ZEISS Group: Organize by Customer Culture?
How should ZEISS, the German manufacturer of precision optical and optoelectronic systems manage two historic businesses that operated fairly autonomously? The Industrial Quality Solutions (IQS) business sold measurement equipment to manufacturing companies in sectors like automotive and aerospace. The Research Microscopy Solutions (RMS) business sold into scientific research laboratories and industrial materials laboratories. The two units had many similar characteristics. Both served demanding customers in complex and competitive market segments, and the use of RMS microscopy products in materials research meant an increasing amount of cross-selling into IQS customers. Yet there were many differences in the sales processes, product development processes, and approaches to product and market planning. RMS and IQS had very different ways of working, and most team members would say that the organizational cultures and the customers were very different as well.