Steffen Hoffmann is the president of Robert Bosch Ltd.
With 24 years experience at Bosch, Steffen will be involved in many different aspects of the Bosch business in the UK. His position covers two main areas of responsibilities: overseeing the overall Bosch UK business as the president of Robert Bosch Ltd, and regional co-ordination of finance and administration for all Bosch entities in the UK.
Steffen began his career in 1992 in Germany at Robert Bosch GmbH as a management trainee and went on to hold several executive commercial roles in different countries, including Germany, Japan and South Africa.
Before taking over his current position in the UK, Steffen was the managing director of Robert Bosch, Southern Africa, as well as the head of the automotive (Original Equipment) Business in those countries.
How did you become involved in the Smart Buildings industry?
We have played a role in building technology for a long time providing safety and security, building automation and energy services to residential and commercial customers. At present, the focus is on the separate planning and optimisation of these different domains. However, with the emergence of the internet of things, cloud computing and “big data”, we believe the natural trend will be the convergence of technologies and planning and optimisation across these domains; creating, Smart Buildings. Our aim is to make buildings safer, more comfortable and efficient for the benefit of the user.
What excites you about the Smart Buildings industry?
Improving the user’s experience of a building. People can spend up to 90% of their life inside a building and Smart Buildings provides us with the opportunity to create practical solutions that deliver a real benefit to the user, particularly in relation to safety, comfort and energy efficiency.
Another focus is energy efficiency which not only benefits the environment and society, but is also a key factor for companies in achieving a competitive edge. Through building information modelling you can create and manage data across entire life cycle, which shows how a building can operate in an optimised mode. This present us with a huge scope to deliver the most targeted solutions to our customers. Also, we look further and try to integrate this with a connected security and safety system for optimised building operation.
Are there any particular technologies that we should be aware of, but are currently under the radar?
- Power generation 4.0: Master Energy Control (MEC) to integrate boilers, combined heat, power plants and storage creating an energy efficient system easy to operate by smartphone or tablet – higher efficiency and maximum reliability
- EffiLink technology to remotely configure parameters and maintain energy solutions – projects including Dubai Airport and BMW Welt Munich
- Bosch solutions intelligently link and control the generation and consumption of power and heat making the power supply even smarter and more efficient, as well as more decentralised.
What services does your company offer?
There has been an increase in the demand for security, comfort and energy efficiency which, influenced by the Internet of Things, has driven the trend towards Smart Buildings, and customers increasingly expect to receive solutions from a single source. In response, Bosch recently established the Integrator Business (formerly Energy and Building Solutions in the UK) in order to realise its vision to be the first choice in technology and services to make buildings safer, more comfortable and energy efficient. The Integrator Business is focused on developing smart building technologies and services that help to improve the operation of a building and add value to our customers. In a nutshell, it provides solutions and services that help protect people, assets and the environment.
Are people aware of the regulations that they will need to comply with in the near future?
I think people and businesses are starting to get the message in terms of the 2020 carbon mission reduction targets. At Bosch we have committed to reducing our CO2 footprint by 30% by 2020 and we have already achieved a 20% reduction in 2015.
What are the benefits of a smart building?
- Cost savings
- A safer building
- A more stable energy supply
- Greater reliability
- Convenience for the consumer
Who has been the biggest influence in your career?
Many different people have been important to me so it would be unfair to single out one. However, a big influence on me is the long time I spent abroad: 10 years in Asia and 5 years in Africa.
What is the question you are most often asked in your business life?
Two questions: Does it make economic sense? Is he or she the right person for the job?
What are the best/worst things about your job?
Best: meeting inspiring people inside and outside of the company
Worst: Disappointing customers, but luckily that does not happen so often!
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?
Be open and embrace change. Experience other cultures. Be pragmatic and try to keep things simple.
What living person do you admire and why?
The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, for being pragmatic most of the time and steadfast on the things that really matter to her.
Where would you most like to live?
I really enjoy where I am right now: London
What is your favourite book?
Karl Popper: The Open Society and its Enemies
How do you relax?
Time with my family, golf, travelling, reading and classic cars.
What sports team do you support?
I am more into individual sports, but for football it would be Bayern Munich as well as the German national team. So far they have done well in Euro 2016!
What is your desert island disk?
Steely Dan: Pretzel Logic
What is your ideal holiday?
A good mix of seeing new things and relaxation, ideally coupled with good food, wine and...sunshine. Prime example of this is Cape Winelands in South Africa