Interview with GRIMME Landmaschinen

The year 2022 proceeds and our initiative is growing... As our newest partner we like to present you GRIMME Landmaschinen today. The GRIMME Group, located at Damme (Germany) was founded in 1861 as a forge by the great-grandfather of the current owner Franz Grimme. Today, GRIMME is manufacturing advanced potato-, beet- and vegetable technology at the headquarters in Damme (Germany) and in the neighbouring industrial area of Rieste as well as in China, Denmark, USA and India (Joint Venture with Shaktiman). GRIMME is world market leader in the field of potato-technology. The GRIMME Group currently employs over 2,700 people worldwide, 1,800 of them in Damme and Rieste.In total, the GRIMME Group is present in 120 countries with its sales and service partners and at 26 locations with its own subsidiaries worldwide.

As always we were pulling out our questionaire to operational excellence to get to know our partner. At this point, we like to thank Frank Robin, Head of Quality, Processes, PMO & PLM, for answering the questions. And now, enjoy the interview and the interesting insights below! 

Which approaches and measures concerning Operational Excellence are already implemented at your company?

Frank Robin: We are dealing with the topic lean management for over 15 years. The lean philosophy is strongly embodied in nearly all departments. Our production system at GRIMME called "GRIPS" helps us to stay competitive in the long run and is continuously further developed. Additionally, we are making first steps towards lean management within the business unit technical development.

Are there further actions planned to be undertaken in the future in this field?

Frank Robin: Yes, many indeed. We are introducing some kind of shopfloor management in the technical development and its interface areas at the moment. Furthermore we have just bought a Business Process Management Software (SAP Signavio), which should be implemented during spring.

Does your company offer advanced trainings to the topic Operational Excellence for your employees?

Frank Robin: Yes, we have comprehensive training opportunities to our production system GRIPS. At our company, everyone is trained, beginning with trainees.

Furthermore, we have so called "Dojos" - training centers, in which our employees get to learn job specific competences being expected from us. At the moment, we have four of them: to installation, welding, measuring and logistic.

What are your expectations on this initiative?

Frank Robin: We are always interested in exchange with like-minded people and are sure to be able to learn something new.

To which themes do you wish to exchange thoughts and know-how?

Frank Robin: In general, we do not have a specific focus, but at the moment, the topics "lean development" and "lean administration" are interesting for us.

Are there specific aspects which are extraordinarily interesting for you? (for example, for networking-meetings or best-practice trips)

Frank Robin: Currently, we are dealing with the themes "business process management" and "lean development".

Are you interested in workshops during our networking-meetings?

Frank Robin: Yes. 

Which challenges to you see your company being confronted with in the future?

Frank Robin: We are strongly affected by the skills shortage. We will be forced to further automatize our processes. Additionally, the Corona crisis made clear, how fragile our - in many cases global - supply chains are. The general bullwhip-effect concerning raw materials, semi-finished products and purchased parts is bothering us. For these challenges, we need to find solutions in the future.

Do you see a fundamental change within your sector in the next 5 years?

Frank Robin: The complexity of our products is increasing rapidly. The modern farmers like to have an interconnected machine, which can save the data in a cloud. Tasks, such as the sorting out of stones and weeds, which have been fulfilled by humans so far, need to be carried out more and more by machines in the future due to the shortage of workers. This is why we need to adress topics such as robotic, image recognition and artificial intelligence.

Thinking about the north-western region, what do you think is mostly needed by the region to challenge the ongoing as well as future changes? 

Frank Robin: On the one hand, we need well educated and qualified employees and a large expertise within the field Operational Excellence. On the other hand, we also need a high competence in business development - since finally, we all need to earn money with our innovations to stay competitive in the market in the long run.

In this context, how do you value the potential of initiatives like ours?

Frank Robin: I see a high potential. We should keep together and share our best practices.

We are happy that GRIMME has joined our initiative and are curious for the valuable input by our new partner company. 

If you have any questions or points of reference, feel free to contact Frank Robin under