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Company News, 2003-07-29, 02:00 AM

See. Think. Improve: Over 19,000 suggestions submitted

Winners of the Groupwide ThyssenKrupp best Award and the ThyssenKrupp ideas contest presented with prizes in Dortmund

Over 20,000 employees of ThyssenKrupp have come up with innovative ideas to enhance the Group`s performance and competitiveness. 19 successfully completed projects were nominated for the ThyssenKrupp best Award, which was held for the first time in spring 2003. Over 19,000 individual and group suggestions were submitted in the ThyssenKrupp best 2002/2003 ideas competition, which ran from October 2002 to February 2003.

ThyssenKrupp launched the Groupwide ThyssenKrupp best program in the fall of 2001. The aim of the program is to increase the Group`s efficiency in all areas and at all levels and enhance the quality, cost-efficiency, speed and customer focus of our work. This applies not just to products and services but also to workflows, management and organization within the Group. ThyssenKrupp best has made outstanding progress. The program now encompasses some 1,900 improvement projects in Germany and abroad. Project work focuses on operating efficiency, customer value, performance quality, capital productivity, strengthening employee and management involvement and expanding the service business. ThyssenKrupp best will therefore harness considerably more value enhancement potential than, for example, out-and-out cost reduction programs.

The aim of the ThyssenKrupp best Award is to create a special incentive for all employees involved in the ThyssenKrupp best program. In May 2003 the Steel, Automotive, Elevator, Technologies, Materials and Serv segments together with the Real Estate business nominated 19 successfully completed ThyssenKrupp best projects for the award. The four best projects were selected by a jury at the beginning of July 2003. The award ceremony was held on July 28, 2003 in the DASA (Deutsche Arbeitsschutzausstellung) building in Dortmund.

In the presence of over 200 executives and employees of the Group, Professor Dr. Ekkehard D. Schulz, Chairman of the Executive Board of ThyssenKrupp AG, presented the awards worth a total of 90,000 euros. Schulz: "Outstanding performance is something we both demand and reward because it pays off - for employees and for ThyssenKrupp."

First prize went to a team from ThyssenKrupp Stahl AG, Duisburg, a company in the Steel segment. Developed by André-Thorsten Hebel, Silke Rauhut, Sven Dreyer, Ralf Müller-Beckhoff and Uwe Fröhlich, the "W3AS internet-based tender system with auctions" has been instrumental in achieving a sustained reduction in procurement prices for charge materials and services and speeding up the procurement process. For this development the team won the ThyssenKrupp best Award, a team trip worth 20,000 euros and 15,000 euros in cash.

Second prize was won by a project group from ThyssenKrupp Presta AG, headquartered in Liechtenstein and part of the Automotive segment. In their prize-winning project "Reducing funds tied up in accounts receivable", Marcus Deckers, Sandra Kox, Ingrid Reinhard and Thomas Lay developed a system for recording and preventing overdue receivables which has substantially reduced the tie-up of funds. Their prize was a team trip worth 15,000 euros and 10,000 euros in cash.

The two teams who won third prize each received trips worth 10,000 euros and 5,000 euros in cash. Nikolaus Balmus, Dieter Eckstein and Peter Ostmeyer from Rothe Erde GmbH received the award for their project "Optimizing heat treatment parameters in ring production". Their work has helped reduce both cycle times and production costs. Seamless rolled rings from Rothe Erde are key construction elements in many areas of industry today, used among other things in turbines, hydraulic motors and wind turbines. Dortmund-based Rothe Erde GmbH is a member of the Technologies segment.

The other third prize was awarded to John Shepherd, Julie Mays, Mario Perez, Kelly Dossey, Shawn Lynam, Scott Burnett and Kim Dies from AIN Plastics, based in Springfield, Michigan, USA. AIN Plastics is a member of the Materials segment. The team won the award for its "Geographical Expansion" project, aimed at increasing AIN Plastics` sales and market share and establishing a stable market position as the third biggest supplier of plastic profiles in North America. The team developed and successfully implemented a market entry strategy for six further US states.

The ThyssenKrupp best Award will be presented again in 2004.

At the same ceremony, the winners of the Groupwide ThyssenKrupp best ideas competition were selected and presented with prizes worth 250,000 euros. Staged every two years, the competition once again provided a strong boost to the company suggestion scheme. "The extremely high level of participation in the ideas competition and the large number of innovative entries submitted show how strongly our employees identify with the company. Both factors are crucial to the competitiveness and success of ThyssenKrupp." Staged under the motto "See. Think. Improve", the competition ran from October 2002 to February 2003 and attracted entries from 20,000 employees. Altogether some 19,000 individual and group suggestions were submitted for optimizing workflows and processes, saving material and energy, reducing organization costs, increasing customer satisfaction and quality, enhancing health and safety at work and protecting the environment. Each suggestion submitted was entered in a prize draw. Among the many attractive prizes to be won were top prizes, including six cars, ten trips and ten motor scooters.


Christian König
Corporate Communications and Central Bureau
Telephon +49 211 824-36253
Fax +49 211 824-36255

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