Hansgrohe Innovations Focus on the User

In its 118-year history, the Hansgrohe Group has continuously proven that innovation is a key driver of the company’s success story. At the 2019 ISH, the Black Forest manufacturer of faucets, showers, and shower systems will for the first time present the results of the newly aligned Innovation Department.

Human Needs Determine Thinking and Acting

The human being, water, and sustainability – these three terms characterize the actions of the Hansgrohe Group, also in the realm of innovations. Hansgrohe summarizes its actions under the term Smart Living rather than Smart Home. “We don’t practice innovation management for its own sake, but rather to make a contribution to increasing the quality of life of each individual. For this reason, the focus of our daily work is on people and how we can improve their lives,” says Steffen Erath, Head of Innovation. In addition to innovations, excellent design and reliable quality determine the work of Hansgrohe.

Results of a Pilot Project Released at ISH

Thinking consistently from a human centric point of view also means experimenting with new pathways and structures in product development. An interdisciplinary innovation team, driven by the question of the importance of digitization for customers, develops products that fundamentally change the experience of showering. The Innovation Lab has found a new home in Schramberg: The city is considered the center of the Black Forest’s ingenuity and creativity – therefore, it was a logical move to open the laboratory there. For more than thirty years, Phoenix Design has been a strong innovation partner for Hansgrohe. With their honorary title “Red Dot: Design Team of the Year” in 2018, the creatives from Stuttgart have demonstrated that they belong to the best in their industry. At the ISH in March 2019 – the world’s leading trade fair for sanitary solutions, energy, and air conditioning technology in Frankfurt – both partners will present a first milestone, which is a prime example of the ongoing transformation.

The innovation approach of the team has inspired other areas of the company: with the Hansgrohe Campus, a learning platform consisting of six faculties including strategy, innovation, and digitization, employees and executives continue to educate themselves, new digital marketing activities open up new markets, and with “talent mobility,” global cooperation becomes more effective.

From the Individual Inventor to a Comprehensive Ecosystem for Innovation     

Striving for innovation is deeply rooted in Hansgrohe’s DNA: Klaus Grohe, CEO until 2008, continued the company’s innovation tradition with his ingenuity and hands-on mentality and became the role model for today’s innovation team: courage, the right amount of risk-taking, and a good gut feeling are essential for the required creativity; user orientation and trust in the skills of the innovators are the top priority for Hansgrohe. “It’s needless to say that our current innovation management follows certain processes and structures. That is something that we have successfully worked on over the past year. A healthy level of process orientation is important, in order to provide people around the world with special water moments,” says Erath.

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