How can the past and the future be combined? What challenges do family businesses face? And what is your experience of digitization? “Everything new …? From the engine room ”, the interview podcast for medium-sized companies.
Since April 2019 Anna Maria Braun has headed the medical supplies company B. Braun. For less than a year at the head of the 180-year-old traditional company, the corona pandemic became a baptism of fire for the 41-year-old: On the one hand, the demand for products such as infusion pumps for intensive care beds increased enormously. On the other hand, surgical instruments were seldom bought because significantly fewer operations were performed.
“It was an immense effort, and it still is,” says Braun in the podcast “Everything new …? from the engine room ”. “We can count ourselves lucky that we have such a broad portfolio.” During the peak of the pandemic, production at the 110 locations could be shifted more to the goods that were needed.
In crisis management, the division between several crisis teams has proven its worth. The global company with its 64,000 employees was able to react appropriately to the situation at the respective locations. “Especially in times of the pandemic, there is a great desire that there is someone who can tell what to do,” says Braun. But that is no longer possible these days – especially not for B. Braun. “The world has become so complex that you need a variety of perspectives and opinions,” says Braun. “That must also be reflected in the management.”
“The innovative strength must come from the company”
Diversity is also a decisive factor in the further development of the company. In addition to the core business, there is therefore also an innovation hub that works with start-ups on new projects, including a unit for digital business models. “The innovative strength must come from the company,” says Braun. There may be external impulses for this, “but innovation cannot be outsourced.” However, core business and innovation work would have to remain connected in order to develop their strengths.
Braun also sees the corona pandemic as an impetus, but more in dealing with digital technologies. As a result of the new day-to-day work, they tried out many tools and did not discard them at the first technical difficulties. “That is something that you have to keep,” sums up Braun.
In Germany, too, she would like to see more openness in digitization – especially in the health sector. It is also a matter of “creating the framework conditions so that we can reconcile patient benefits with our need for data protection.”
In an interview with Tobias Rappers, Managing Director of Maschinenraum, and Nils Kreimeier, editor-in-chief at the business magazine Personal-Financial.com, Anna Maria Braun explains which chapter she wants to write in the family history and what she misses in everyday work in the pandemic. All episodes of “Alles Neu…? From the engine room ”can be found at Audio Now, Apple Podcasts, Deezer, Soundcloud and Spotify.