Sometimes it just takes a small idea to start a change: anyone who has a brainstorm at Daimler Financial Services and the Mercedes-Benz Bank who advances employees or customers can present it on an internal innovation platform. If this arrives well, it will be put into action.
The innovation platform "HATCH" was founded two years ago. Since then, 900 employees at Daimler Financial Services and Mercedes-Benz Bank have contributed more than 1500 ideas – including Thomas Gantzhorn. With my more than 30 ideas so far, I would like to contribute to making our company fit for the future,
For example, not so long ago, I ordered a solid wood bed over the Internet. Was delivered after three weeks, 100 euros wanted to have the freight forwarder. That's when I came up with the idea: why not develop an app that could handle freight orders between B2C and C2C. If many Mercedes drivers drive from A to B anyway, this would not only reduce costs, but also delivery times. Such a freight carpool has great potential. The market is booming, but everyone orders online today. Shortly thereafter, I put my idea on the internal innovation platform "HATCH". The feedback was positive and who knows: Maybe one day the whole thing will be put into action.
It was not my first idea that I uploaded to "HATCH" and shared with all the other colleagues. In the last two years, there have been 36 ideas, some of which are being implemented.
Like me, all employees of Daimler Financial Services and Mercedes-Benz Bank can easily and quickly bring ideas to the platform, make comments and become co-designers. Behind "HATCH" is a network of 40 international experts who are responsible for various topics and support them in further steps.
In the best case, a budget is provided, and then the idea becomes a project. "HATCH" is a simple way to communicate ideas and stimulate exchange. Especially when their problem-solving potential and advantage are obvious and the implementation gives us and our customers practical benefits.
Truck warning system and alternative drives
I work at Mercedes-Benz Bank as an IT test manager. But I'm not just thinking about my own IT department, but also about digital business models or business development. So far, such a colorful mix of ideas on all sorts of topics has come together at Daimler Financial Services, the Mercedes-Benz Bank, but also other business units of Daimler AG.
Among other things, I have developed an idea for alternative propulsion systems that could reduce carbon dioxide emissions or a warning system for trucks to avoid collisions when driving on a tunnel or bridge portal or concepts for customer authentication methods. As for the latter: The individual walking style of a person has 24 characteristics and is thus safer than the fingerprint. I came to this after reading a study on the subject.
Where do I get my motivation from? I am very interested in technology and practical solutions to everyday problems. We live in exciting times of upheaval, and there are many challenges that affect not just our company but all of us.
Anyone who walks the world with their eyes open and looks outside the box can certainly understand this. My ideas often result unexpectedly from everyday situations or discussions. When brainstorming, I deliberately do not orient myself to relevant literature on innovation management, and I do not do any systematic brainstorming. In my experience, ideas automatically evolve over a period of time and have to mature.
Actually, the creative process always begins unconsciously and spontaneously in the mind, as soon as a supposed problem or better, something optimizable, appears in my mind's eye, screaming for a suitable solution. For a long time, I can not get it out of my head. It's not just that I'm working on a problem and working on a solution, because I enjoy it a lot.
Above all, I also want to bring the company forward.
We have a lot of things going well, but of course you can improve things everywhere. As I recall a quote by Dieter Zetsche: "Make your core business itself before others do it!" Therefore, I do not tire of appealing to my colleagues, so they themselves become active and contribute new ideas, Creativity is in each of us, we just have to kindle it. It takes a free head to be creative, but it's worth it if you take your time!
Many ideas arise under the shower
Speaking of time: With 36 ideas, perhaps one may wonder: does the man manage to do anything? But I can calm everyone down. It will not be boring! In addition, I develop my ideas mainly in the spare time. The flashes of inspiration usually hit me on holiday, in a traffic jam or – the classic – in the shower.
It sometimes happens that after closing time I drive from the Pragsattel to the Daimler headquarters in Untertürkheim to present my ideas to the colleagues there. Of course, there are also setbacks. For example, when an idea runs in the sand or lacks the necessary support. But honestly, that motivates me all the more. Since I can be right, let's say, be persistent – I'm from the star sign Taurus!