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Program management for Linde Engineering

The two industrial gas companies and former competitors, Linde AG, and Praxair Inc, merged in October 2018 to form the new global market leader under the Linde name. Linde is a leading industrial gases and engineering company with sales (pro forma) of $28 billion (EUR24 billion) in the year 2018, employing approximately 80,000 people worldwide and serving customers in more than 100 countries all around the world. Linde delivers innovative and sustainable solutions for its customers and creates value for all stakeholders. The company makes our world more productive by developing products, technologies and services that improve its customers’ economic and environmental performance in a connected world.

Customer: Linde Engineering

Linde Engineering develops process technologies for the treatment, separation, and liquefaction of gases for global customers. The company offers integrated complete solutions from plant design and assembly to operation and maintenance, as well as individual solutions to increase productivity, efficiency, and plant life. Linde Engineering disposes of the entire know-how of the T-EPC value chain (technology, engineering, procurement, construction) and has already applied its knowledge to the design and construction of more than 4,000 plants.

Initial situation and challenges

As part of the merger of Linde and Praxair, the task was to set up a comprehensive program management for the Finance & Controlling department of Linde Engineering. The challenge for the client, Mr. Serkan Şen, Head of Finance & Controlling at Linde Engineering, was to incorporate the numerous special topics into a coordinated program. The resulting additional workload for his key employees had to be considered and, above all, the cultural dimension of the merger had to be kept in mind: the employees of the new Finance & Controlling department came from two companies that had both been globally active and very successful in the past, but with very different business models and corporate cultures. Accordingly, it was important to support the program with intensive communication measures and to establish inter-divisional collaboration using modern working methods.
Within the originally planned budget and time frame, the digatus team succeeded in establishing a program management and in handing it over to the future manager, who was able to highly apply his knowledge of the organization, his network, and his professional expertise right after his start. Serkan Şen Head of Finance & Controlling, Linde Engineering

Solution

eTo guarantee the ideal course of the project and ensure the sustainable establishment of the program, the initial emphasis was on precise planning of the necessary structures. The first step was to develop and establish a uniform meeting structure for the program. Previously, primarily subject-specific meetings within individual departments took place. In the future, they will be held on a more topic-related and interdisciplinary basis between the relevant knowledge carriers. In addition, joint program meetings have been introduced to improve coordination with department leads. This encourages decisions and coordination between the individual workstreams. To create additional transparency and further improve communication, topic-specific exchange circles were also created across hierarchical levels as a platform for new ideas and innovations. The second step was the introduction of a structured and efficient reporting on the progress of the individual projects tackled as part of the merger. Action item tracking was introduced and made available to all project participants to provide an overview of the individual measures and steps and their interdependencies. Now a transparent presentation of the project progress and the involvement of all project members was possible. Above all, the cross-project listing of necessary actions and their interdependencies led to improved collaboration across departmental boundaries. Moreover, the exchange within the project teams and at program level was raised to a new level. Real time collaborative work on documents significantly increased efficiency. Last but not least, the program ensured that the group’s higher-level program office can be systematically informed about the status of individual projects in a coherent manner. From synergy realization to the rollout of future group-wide tools and processes, all post-merger activities are included in the reporting.

Customer benefit

Through the introduction of the new meeting structure in combination with the implemented and particularly efficient reporting culture, a good transparency within the merged company about the project and program progress could be generated. All decision-makers are now continuously involved and well informed at any time. It was also important for the client that program management could start as soon as possible after the merger was completed. It shall then to handed over to a suitable internal employee after a short and intensive start-up period. As these requirements were fulfilled, the future internal manager was able to start working immediately.
Patrick Streit

Patrick Streit
As Managing Director of our Consulting unit, his main focus is on finance, human resources and project management. In addition, he is responsible for key account management for corporate customers and manages the location in Franconia.

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