Bundled Powertrain Expertise

Published on Apr 14, 2020


PIA Automation is a one-stop solution provider utilizing the strengths and skills of all 10 of its locations. Therefore, this group of companies has organized itself into "Strategic Business Units" (SBU). These are competence centers created for selected subject areas in order to make optimal use of resulting synergy effects while exchanging the know-how of all branches. The SBU for Powertrain and E-Mobility is located in Austria and is managed by Daniel Kogler.

How long has there been competence centers at PIA - and why?   

At the beginning of 2019, "Strategic Business Units" introduced a higher-level organizational structure in order to bundle the competencies of the individual PIA branches and to collect experience and know-how centrally. This created the basis for PIA's technological leadership in specialized areas to carry on and continuously expand. In mid 2019 I took over the management of the competence center for Powertrain and E-Mobility at the Grambach location.

What is special about the competence centers?

With centers of competence, PIA pursues several goals:

  • An SBU is the knowledge center for a specific subject. Here the entire expertise of the PIA Group is collected, developed and distributed. We associate an SBU with the opportunity to fill a market segment with leading technology and to help other locations with specialized questions.
  • A competence center also has an overview of the global market of a corresponding segment. As a result, an SBU is able to assess market exploitation worldwide, identify trends and feed them back into the organization.
  • Acquired experience from past projects is also collected within the SBUs. PIA's goal is to avoid repeating developments and to duplicate “lessons learned” in a coordinated manner.

What added value does this offer the customer?  

Simply stated, the SBU structure offers our customers a combination of local contact as well as global expertise. Each location looks after its regular customers and geographical business partners as usual, regardless of the main expertise of the local PIA company. The required competence center is consulted within the PIA network when contacting the customer for the first time or when making a project request.

Daniel Kogler (PIA Austria, Key Account Manager)

"The Austrian location is PIA's powertrain competence center."

How do the competence centers work together?

PIA Austria, PIA Canada and PIA Ningbo form the core team of the Powertrain and E-Mobility SBU. Team members come primarily from their sales departments which are supported by engineering experts. If a customer request is received in the powertrain area within the PIA network, this is discussed within the SBU team. Any existing information from the branches is then bundled and made available to the customer's contact person.

Why is PIA Austria the competence center for Powertrain & E-Mobility?

In short, Powertrain & E-Mobility have been our core business for decades. Our first Powertrain project was over 20 years ago in 1998 when we received an order from Magna to build an assembly line for all-wheel drive vehicles. Gradually, more orders and customers were added. Today, our Austrian location is the PIA Group's powertrain competence center and is one of the market leaders in the manufacturing of production systems for powertrain components. In 2008 we entered the future topic of e-mobility. Currently 40 % of our sales are in this segment and the trend is rising.

Competence Centers in times of the corona crisis: Are they an advantage?

Definitely! The center of the pandemic has shifted from China to Europe within the past few weeks. While the economy and production in China are slowly picking up speed again, the Austrian location can provide its Chinese colleagues with unrestricted know-how, even if Austrian production slows considerably. Nothing should stand in the way of an offer or order processing and the SBU structure enables us to best cushion such economic turbulence thus ensuring security and stability for our customers.

PIA Austria: Competence Center for Powertrain and E-Mobility.