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      How I have discovered my passion for lean management(=CBS)
      September 05, 2019

      How I have discovered my passion for lean management(=CBS)

      My name is Tom, I am 27 years old, I live currently in Berlin, but work in Hannover and beside my “normal” job I follow my passion for the Continental Business System (short: CBS). In my free time I organize voluntary events in Berlin – which is a networking and infotainment event where speakers have just 12 minutes time to give their talks and inspire the audience. It enables me to connect people of diverse backgrounds, expand their net of business contacts, initiate impulses and exchange of innovative ideas and businesses. The motto is “Don’t waste your time!”.

      I started my career with an integrated degree study program “Business Administration” at Continental in 2011 and absolved my practical phases in the world of ContiTech: Benecke-Kaliko AG / now: Continental Surface Solutions. The study program offered me the opportunity to visit several departments, I could even visit a Continental tire plant in Hefei, China. Finally, I stuck to the supply chain department and added a master study program “Logistics”, because I liked the cross-functional approach along the whole supply chain. I have always avoided to stay in “silos”. Thinking outside the box and use cross-functional synergy effects is what drives me.

      After finalizing my projects of my integrated master program, I continued my career at Continental Tires in Hannover in 2016. I started a new position as a Central Customer Demand Manager where I coordinate and manage supply chain activities for selected international customers in the region Replacement EMEA PLT. With the start of the flexible HR approach “mobile work” in 2017 I moved to Berlin for the love of my live and could combine my private with my professional life.

      In 2016 my department attended on a Mission & Vision workshop – where we defined…of course…our department vision and mission and team tasks. The workshop was moderated by our CBS BU Coach. This was my fist contact with CBS – I was directly fascinated and inspired by the philosophy and methods which are supported by CBS. But for what stands the CBS abbreviation and what is the concept behind? CBS stands for Continental Business System and is Continental’s way to live LEAN. With CBS you can identify customers and specify value, identify and map the value stream, create flow by eliminate waste, respond to customer pull and pursue perfection. Examples for supported tools and methods are: 5S, Eyeball-diagram, Gemba-Walk, KANBAN, KAIZEN, self-optimization, team standardization, value stream mapping and much more. But CBS is more than just some tools! It is a mindset for thinking outside the box and looking continuously for optimization potentials.

      The best thing is: If employees are interested in providing lean solutions to their environment and think there is a demand, they can ask for a training by themselves (bottom-up). They can even get in touch via our internal Enterprise Social Network. There they find a detailed explanation, contact person by locations and trainings over the year.

      In 2017 I started my CBS career with contacting our CBS BU Coach and applied for the “starter” training via ConNext: CBS Practitioner – Process Optimization. There are further trainings like CBS Practitioner for Team Standardization or Structured Problem Solving. Every training will take up to 2-3 days. You will be certified if you implement your CBS knowledge into a CBS action. I started directly to support and coach some teams in analyzing their processes, visualizing the current state and moving onwards to the future state with less waste than before. With CBS you can gain a wider network and have a look into many functions of the Continental world!

      So, I decided to strengthen my CBS knowledge and actions in becoming a CBS Admin Specialist – which combines all Practitioner trainings in one. In consequence, the role of a CBS Admin Specialist is identifying and initiating improvements, also using soft skills like moderation, change management and project management. He/She leads and support CBS actions, is a mentor and coach and spreads the mindset of CBS. After over one year of learning and practicing I have finally become a CBS Admin Specialist in 2019. After every training you have to implement your knowledge with a practical homework. For the certification you establish a CBS roadmap for a team or department and optimize a process. I just can tell that the journey was a blast. Thanks to my trainers we have learned in an energized and inspired atmosphere what it means to be a CBS Admin Specialist. We could be critical to the content what helps and what should be eliminated. We clarified doubts and helped each other. We have spread the mindset and the spirit of CBS by working and coaching along real projects and so, we could directly apply the knowledge.

      I will take the passion and the mindset on my individual journey and coach people how to deal with problems and overcoming resistant.


      This article was written by our employee.

      Tom Winkelmann