Teodor Partenie holds the title of Global Support for Business and Service Development at Bosch Service Solutions. He joined Bosch more than ten years ago and has cross-functional experience working with local, regional and global projects regarding different business processes or end-to-end processes.
What was the level of digitalization in your company before COVID-19?
I want to start by saying we are a trusted partner for all our clients when it comes to digitalization. We are running multiple programs for digital transformation, in order to create new services like IoT, automation, integrated systems, customer engagement, customer experience via Omni channel, workforce enablement and other niche programs for Digital Transformation. The base principles of our company culture (quality, speed, flexibility, innovation) are the foundation on which we build upon, and only the methods through which we innovate are subject to the current trends or the race to be ahead of the market.
How has COVID-19 impacted the digital transformation of your company?
Overall, it served as a huge boost to our company. Decisions were made in days, they were implemented in a few other days and everyone adapted to a new way of working in a matter of weeks. Things that normally take months, or even years, were up and running in a remarkably short amount of time.
What type of processes did you digitalize in the last 2 months?
In the last couple of months, we digitalized many processes, from governance to operation models, Human Resources and Facility Management processes, as well as integrated systems for BI (Business Intelligence).
What helped you the most during this period? And why?
I think the foundation of the company in terms of business approach, together with the flexibility and capabilities of our colleagues and a quick adaptation to the new situation, were instrumental for the successful handling of this crisis.
As you know, we are an innovation company and in the last years, we developed in our “labs” a lot of PoCs (proof of concepts) for business models and operations. This period was catalytic to putting everything into practice, both at a larger scale, and on a smaller one.
What was the hardest thing to do? And why?
The most difficult aspect brought by the pandemic crisis, for me, is the reduced opportunity to socialize. Small talks over coffee and face-to-face meetings are still the most efficient method of building and developing business relations. Of course, we managed to move everything in the virtual environment, and for example, the workshops we held turned out surprisingly efficient, but we still need in person, face-to-face interaction.
Do you think COVID-19 is a before-and-after moment/turning point in digital transformation?
I think it is a turning point, in terms of reaction speed and a I believe a change in mindset regarding decision-making has already been put into motion, mainly “not to take the best decision, but take it NOW, than a better decision, too late”.
How did the employees/your colleagues adapt and embrace digital transformation during the lockdown?
My colleagues adapted surprisingly well, due to the fact that we already had the possibility to work from home at the company level before this situation. The move to work-from-home was swift, with very few incidents. Some of our IT systems needed to be expanded, but all-in-all, it was a smooth transition.
Do you have a story or an image regarding this forced digitalization that you will remember or tell when someone will ask you about this period?
I dare to believe that many people realized we should rethink our common value system, we should appreciate what we have, be more open to change and continue improving, so that the next crisis won’t hit so hard.
What is the next step in your company’s digital transformation?
Because maturity models in Digitalization are continuously changing – like the power and capabilities of computers and smartphones – we are in continuous adaptation, but also in the pilot’s seat for innovation and exploration of new ways to help our customers. We have three main drivers: the market with the innovation as a whole, the customers with new ideas and mindsets regarding digitalization, and last but not least, the company itself: as we strive to drive innovation in digitalization to a new level.
We are running projects now in all processes of the company, aiming to take digitalization a step forward. Our strategy is based on two principles: implementation of global standards and deciding which technology would be the winner in terms of global adoption.