Global R&D transformation to significantly increase R&D productivity in the health tech industry

Dr. Andreas Goppelt, CTO bei Ottobock, Globale R&D Transformation mit 3DSE

The global reorganization makes our R&D organization more flexible and significantly more powerful. A large number of workstreams were running in parallel, which is why we relied on
professional external support. 3DSE brought the view from the outside and enabled us to do external benchmarking with other companies. A sustainable partnership was created, in which we were able to successfully implement and realize the measures together”.


Dr. Andreas Goppelt, CTO
Ottobock SE & Co. KGaA


Best of Consulting Award 3DSE

The 100-year-old family-owned company Ottobock is one of the global market leaders in the medical technology sector and has continued its growth course in the 2019 financial year: With a nominal increase of 8 per cent, sales grew to EUR 1,003 million (prior year: EUR 927 million) and exceeded the threshold of one billion euros for the first time. Thanks to higher sales and consistent steps to improve efficiency, the adjusted operating profit before special items (underlying EBITDA) increased at a higher than average rate, by 10 per cent to EUR 191 million (prior year: EUR 174 million). Ottobock has more than 7,000 employees, around 500 of whom work in R&D.

In order to actively shape the growth development, Ottobock’s R&D addressed the extensive product portfolio and the grown structures of the organization. In both areas it was necessary to reduce complexity. At the same time, the goal was to accelerate the product development process and thus increase R&D productivity.

3DSE was assigned as external partner to achieve maximum acceptance for the transformation from the beginning. The project was designed according to the strategic guidelines of the CTO and R&D representatives of 3DSE, which guaranteed a very successful buy-in of the workforce into the new structures and processes.
In the future, the site structures will be harmonized in order to be more efficient in cross-site collaboration. The repositioning guarantees to strengthen the core technologies and to continue to pursue new ideas that allow new business areas to be opened up and thus make Ottobock future-proof. The focus of the new organization is on entrepreneurially thinking teams that are put together with employees from different locations according to the skills and resources required. This independence of the teams from different locations increases the flexibility of global R&D to react to changing project requirements and thus to operate efficiently and effectively.

The following four steps were carried out together with Ottobock:

  1. First, the foundation was laid by bringing the project participants together as a team and analyzing the current situation. Thereby the neuralgic points and success factors or levers were identified.
  2. Next, the solution was forged: Together with the involved parties 3DSE selected and individualized an operating model for the optimal achievement of objectives. Stakeholders were involved in the process through regular information and the go-/no-go decision was prepared by the management board.
  3. In preparation for the actual transformation of the R&D organization, 3DSE helped to set up a transformation architecture and plan for the repositioning together with the future executives. At the same time the communication with Ottobock’s corporate communications department was completed for the final decisions.
  4. After the official roll-out at designated Ottobock locations in October 2018, 3DSE accompanied the transition to the new organizational structures with a small team over a longer period of time in order to act sustainably. To manage the transformation, a transformation office with internal change agents as multipliers with targeted and easy to understand transition tools was developed.

With the reorganization of our R&D, we have created the foundation for raising the current potential on the one hand and strengthening the innovation engine of our R&D on the other hand – and thus further strengthening Ottobock for the future“, says Dr. Andreas Goppelt, CTO of Ottobock SE & Co. KGaA.

Best of Consulting Award Mittelstand 2019

For this successful project with our customer Ottobock we were awarded “Excellent” in the category Operations at the Best of Consulting Mittelstand Award of the WirtschaftsWoche. A success and a special appreciation of our work that makes us proud!

Denis Trost und Marc Fritzen nehmen die Auszeichnung "Best of Consulting Mittelstand 2019" entgegen.

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