Valuable ideas: by implementing improvement proposals from employees, BASF (No. 24 on the DiversityInc Top 50 list) was able to save nearly €60 million globally last year. A computer program for labeling samples, a concept for efficient distillation of a solvent, and a new approach to the energy-saving melting of waxes – these and 21,000 other improvement proposals were implemented in 2016, maintaining the high level of ideas of the previous year. BASF rewarded the ingenuity of its employees with bonuses totaling €4.4 million.
There was also a host of new ideas implemented at the Ludwigshafen Verbund site, which achieved savings of approximately €30 million for the fifth consecutive year. BASF rewarded the performance of its employees at the Ludwigshafen site with €3 million in bonuses. Employees of the Petrochemicals division were particularly inventive: their improvement proposals achieved annual net benefits of €6.5 million.
Many of the ideas were developed through teamwork. For example, employees at the melamine plant of the Monomers division, working together with colleagues from quality management, implemented an innovative refurbishment concept. In parts of a plant with hundreds of densely stacked pipes, a few pipelines were defective. Rather than idling the entire plant for several months, the colleagues were able to identify the specific lines needing to be shut down, while the remaining lines could continue to operate. This allowed total downtime to be reduced to just eight weeks, and saved costs of approximately €2 million.