Bosch Scharnieren (Hinges)

2013 – Bosch Scharnieren in Doetinchem, the Netherlands designs and manufactures high quality metal hinges for industrial applications. The company specializes in customer-specific tailor made products. It employs about twenty people in the production and approximately 10 in sales, logistics, engineering, management and board.

Workplace innovation

The company uses the production philosophy Quick Response Manufacturing ( QRM ), a special direction within Lean Production. This philosophy is aimed at shortening the integral through-put times for all production and office work. QRM is particularly suitable for customer-driven companies with a great variety in orders and numbers. In Bosch Scharnieren the process is further supported by Polca a production order management system that works with color cards to ensure that the output flow is pulled smoothly and that a minimum of stocks is needed. Production-cells operate as self-managing teams.

About six years ago director Fried Kaanen saw that the QRM system could help him to reduce the cost of (time)waste in his factory and to deliver good quality products in shorter time than before despite a large variation in customer needs. And furthermore it would leave room for employees operating in self-managing teams. Bosch Scharnieren was the first in the Netherlands to start with QRM and now also acts as a consultant for fellow businesses. The High school Arnhem Nijmegen (HAN) has created an Expertise Centre QRM in collaboration with Bosch Scharnieren. This cooperation and the participation of Bosch in Syntens networks and in intensive learning-from-each-other sessions of  ‘Smartest Companies’ in the Netherlands, have also ensured that in the meantime many metal companies followed their example.

Within six years Bosch has grown from 250 to 600 clients a year. It has a sales increase of 25 % per year, the share of exports grew from 15 % to 50 %. The sustainable employability through self-managing teams gave them a place in the national top 3 of ‘Every–day-better’ companies.


In 2013, Bosch Scharnieren became one of the ‘Smartest companies in the Netherlands’ an award of Syntens (a former public agency to support SME’s).  The jury-report can be found in the appendix.

Themes: Flexible organization, SME, Working Smarter, Team Work, Self-management
Industry: High Tech, Smart Materials
Source: Case