In view of the foreseeable fall in Low2Low business with ordinary standard heating elements for simple applications in household
appliances, Freek has made early preparations to focus on the production of high-quality industrial heating elements for
high-technology applications, e.g. in the plastics and packaging industries (High2High business).
For a long time now, even the standard heating elements that are still being made have no longer been so "simple" to produce and sell as their predecessors for tumble dryers, coffee makers and hotplates. Today's generation of standard heating elements are used in demanding niche applications, mostly for well-known global manufacturers, and must be capable of withstanding higher loads, be integrated with additional electronics and safety functions and are manufactured in an audited, frequently certified value creation process with a degree of organisation and formalisation that can no longer be compared with the past (Low2High business).
Additionally, it will also be necessary in future to maintain the high level of service achieved by Freek and to offer still more useful services related to the product for purposes of customer retention.
To be able to meet these increased market and innovation demands, tools and methods for systematic competence development are needed across all qualification groups at Freek. The focus of the project here is both individual and organisational skills and expertise. Of particular importance is the creation of structures, work and innovation processes that support learning and that are specially tailored to the large proportion of unskilled or unsuitably trained employees in Freek's production team. The interfaces and interactions with the highest-qualified employees of the Freek management team must also be set up in such a way that the existing potentials of "learning by doing", "learning by interacting" and "learning by producing" can be utilised as fully as possible.
Finally, it is becoming increasingly important to counter the growing fluctuations in the labour market and demographics and to
secure within the company the knowledge of retiring employees. It is further necessary to find ways of motivating and qualifying
increasingly older, unskilled or unsuitably trained workers, for many of whom integration is difficult, to become competent
employees at Freek.
Accordingly, strategic competence development across all qualification levels is gaining an overarching importance for the company to survive in the long term among heightened competition.