, variety, connects, integrates, simplifies, saves time, avoids hassles, organizes, reduces risk


ZF Friedrichshafen’s Related Competitors


Hyundai Mobis Aisin Seiki Subaru Corp BAIC Continental Magna International

ZF Friedrichshafen’s Business Operations


Augmenting products to generate data:

Due to advancements in sensors, wireless communications, and big data, it is now possible to collect and analyze massive quantities of data in a wide range of settings, from wind turbines to kitchen appliances to intelligent scalpels. These data may be utilized to improve asset design, operation, maintenance, and repair or improve how an activity is carried out. Such skills, in turn, may serve as the foundation for new services or business models.

Customer loyalty:

Customer loyalty is a very successful business strategy. It entails giving consumers value that extends beyond the product or service itself. It is often provided through incentive-based programs such as member discounts, coupons, birthday discounts, and points. Today, most businesses have some kind of incentive-based programs, such as American Airlines, which rewards customers with points for each trip they take with them.

Digital:

A digital strategy is a strategic management and a business reaction or solution to a digital issue, which is often best handled as part of a broader company plan. A digital strategy is frequently defined by the application of new technologies to existing business activities and a focus on enabling new digital skills for their company (such as those formed by the Information Age and frequently as a result of advances in digital technologies such as computers, data, telecommunication services, and the World wide web, to name a few).

Digital transformation:

Digitalization is the systematic and accelerated transformation of company operations, processes, skills, and models to fully exploit the changes and possibilities brought about by digital technology and its effect on society. Digital transformation is a journey with many interconnected intermediate objectives, with the ultimate aim of continuous enhancement of processes, divisions, and the business ecosystem in a hyperconnected age. Therefore, establishing the appropriate bridges for the trip is critical to success.

Ingredient branding:

Ingredient branding is a kind of marketing in which a component or ingredient of a product or service is elevated to prominence and given its own identity. It is the process of developing a brand for an element or component of a product in order to communicate the ingredient's superior quality or performance. For example, everybody is aware of the now-famous Intel Inside and its subsequent success.

Layer player:

Companies that add value across many markets and sectors are referred to be layer players. Occasionally, specialist companies achieve dominance in a specific niche market. The effectiveness of their operations, along with their economies of size and footprint, establish the business as a market leader.

Licensing:

A formal agreement in which the owner of the copyright, know-how, patent, service mark, trademark, or other intellectual property grants a licensee the right to use, manufacture, and sell copies of the original. These agreements often restrict the licensee's scope or area of operation, define whether the license is exclusive or non-exclusive, and stipulate whether the licensee will pay royalties or another kind of compensation in return. While licensing agreements are often used to commercialize the technology, franchisees also utilize them to encourage the sale of products and services.

Low touch:

Historically, developing a standard touch sales model for business sales required recruiting and training a Salesforce user who was tasked with the responsibility of generating quality leads, arranging face-to-face meetings, giving presentations, and eventually closing transactions. However, the idea of a low-touch sales strategy is not new; it dates all the way back to the 1980s.

Make and distribute:

In this arrangement, the producer creates the product and distributes it to distributors, who oversee the goods' ongoing management in the market.

Performance-based contracting:

Performance-based contracting (PBC), sometimes referred to as performance-based logistics (PBL) or performance-based acquisition, is a method for achieving quantifiable supplier performance. A PBC strategy focuses on developing strategic performance measures and the direct correlation of contract payment to success against these criteria. Availability, dependability, maintainability, supportability, and total cost of ownership are all standard criteria. This is accomplished mainly via incentive-based, long-term contracts with precise and quantifiable operational performance targets set by the client and agreed upon by contractual parties.

Product innovation:

Product innovation is the process of developing and introducing a new or better version of an existing product or service. This is a broader definition of innovation than the generally recognized definition, which includes creating new goods that are considered innovative in this context. For example, Apple launched a succession of successful new products and services in 2001?the iPod, the iTunes online music service, and the iPhone?which catapulted the firm to the top of its industry.

Regular replacement:

It includes items that must be replaced on a regular basis; the user cannot reuse them. Consumables are products utilized by people and companies and must be returned regularly due to wear and tear or depletion. Additionally, they may be described as components of a final product consumed or irreversibly changed throughout the production process, including semiconductor wafers and basic chemicals.

Skunkworks project:

A skunkworks project is one that is created by a small, loosely organized group of individuals who study and develop a project with the primary goal of radical innovation. The terminology arose during World War II with Lockheed's Skunk Works project. However, since its inception with Skunk Works, the phrase has been used to refer to comparable high-priority research and development initiatives at other big companies that include a small team operating outside of their regular working environment and free of managerial restrictions. Typically, the phrase alludes to semi-secretive technological initiatives, such as Google X Lab.

Solution provider:

A solution provider consolidates all goods and services in a particular domain into a single point of contact. As a result, the client is supplied with a unique know-how to improve efficiency and performance. As a Solution Provider, a business may avoid revenue loss by broadening the scope of the service it offers, which adds value to the product. Additionally, close client interaction enables a better understanding of the customer's habits and requirements, enhancing goods and services.

Supply chain:

A supply chain is a network of companies, people, activities, data, and resources that facilitate the movement of goods and services from supplier to consumer. The supply chain processes natural resources, raw materials, and components into a completed product supplied to the ultimate consumer. In addition, used goods may re-enter the distribution network at any point where residual value is recyclable in advanced supply chain systems. Thus, value chains are connected through supply chains.

Take the wheel:

Historically, the fundamental principles for generating and extracting economic value were rigorous. Businesses attempted to implement the same business concepts more effectively than their rivals. New sources of sustained competitive advantage are often only accessible via business model reinvention driven by disruptive innovation rather than incremental change or continuous improvement.

Why ZF Friedrichshafen’s Business Model is so successful?

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