GF is a worldwide business player operating in an environment of global competition. All three divisions of GF are among the market and technology leaders in their segments and main markets.
Vision & Strategy 2020
GF will be a premium industrial corporation which generates value across economic cycles as a preferred partner of its customers regarding solutions for
- Secure water and gas transport
- Automobile safety and fuel efficiency
- Precision manufacturing.
- Expand in growth markets
- Shift divisions’ portfolio towards higher margin businesses
- Drive sales and innovation excellence
“Our strategy 2020 is geared towards profitable expansion”
Let us now look into the future. What are the main goals of the strategy 2020?
Our strategy 2020 is geared towards profitable expansion. We aim at growing to CHF 4.5 billion, that is an increase of 20% compared to 2015 at constant exchange rates. With acquisitions, our objective is CHF 5 billion at constant currencies. In addition we aim at a high profitability of 18–22% for the return on invested capital (ROIC) and 8–9% for the return on Sales (ROS). This would bring our earnings per share well above CHF 50 from CHF 40 in average during the last five years.
Which measures allow GF to reach these goals?
We have identified three main strategic thrusts: first, we will expand again in the growth markets of Asia and the Americas whilst continuing to optimize productivity in Europe. Second, we will shift our portfolio towards businesses where we can generate higher margins and third, we will drive sales proficiency and innovation excellence throughout the organization.
Why do you want to further expand in Asia and Americas?
We must be strong where the markets are. Furthermore, a balanced presence worldwide reduces the impact of regional crisis. For all three divisions of GF, that means expanding in Asia and Americas. At GF Automotive (since 16 April 2018 GF Casting Solutions), we will build our first light-metal casting plant in the US together with our joint venture partner Linamar. In China we will expand our manufacturing footprint at all three divisions. We will rapidly develop our presence in India and in South Asia, especially at GF Piping Systems.
How do you intend to optimize productivity in Europe?
In Switzerland, we will invest to bring together our milling
activities in a new, modern facility in Biel. In Germany, we are heavily investing to automatize our iron foundries in order to enhance efficiency and competitiveness. These are a few examples to illustrate how we foster productivity in Europe.
What does it mean for your homebase in Switzerland?
Although we must and will invest in growth markets, we will keep our core technologies in Switzerland. Here is the heart of GF. As a Swiss company we must be able to offer competitive high-end products. That means continuously automatizing our processes and optimizing our productivity.
Each company tries to identify higher-margin businesses. Where can GF find these segments?
At GF Piping Systems we will increase the share of high-end products like sensors, valves, and automation as well as enter the promising service sector. At GF Automotive (since 16 April 2018 GF Casting Solutions) we will invest more in machining to offer ready-to-mount components. We will also enlarge our die-casting mold activity to contribute earlier to our customers’ designs. GF Machining Solutions will keep strengthening its presence in promising sectors like aerospace and ICT. The division will also differentiate itself by offering integrated automation solutions in line with the needs of its premium customers for self-improving systems and by enlarging its technology portfolio for example in laser texturing as well as 3D printing machines.
The third main strategic thrust is to drive sales proficiency and innovation excellence. What will this initiative bring?
As a Swiss based company, we certainly cannot count on a weak home currency but we can continuously hire and develop talents in order to make a difference in the eyes of our customers. To support our drive towards higher- margin businesses, we will optimize the skills of our sales force and quicken our innovation pace. We will also continue to systematically train all our companies on collaborative skills, the basic ingredient to work effectively together across cultures and on execution excellence to involve everyone in setting up goals and measures in each of our companies.
Where are the challenges for GF over the next years?
Like in the past, we know that unforeseen events may impact our company. We need therefore to stay flexible to accommodate those changes if and when they occur and quickly identify opportunities wherever they are.
GF Piping Systems
GF Piping Systems will by 2020 shift portfolio to higher value business and products. The division will differentiate by providing their customers a unique set of valuable integrated solutions and services to address their water conservation needs.
- Strengthen the existing market segment organization
- Link the innovation process to identified customer needs
- Expand the global presence and adapt the footprint
- Shift portfolio to higher value businesses and services
GF Casting Solutions
GF Casting Solutions remains the first choice solution provider for lightweight casting components.
- Expand into higher value businesses
- Provide global solutions
- Increase productivity in Europe
GF Machining Solutions
GF Machining Solutions will be the trusted partner of the global precision machining industry during all phases of the lifecycle. The division will differentiate by globally providing innovative and integrated product and service solutions to their focus segments.
- Position the division as innovation leader of Swiss Quality
- Offer complete solutions for the whole lifecycle within target segments
- Convince through a competent and efficient organization