The SEAT Ideas programme encourages all employees to propose improvements to the efficiency of work processes. In 2020 the programme collected more than 3,000 proposals in all areas: from product and facilities to sustainability and environmental care.
For SEAT, the support and contribution of its employees is crucial – also outside their specific roles. The SEAT Ideas programme was designed to encourage all employees to propose improvements in their day-to-day work to optimise tasks, processes and any other aspect of the working environment. The programme has proved a success, collecting more than 3,000 proposals in 2020. Of these, 850 are already being implemented for an estimated saving of 7.2 million Euros.
A digital platform
SEAT Ideas was updated and digitalised two years ago and is a firm commitment by the Spanish company to promote innovation and develop internal talent; it gives a voice to professionals – who are best placed to understand their environment and its potential – to propose improvements to their daily work. Employees submit their proposals on a digital platform. They are then analysed by experts to study their validity and applicability. The company rewards the creators with an economic incentive, which in 2020 amounted to 0.9 million Euros.
In each edition of the programme, SEAT urges people to optimise their work in any field – from products, facilities or processes through to more everyday issues such as sustainability and environmental care. This last area has experienced the greatest growth in recent years.
In 2020 the ideas with the greatest potential for savings were in the fields of production, specifically in sheet metal work, followed by energy and facilities, and logistics.
“Despite the complexity of the situation resulting from the pandemic, our company’s employees have continued to promote and share their ongoing desire to improve and their innovative spirit. Their attitude is an additional impulse to overcome the challenges of the company and of the current period, enabling us to develop ideas that can have a positive collective impact,” explains Xavier Ros, Vice-president for Human Resources and Organisation at SEAT.
The criteria for the best initiatives are their contribution to value and potential economic savings. Proposals that don’t immediately translate into tangible benefits are evaluated to assess whether they can be redirected towards another potential application.
The winning ideas
In the 2020 edition, the idea that generated the most savings was the design of an alerting algorithm that optimises the delivery note system for “just-in-time” parts supply.
Other initiatives of a sustainable nature also stood out, such as the replacement of oil pumps by vacuum pumps to cut emissions in the cooling systems of production facilities; or the introduction of a new algorithm that prioritises the use of water for maintenance according to real needs, as opposed to the previous automatic use by hours.
SEAT employees play a fundamental role in promoting innovation in the company, both in the optimisation of processes and ways of working and in the development of innovative services and products. To this end, two years ago SEAT created Innovation Day, an event focused on fostering the innovative spirit among company employees, which complements and extends the SEAT Ideas project.
As a result of Innovation Day, projects have emerged such as the creation of components made with rice husks to achieve more sustainable vehicles with less plastic; virtual reality and immersive reality applications to reduce time and optimise car design and manufacturing processes; or a highly realistic image simulation program, which is used in the design team.
The company is finalising the launch of the SEAT INNOVA platform, which aims to become a meeting point for networking and inspiration. It will connect workers from different areas and present innovative projects in detail, while allowing participation in challenges, workshops and talks related to all areas of the company.
Source: SEAT S.A.