The Edge in Amsterdam is no normal workplace. It is generally considered to be one of the greenest and most sustainable offices on the planet, a truly smart building teeming with technology that is fit for the digital age. And within this inspirational structure, an inspiring transformation project is bearing fruit.
By any measure, Henkel is a multinational powerhouse with a significant presence in both the consumer and industrial sectors. The numbers speak for themselves: the company achieved profits of more than €3.1 billion against sales of a shade under €20 billion in 2018; it employs more than 53,000 people working across almost 200 Henkel sites around the world, with more than 85% of its employees working outside its home country, Germany. In short, it is a manufacturing giant.
Henkel’s interests are spread across three globally operating business units: Adhesive Technologies, Beauty Care, and Laundry & Home Care. Its Adhesive Technologies business manufactures adhesives, sealants and functional coatings for consumers, craftsmen and industrial applications, while its Beauty Care division produces brand-name products in the fields of hair colorants, hair styling, hair care, toiletries, skin care and oral hygiene.
Henkel’s Laundry & Home Care business unit is one that holds a special place in the history of the company; when Fritz Henkel, at just 28 years of age, founded the company in 1876, it was to launch "Universalwaschmittel", a universal detergent based on silicate.
Today, you have almost certainly used one of Henkel’s laundry or cleaning brands, be it a detergent, dishwashing product, household cleaner, or toilet article. With well-known brands such as Purex, Bref, or all, the company holds leading positions worldwide. Because of the company’s reach, Henkel operates a formidable supply chain, made up of millions of simultaneously moving parts.