HUGO BOSS, Smart Factories, and Pivoting to Entrepreneurship with Joachim Hensch

Joachim Hensch is a master tailor and for years dreamed of opening his own shop. In reality, he did that on a much larger scale during his 24+ year career at HUGO BOSS. There, he moved from product development to becoming the Managing Director of their massive Izmir, Turkey facility, where he led a best-in-class digital transformation. Now, he’s helping other manufacturing leaders with their digital transformations through Joachim Hensch Consulting.

In this episode, Joachim takes us through the story of his career. He shares the learnings he’s picked up along the way that allows him to give world-class advice to his clients today. He explains why digital transformation is a must, but it has to be done the right way. Joachim has seen many mistakes from business leaders, and it often boils down to focusing too much on the tech rather than building a plan first.

Joachim also shares his thoughts on Industry 4.0 and reveals how it’s not really about the tech. It’s about solving the complexities of a growing company. We round the talk off by agreeing that there is one thing you can’t apply digitalization to – and that’s having a beer with friends.


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3 Quick Things from this Episode

  1. Digital transformation all starts with a plan, not the tech. According to Joachim, you need to be strategic about digitalization.
  2. Industry 4.0 is about solving complexities that come with a growth of customers. It’s not about finding the next best tech tool.
  3. Transparency in the workplace can boost morale by helping employees take ownership of their development to become their own managers.

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Tweetable Quotes

  • “There’s a huge misunderstanding because people always start with tech. And what I do nowadays is I help organizations and companies and leaders in first crafting the plan.”
  • “One of the tools to handle complexity is digitalization. But we don’t start with digitalization. This is just the tool.”
  • “When you do this transformation, you have to make a lot of bold moves. And you have to also accept that a lot of things won’t work, so you have to be fast in making corrections.”

Please Scroll Down for Recommended Resources from this Episode

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What We Discuss with Joachim

  • Why companies need to embrace digital transformation
  • Joachim’s early career as a tailor
  • How Joachim pivoted to a managerial role at HUGO BOSS
  • How he managed to motivate and speak to a team of 4,000 people
  • Why Joachim decided to build a digital twin
  • The impact transparency in the workplace has on morale
  • Top mistakes in digital transformation to avoid
  • Why now is the best time to start a business

Recommended Resources

Connect with Joachim