ENG: ICV Controlling Excellence Award 2021 for Bosch

A1 Telekom Austria and KUKA Germany also recognized / Bosch with "very convincing solution for deriving and introducing new controller‘s roles"

Munich, 26.04.2021- The prestigious ICV Controlling Excellence Award goes in 2021 to Robert Bosch GmbH for the concept "Controller of the Future - People make the Difference!". The technology and service company impressed with the development of new controller roles to support its own transformation. The ICV also recognizes a project by A1 Telekom Austria, "Finance Analytics @ A1 Austria", a process for the introduction of advanced analytics, as well as the project “Introduction of a Product Lifecycle Controlling in the KUKA Robotics Segment" by KUKA Deutschland GmbH. The Award was presented on April 26, 2021 at the Europe's leading controlling conference, the 45th Congress of Controllers.

Every year, the ICV International Association of Controllers honors exemplary, practical controlling solutions with the prestigious Award. The expert Jury, made up of both practitioners and professors, is headed by the Chairman of the ICV Board of Trustees, Prof. Dr. Utz Schäffer, from the WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management, Institute for Management and Controlling, Vallendar. "Despite the tense corona situation, we were pleased to receive many high-quality applications again," said the Chairman of the Jury.

First prize goes to Bosch for a "very convincing solution for deriving and introducing new controller roles". The Jury did not want to differentiate between second and third place in the solutions from KUKA with its product lifecycle controlling and from A1 Telekom Austria with a process for the introduction of advanced analytics. The solution from KUKA is recognized as an industry-specific, rather traditional, but all the more as a very convincing “passion” project. With the award for the A1 Telekom solution from Austria, the Jury is sending out a signal of how important it is for the ICV to open up to analytics.

ICV Controlling Excellence Award 2021 for Bosch

The starting point for the winning project of the technology and service company Bosch was the fact that the company also develops its controlling with advancing digitization. The controllers support the operational business units with new management concepts, methods, systems and tools in the process of becoming the leading provider in the Internet of Things and for mobility solutions. Since the digital transformation also leads to new business models for Bosch, it is an urgent task for the controllers to support them in their development and expansion with appropriate and adapted as well as new management instruments.

This also includes effectively managing and mapping the increasingly cross-unit business. At the same time, controllers increase their efficiency in their own functional area through process automation with Robotic Process Automation (RPA), the creation of machine forecasts with predictive analytics, e.g. for sales, and through the use of highly integrated reporting systems with customer-oriented dashboards.

As part of the concept, Bosch developed five new roles for the company's 4,000 controllers and has implemented them since the beginning of 2021. In addition to the well-known “business partner” profile, there is also the business analyst, subject matter expert, governor and data scientist. For each of these roles, a specific competence profile and a matching training curriculum was created.

Particularly noteworthy for the Jury was:

  1. Bosch is thus proactively facing up to the upcoming role change and the differentiation of the traditional controller role, which is required especially in large companies;
  2. The role and competence profiles have been derived very well; Last but not least, the results of internal customer surveys, the exchange with other companies, the collection of internal best practices and scientific studies were incorporated. The concept was also well anchored internally: in particular the Finance Transformation Working Group, the Finance Controlling Academy Network and the Finance Transformation Board were intensively involved in the creation, so that various perspectives were incorporated early on and topics critical to the project could be addressed;
  3. The solution is not limited to new role and competence profiles, but also includes a comprehensive implementation concept. In addition to face-to-face training and webinars, the training portfolio also includes numerous self-taught offers such as web-based training, impulse talks and videos. In addition, extensive communication material was developed and systematic tracking of the implementation steps including lessons learned workshops was planned.

According to the Jury, this last point is decisive: “The successful implementation is the A&O of corresponding concepts; The gap between cheap Sunday rhetoric about the role of the controller and what actually happens in everyday business life is often too big.”

The Jury Chairman, Prof. Dr. Utz Schäffer, explains: “All in all, a very convincing solution that addresses the upcoming role change in an exemplary manner." The ICV members - whether in a large or in a smaller company - could either take on the entire implementation concept or individual modules. Or quoting a Jury member: "If only I would have had that last year when I was on the topic in our company.”

The core project Team of the Bosch Group, headed by Sven Grandi, CFO of the Bosch Global Services Solutions division, included: Stefanie Florian, expert for competence management in Controlling, Finance and Controlling Academy; Dieter Kirschmann, Head of Finance and Controlling Academy; Moritz Möbus, Commercial Advisor in the Bosch Global Service Solutions division.

A1 Telekom: "Exemplary procedure with rolled up sleeves"

According to the Jury's verdict, the A1 Telekom Austria solution also addresses a highly topical topic: “How do I bring my controlling closer to the topic of advanced analytics?” It’s worth emphasizing that Telekom Austria's approach is a “hands-on” approach which aims to get into "learning by doing" as quickly as possible, even with manageable on-board resources and without the use of external staff, and thus to establish advanced analytics and the necessary skills in Controlling and in the A1 Finance Area.

Specifically, in 2019 a small team of controllers, data scientists and data engineers was put together. The team identified the first use cases in the areas of credit checks for contract customers, forecasting demand for device types and sales, early detection of incorrect values in the sales base and monthly deviation analysis and implemented it E2E itself. The A1 Telekom Austria project team worked according to the basic principles of the agile scrum method, which, however, was individually adapted to the needs of the project.

This with a view to the know-how sharing required to the objective was carried out pragmatically and purposefully through sharing of successful use cases in addition to information events. And this is exactly where the circle closed, according to the Jury: “The remarkable thing about Telekom Austria's solution approach is not one or the other particularly impressive use case, you can now find some comparable elsewhere. But it’s the exemplary procedure with rolled up sleeves, your own on-board resources and intensive learning by doing.”

In total, a positive cash flow effect of 3.5 million euros is expected by 2023 from the five initially implemented advanced analytics use cases. Sonja Wallner, CFO A1 Austria, praises the “Finance Analytics @ A1 Austria” project as a great success: “Data centering is an essential part of the A1 and finance strategy. With the 'Finance Analytics @ A1 Austria' project, we have taken important steps in this direction and made it our goal to promote advanced analytics in the finance unit and establish it as an essential part of 'finance work'. We have deliberately chosen a cross-functional team approach and given the team great freedom in terms of prioritization and working methods. The qualitative and quantitative added value of the project has by far exceeded my expectations."

Gerhard Partl, Head of Collection & Fraud A1 Austria, is also satisfied: “By working with the Finance Analytics team, we were able to achieve significant improvements in the Solvency Check in my area of responsibility. As part of ESA ("Enhanced Solvency Analytics"), state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms (Log. Regression, XG Boost) have been established, which enable us to better assess and target customers with regard to acceptance / rejection. As a result, we as A1 can sustainably optimize bad debt."

The project team headed by Michael Haselmayer, Finance Controlling, A1 Telekom Austria AG, Vienna, included Martin Faber, Adrian Maksymowic, Georg Kern, Harald Gamper, Lukas Drescher and Christian Rezek.

KUKA project: "Controlling needs this kind of initiative!"

The solution from KUKA Deutschland GmbH includes the establishment of product lifecycle controlling in KUKA's Robotics segment. It generates information that, together with the technical infrastructure from the implemented data model, enables automated reporting across the product lifecycle and functional silos. The corresponding data support sales, production and investment planning and enable fact-based decisions to be made in the management of R&D and the existing product portfolio. The tools and methods of the approach are meanwhile also being adopted by other corporate divisions.

What particularly impressed the Jury: “In 2016 and 2018, two corresponding projects started and each had to be stopped without any results. As a result, a core team from the two applicants for the Award, both employees of the 'Portfolio and R&D Controlling Team', redesigned the topic as an agile project under their own responsibility, pushed it forward and thus made it a success. This kind of initiative is needed in controlling!"

After the extremely successful pilot introduction in 2019, the organization was quickly convinced of the need for product lifecycle controlling. This made it easier for the team to roll out the project further. The tools developed are widely accepted and used, and the data they contain is made available in an automated reporting system. Wolfgang Mayer, CTO of KUKA Robotics, explains: “The business cases help prioritize R&D projects and use the (always scarce) resources. With the transparency generated from the business cases, we can represent all R&D projects according to products and customer requirements. In addition, we now understand which costs are incurred for cash flow generating products and which are required for supporting products. The greatest added value, however, comes from the 'sign-off' to Gate 2 (start of development): at this point, all stakeholders sit down together and decide to start product development together."

The excellent project by KUKA Deutschland GmbH implemented Andreas Wolferseder and Reinoud van der Vliet.

More information on the ICV Controlling Excellence Award, including all winners since 2010, on the ICV website under: https://www.icv-controlling.com/en ->Association ->ICV Controlling Excellence Award

The main sponsor is the Business Intelligence Specialist ATVISIO Consult for the first time in 2021.


The ICV (International Association of Controllers) has in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and 12 other countries in Europe around 6,000 members active in practical controlling. The key objective of the ICV controlling philosophy is reaching permanent economic success. With its honorary chairman Dr. Dr. h.c. Albrecht Deyhle the Association, founded in 1975, has shaped the controlling in German speaking countries placed and influenced. The ICV merges controllers, CFOs, managers and scientists and it is strictly oriented on its members’ benefit. Experience, communication and being focused on future-oriented trends are foundations of the ICV. The ICV combines practical experience with the latest research results and prepares its knowledge for practical implementation. The ICV makes personal contribution to the success of its members and to the sustainable performance of companies. Prof. Dr. Heimo Losbichler, FH Steyr, is the Chairman of the ICV, Vice Chairman of the ICV is Matthias von Daacke, BLANCO GmbH & Co. KG.

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