What we do

What we do

Inspiring innovations for a better quality of life.

Home appliances have become almost indispensable for our modern daily life: they cool, heat, wash, dry and do other household chores. Today they do even more, such as protect the environment, save valuable resources, communicate with each other and automatically complete their tasks – as is already the case in smart homes. At BSH, consumers are our key priority. We develop innovations that simplify life, and satisfy needs that go beyond that. It’s our goal to always be first when it comes to our products of our brands.

Imagine the alarm clock rings. Time to wake up, activate your fully automatic coffeemaker via the Home Connect app before your get out of bed and prepare breakfast: warm the bread rolls in the oven, make your favorite coffee with the touch of one button, and fetch the chilled orange juice, butter and jam from the refrigerator. Quickly mix a smoothie, prepare scrambled eggs on the hob. Scenes such as this unfold every day in modern households – no matter where in the world.

Insights from everyday life

BSH User-Experience-Lab with dishwasher
Home appliances should help make everyday life easier for us all. The demands on these helpers have grown – these days it's no longer enough for the refrigerator to chill or the oven to heat. There's more to it than that. It's about the changing requirements of our everyday lives, about forward-looking technologies, and about aspects that impact buying decisions such as design and material, and especially about energy efficiency and sustainability.

This is exactly where BSH comes in: Our goal is to be so familiar with the needs of consumers that we create innovations that offer tangible benefits for consumers and lead the way with our developments. We have therefore introduced a user-centric approach in our product development. In our user experience labs around the globe, consumers test prototypes, think through ideas and provide vital insights into their own wishes and expectations. In collaboration with designers, engineers and sales experts, this gives rise to innovations that invigorate and ensure better quality of life in harmony with the environment.

The measure of all things – testing by consumers in our UX labs.

A modern coffee machine with illuminated display and different selection options. In front of it a consumer wanting to prepare his or her favorite latte macchiato: lots of milk and a double shot of espresso. A little scrutiny, a simple touch on the display here and there and the machine starts to prepare the drink. What looks like an everyday scene is a small insight into our user experience laboratory in Munich. Not only coffee machines are set up here, but also washing machines, dishwashers and many other home appliances. Although the testers are aware of being observed during the unrehearsed operation of the machine, this does not affect their impartiality. Every individual function is put to the test, the tester's gaze is recorded using eye tracking, the user friendliness of the appliance is scrutinized in precise detail, and much more. Important conclusions can thus be drawn regarding products and prototypes, and possibly new user needs identified. The valuable test results are evaluated by product developers, psychologists and marketing experts, and incorporated into development. This produces home appliances that are easy to operate and meet consumers' wishes and needs.

Henning Brau
“Consumers should feel at ease with our product. The purchase, installation, use and even maintenance should be a positive experience for them.”

Henning Brau, Manager User Experience

Impressive results that can be seen – but scarcely heard.

BSH Dillingen Noise measurement of a dishwasher in acoustic laboratory
Silent operation is one of the consumer needs that has been clearly identified – after all, many kitchens and thus the appliances are no longer separate rooms nowadays, but often part of the living area. BSH brand dishwashers for example not only promise top-class cleaning and drying results, stylish design and extremely resource-efficient properties. They are also so quiet today that consumers are only alerted to the fact that they are working by means of visual signals. The acoustics lab is responsible for dealing with this challenge. It works constantly on further developing new insulation materials. After all, the sound of the appliances is an important purchase criterion for the consumer. Appliances should be quiet, yet at the same time sound pleasant. A challenging and complex task, because the choice of insulating materials also influences energy consumption and the drying level of the dishwasher. Different departments therefore work together from a very early stage of development to construct the optimum appliance, which offers real added value.

A place for sharing, communicating and innovating.

Maker Space BSH’s coworking, test and makerspace in Munich
In order to make this kind of interdisciplinary teamwork even easier and to become more agile, BSH in Munich offers a place where brand designers, product developers, user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) experts, product managers and colleagues from the fields of virtual reality, and model and prototype construction can develop, test and work together: the “BSH CO”. The coworking, test and makerspace is an open, modular space with lots of glass, and divided into work zones, a workshop and an open area with a fully equipped kitchen and media technology. Among other things, it provides an opportunity to share ideas, and to test home appliances and prototypes under real conditions and with consumers. Thus, the coworking space directly contributes to BSH’s main objective: Gaining in-depth consumer insights to reproduce, enhance and optimize our consumer experience journey.

Working with startups

Startups BSH is working closely with Kitchen Stories
Besides those internal innovation efforts, we’re also thinking outside the box: BSH is working with startups. For example, with Kitchen Stories, the global recipe platform and BSH Service Brand, to offer spare-time cooks and ambitious amateur chefs new experiences related to cooking in the increasingly connected kitchen. To expand these digital services even further we offer a unique approach aimed at enabling long-term partnerships between startups and BSH: The BSH Startup Kitchen. We seek to partner with startups that offer unique solutions for the entire BSH business – in terms of products, services and productivity. This is part of our "Open Innovation" approach and guides us to a lean and fast process to integrate consumer-centric innovations in our products and processes. Another vital part to engage with startups is our Future Home Accelerator powered by Techstars. In close cooperation with the U.S. based startup specialist Techstars, BSH has launched the first mentorship-driven accelerator program in the home appliances industry. Startups around the world with a vision for impacting the future home and its centerpiece can apply for the exclusive 13-week-program full of opportunities. Our investment in start-ups helps us to identify new business models and boost market-driven innovation. Integrating these ideas in our product and service portfolio will be one important step on our way to becoming a Hardware+ company.

Industry 4.0 – Smart manufacturing of individual products.

BSH Digital Virtual reality glasses support BSH‘s product development
To be able to offer individualized, digitalized products and solutions in accordance with our Hardware+ vision, the production processes are changing and pushing forward the path toward Industry 4.0. It’s our aim to improve production flexibility, operational excellence, employee qualification and management, environment and security as well as digital production planning. Because this is the foundation that we need in order to deal with an increasing amount of complex, connected appliances and to flexibly respond to market conditions.

In addition, Industry 4.0 is helping us to further improve the product quality with the help of Big Data analysis, and to deliver our appliances to consumers even faster, among many other benefits. That’s why we closely analyze and further develop the opportunities offered by automated production steps in the global production network as needs require. At the same time, we are investing in new, automated technologies to accurately meet consumer wishes with a variety of models as wide as possible. Modular product architectures that can be adapted flexibly to suit consumer requirements are pioneering in this regards. Through the integration of digital functions, contents and services, home appliances are tailored even more fully to consumers’ expectations. Industry 4.0 assembly lines identify each appliance right from the first production step and continuously monitor key performance indicators. Collaborative robots support the employees in individual work steps in the production processes. Individual workplace solutions are designed according to the latest ergonomic findings.

Individualized production

Whether it is leather upholstery, the navigation system or heated seats – anyone buying a new car chooses the features individually to suit their needs. What has long since been taken for granted when buying a car is now, for the first time, also becoming reality for appliances like kitchen machines from BSH. In Germany, for example, consumers can configure and directly order their personal MyMUM kitchen machine with a special online configurator to reflect their personal taste.

MyMum
Individual configuration of products not only means consumers being spoiled for choice but also a major challenge regarding production and logistics. That’s because everything is individualized – from the product and the packaging to the delivery method. To build product variations of the kitchen machine, we have created an extremely flexible production concept that can implement both the current series production and batch production, while maintaining the same level of efficiency and without increasing costs. To ensure a smooth process, every ordered appliance model receives a code following receipt of the order. This code is then used to save all data pertaining to the appliance. It can therefore be electronically tracked. Based on this data, the laser printer prints, for example, the right nameplate on the packaging. Furthermore, the code also helps automatically trigger the correct testing procedure at the end of the assembly process, thus ensuring the high quality standards. Following the tests, the fully assembled products are equipped with the selected accessories and delivered the consumers’ homes latest two weeks after the individual configuration and online order.
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