Quotation: “At HBPO I have the freedom I want in my job”

Roman Gregori has been plant manager at HBPO's facility in Regensburg since 2015. He worked at the Ingolstadt plant between 2012 and 2014, left the company briefly and returned to HBPO as a project manager in June 2015. HBPO then offered him the chance to take over the management of the Regensburg plant.

 

What is a plant manager’s normal day like?

There are lots of fascinating tasks; no two days are alike. At the beginning of the year I have a lot of strategic work to do – planning for the plant – while tasks take up more of my time later in the year.

The daily focus is on customer supply, plant key figures and on the support of the team in critical issues. Our plant has a pronounced management culture. My managers take over many tasks.

What makes HBPO stand out as an employer for you?

HBPO stands out especially from other employers in that the plant manager - in my case the Regensburg plant - is allowed to lead with many degrees of freedom. My boss, the Director Industrial Operations, and the management also give me a lot of space when it comes to decisions for HBPO Regensburg.

What makes the work as plant manager so special for you?

The variety of my tasks is a positive challenge every day. I work here in and with a great team, with and for our challenging customer, supporting headquarters in Lippstadt and a very good direct management. We produce premium products in Regensburg and are allowed to become more successful every day.

When you look back at the plant’s development, what makes you particularly proud?

In 2015 I joined HBPO as a project manager and took over the position as plant manager in the autumn of the same year. Since then, we have mastered a steep path and improved many processes. In the past year we were able to achieve the turnover following the plant set-up in both operational and commercial terms. Both operational and administrative employees have permanently built up their strengths, and thanks to mutual support we are able to reach our potential and thus perform successfully. This development is great fun!

 

How many employees work at your plant?

Around 130 from more than 15 countries.

What is special about your plant?

We work in very committed teams organised by managers, where individual strengths form a homogeneous and powerful clockwork mechanism across different departments. Yet our employees keep their sights firmly set on our goals. We work efficiently and are always striving to improve our processes even further.

At Regensburg, there are special in the dimensional requirements for our front-end modules that require a high degree of technical know-how. The joint design includes 40 different quality-control measurement points that match the vehicle’s face to eliminate the need of any adjustment work by the customer. Due to the integration of surface components such as bumper and headlamps, quality requirements on the individual components are extremely high for deliveries to the premium customer .

Series production started in the summer of 2019 on a new product in our plant on two lines.

We have been growing constantly since we were founded. Our plant has expanded five times over the past three years. We started with 40 employees and a floor space of 3,500 m². Now, 130 HBPO employees work on a floor space of 12,500 m².

What kind of employees fit in well with your Regensburg team?

People with a high level of self-motivation and the ability to work in a team who are able to successfully achieve jointly developed goals fit in well with us.

 

What is the cooperation between HBPO Regensburg and our customer like?

Both customers in Regensburg and in Munich appreciate us as a partner. Our know-how is taken into direct consideration for operational decisions, and the atmosphere is very cooperative. Going beyond operational topics, we cooperate very closely with the sales department, which is based at our headquarters in Lippstadt. Since part of the project team has been implemented directly here in Regensburg, however, we are deeply involved in projects even during the planning phase. The Project Team is the main contact during the project phases of course. But here at the plant we can help with the optimum development of a product from an early stage.

After three or four pre-series phases, a product goes into series production, where close networking with the customer is essential.

And how many front-end modules are assembled every day?

We assemble approximately 1,000 front-end modules every day in our shift system. We have a lead time of 150 minutes from the receipt of order to just-in-sequence delivery to the customer. In the near future we will be delivering three times the quantity of a new product just-in time.