For second consecutive year, the technology company Continental was named as one of the “Most admired company” of the FORTUNE magazine for 2018, going from number five to number fourth in the category of automotive suppliers.
FORTUNE magazine recognized the company but its excellence in innovation areas, social responsibility, products and services quality, personnel management and global competitiveness. Each one of these criteria materializes in incentives and global competitiveness. In exclusive interview, the director of Continental Juarez Plant I talked with us about the particularities of each one of these criteria.
Regarding clean energy, she considered that the company highlighted by generating a lower amount of carbon dioxide and decrease in plastic management.
On the other hand, the company has social responsibility with their community and supports the growth of certain sectors by donating equipment they no longer use, to elementary schools.
The company also manages an inclusion line in which they underline the diversity of gender, physical condition and zero discrimination, factors that also FORTUNE magazine took into account to grant that distinction.
Another criteria the director also considered as noticeable were the prevention programs the company manages such as unsafety, health and of family.
“We have too many alliances with educational institutions. We have exchanges and invite students to come and know the company, know how a work center is, and thus can consider their working possibilities once they graduate. Likely, we also go to schools to lecture conferences and exhibitions in order for them to know what we do,” she explained.
Nevertheless, quality is the most important subject for the company, the director said. “We take this issue seriously. We manufacture products that are part of everybody’s safety. We have very high quality standards and certifications, depending on the kind of products we do. In Juarez, we are star suppliers of some customers,” she shared.
Continental has noticeable presence in Silicon Valley, where it works innovation and development issues. In Mexico they have a Research and Development department in Guadalajara, where more than 1,300 engineers work seeking new solutions the company can offer to its customers. “Fifteen days ago we opened a new design center in Queretaro, where more than two thousand engineers will be working. We bet not only on manufacture, but in patents, new products and inventions,” she explained.
Regarding personnel management, the director explained that the company’s philosophy is to center capability and people’s competences in their expertise. “Last year we implemented initiatives for life and work balance. One of them is working at home certain days of the week; this is useful for parents. Another one is the possibility of a sabbatical year for development issues, even for operators,” she ended.
FORTUNE surveyed 680 companies from 29 different countries. The survey collected answers of 3,900 executives, analysts, directors and experts from different industries and used data to generate a list of the “Most admired companies.” Participants were requested to grade the companies from their own industries about factors that go from global competitiveness and innovation to social responsibility and quality of management. To be included on the list, a company must obtain a score of about higher half of their industry.