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Change management at the photographic and online printing company CEWE

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Dr. Rolf Hollander

„Globalise made suggestions for how we could restructure our organization and worked on an optimized controlling system that made our manufacturing complexity more manageable.“


The challenge

Innovations have been the main driving force of the company’s transformation in recent years from the analog to the digital photo business. The assignment for Globalise was to optimize the product supply chain for the CEWE PHOTOBOOK. Among the focal points here was establishing more efficient production systems for the CEWE PHOTOBOOK and the CEWE WALL PICTURES.


The result

Globalise set up a new central function and introduced comprehensive production controlling. The process improvements that Globalise realized formed the foundation for earnings-oriented growth in the future.

Interview with Dr. Rolf Hollander, CEO of CEWE

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Dr. Rolf Hollander, CEO of CEWE

Dr. Rolf Hollander has been CEO of Neumüller CEWE COLOR Stiftung and CEWE Stiftung & Co. KGaA since 2002. In this function, he realized the transformation from analogue to digital photo service provider and extended the traditional Oldenburg company’s leading position in the European photo finishing market.


„Thanks to the Globalise manager, we now also have concepts for linking up the old machines that have their strengths in peak season and therefore generating outstanding synergies in conjunction with the newly created technologies.“

What was the situation at your company that prompted you to call on Globalise?
We wanted to make our manufacturing processes more efficient and introduce new impulses. For that reason I was deliberately looking for a management personality from outside the company who wasn’t from the printing industry, but who had proven in other enterprises that he could master complex projects and innovative technologies. The Globalise manager united these characteristics in a very special way. A PhD in the field of process engineering, he had in the past already optimized product development and production processes as the CTO of a large manufacturer of medical and personal care products.

What was the biggest challenge?
Most of our customers order only one or two copies of their CEWE PHOTOBOOK. That is an enormous challenge when you have a product portfolio as broad as ours, which is constantly growing. The difficulties lie less in the printing than in the further processing phase, in which the books are trimmed and bound. All told, there are more than 20 steps in the process. The Globalise manager recognized this dilemma and advised us to design a new kind of production system for the automatic manufacture of CEWE PHOTOBOOK copies. He then helped us find the right companies to build the system for us.

How did the Globalise manager master these tasks?
He formed a steering committee for the project and developed concept alternatives with a team of up to 12 experts. The steering committee determined the quality, service and cost goals CEWE had with a batch size of one, and which technologies we required to achieve them. With a small team built around a core of three specialists, the Globalise manager searched the mechanical engineering market for suitable technical innovations.

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„Globalise created the basis for a high degree of self-organization and continuous process improvements in production, and hence for future, earnings-oriented growth.“

What is your final assessment of the Globalise manager’s performance?
He made full use of his strengths as a manager and as a specialist in the successful deployment of new technologies. For decades now, CEWE has had a large base of know-how in the automation and process management of our production facilities. Time and time again, we have built our own machines, many of which we patented. With the Globalise project, we have taken another big step in this direction and considerably improved the quality and efficiency of our production processes.

The photo and online printing service CEWE is the technology and market leader in 24 European countries, with 11 high-tech production sites and more than 3,200 employees. CEWE is the first-mover in the photo industry when it comes to introducing new digital technologies and products. In the new Online Print field of business, it sells commercial print products on the sales platforms, Saxoprint and Viaprinto.