“We want to be innovation leaders in logistics” Interview with Jens Fiege and Felix Fiege

- Innovation

4 Min Reading duration

There is a lot going on at Fiege. The company is growing, existing partnerships are intensified, and new ones are created. Innovative approaches are advanced while new business models are formed. This comes with change in the leadership structures of the family business. Felix Fiege and Jens Fiege are both Chairmen of the Executive Board, which is now composed of a total six members. During an interview the Chairmen of the  Executive Board talk about their new role, the new corporate strategy, and strong growth.

Two new members have been added to the Fiege Executive Board, Dr. Stefan Thies and Martin Rademaker, and the two of you together have taken the chair. How did this decision come about?

Jens Fiege: First of all, I’d like to say that we are extremely pleased about Stefan Thies and Martin Rademaker joining and supporting our Executive Board team. I intentionally say team, because we have been working in a close, partner-like relationship with Peter Scherbel and Alfred Messink for many years. And we will continue to do so. Felix and I very much look forward to managing Fiege as a whole. That allows us to take on a bigger, more active role for all business units.

Felix Fiege: We will drive the strategic corporate development forward. The areas that we focus on include, for example, innovation, corporate culture, leadership and digitalisation. For this, we will be on site at our locations and national companies more often. This also means we will be even closer to the many exciting topics that make Fiege.

For example? 

Felix Fiege: We want to be innovation leaders in logistics and push exciting topics that touch on the digitalisation of processes or advance the development of new digital business models. That is our mission and will become part of our corporate DNA – it has even been manifested in our strategy accordingly.

Jens Fiege: What our clients and partners appreciate about us is that we approach them with new ideas. We worked hard for a good reputation in the start-up scene. We make headway with pilot projects. Our aim is to grow that approach further over the years to come. The great thing is that so many people here at Fiege are genuinely driven to advance things and rethink their approach. Our new strategy which has been designed by a large group of employees from different hierarchy levels and business units in the organisation also reflects this.

Speaking of strategy – the posters showing the new corporate strategy were recently put up at the branches.

What is the new strategy all about?

Felix Fiege: Our strategy has two elements: a vision, and a mission. The mission describes what Fiege stands for. Our Fast. Focused. Fiege. slogan perfectly sums that up. We have short decision-making channels and are quick to implement things. All of this is only possible because we work as a team, together with our partners.

And what is the vision?

Jens Fiege: Our vision dictates the direction our company should take. “Together with our customers, we shape markets by innovating logistics.”, so our vision. So much change is happening everywhere at the moment. And we want to contribute more, rather than just watch and react to change. We want to pro-actively create the future.

Felix Fiege: We want to do this as an attractive employer who offers people the opportunity to become actively involved. We achieve this with all the values that we stand for as a family business: reliability, stability, and security: “We are family.” This is a very appropriate statement, I find.

Jens Fiege: This part of the vision immediately evokes pictures from the Fiege Soccer Cup in my head. 2,000 colleagues from ten different countries were our guests here in Greven and the celebrations were huge. It was an experience of the special kind.

Innovation as a word is a fixed element of the corporate strategy. Fiege pilots projects with young start-ups or even actively invests in them. The Fiege Innovation Challenge was held for the third time and many ideas were once again submitted. In Worms or in Hamburg, Innovation Days were staged, and Berlin is routinely the venue for the Fast & Forward event which is a format that advocates an intensive exchange on today’s topics. Which goals do you pursue in this segment over the years to come?

Felix Fiege: We will become even more active in this field. We have already created the formal structures for this: we founded a venture capital fund – F-Log Ventures. This specifically targets early-phase start-ups. We will continue to invest in ideas that round off, develop or even disrupt logistics as a business. We aim to actively co-create the future and can’t wait to learn about the many exciting new projects and solutions. Also, we will focus more on pushing ideas born in-house. We have created a new unit for this, the Company Building, and enlisted the support from experts. We intend to support homegrown start-ups more strongly on their path of turning an idea and first pilot projects into a marketable product. We want to gather more pace.

Jens Fiege: And we most certainly don’t lack ideas. The Innovation Challenge demonstrated this once again. We received more submissions than ever before. Workshops were held at the locations this year. The Innovation Truck toured Germany, but also Poland, Slovakia and even China. Our employees enjoy dissecting innovative ideas or developing their own. We appreciate every single idea that our colleagues come up with. Not every idea is bound to blossom into a new big company, but we might develop a new product for our clients from it.

 

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