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issue: March 2004 APPLIANCE Magazine

Claus Peitersen of Danfoss Inc.

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Having been with Danfoss Inc. for 13 years, Mr. Peitersen is now the vice president of Operations for the Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Division located in Baltimore, MD, U.S.

"One of my best assets is my smile," says Claus Peitersen of Danfoss Inc. Judging by his resume, Mr. Peitersen has used this asset to its full potential. Having been with Danfoss Inc. for 13 years, Mr. Peitersen is now the vice president of Operations for the Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Division located in Baltimore, MD, U.S.

After receiving his Bachelor of Commerce in Foreign Trade from Copenhagen Business School (Copenhagen, Denmark) in 1988 and Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and Product Management from the Technical University of Denmark in 1989, Mr. Peitersen has held positions of increasing responsibilities at Danfoss Inc.

Beginning as a consultant in Total Quality Management, Mr. Peitersen has moved through the ranks, occupying such positions as plant manager, national sales manager of Industrial Controls, director of Lean Support Office Industrial Controls, and now vice president of Operations. In his new position, Mr. Peitersen is responsible for operations such as logistics, customer service, and application engineering.

According to Mr. Peitersen, one of his greatest career accomplishments was establishing a position for Danfoss Inc. in the U.S. industrial controls market. His efforts led to a 25-percent annual growth in the company's sales and profit. According to Mr. Peitersen, the key to his success in the industrial controls market was focusing on select market segments and using that to gain new business.

Mr. Peitersen has also been successful in implementing what he refers to as lean thinking. "The power of lean thinking and Kaizen Breakthrough Methodology and their results continue to amaze me. We have seen outstanding results over the years, and I relentlessly promote this way of thinking and working in our daily business processes and in the entire organization," he explains.

Mr. Peitersen says he tries to involve everyone in lean thinking - from top management to his employees. "By using lean techniques, everyone gets a better understanding of our current processes, and they can more easily see opportunities for improvement," he explains. "These become obvious to everyone and are, therefore, easier to initiate, manage, and implement. It also helps management become more visible by actively taking part in implementing the improvements. It's a win-win situation."

The most rewarding part of Mr. Peitersen's job is when he is allowed to take full control of his actions. Part of having control, however, also means making his employees feel empowered while he is delegating tasks. "My management style is empowering, coaching, delegating, and involving, yet demanding, with focus on the objective," he explains. "My employees tell me they like my management style; they say it calms things down and gives people hope."

When he is not at Danfoss Inc., Mr. Peitersen enjoys golf and has played in several Danish Amateur Championships, even taking the title of Danish Amateur Champion in a Foursome in 1981. He also enjoys hunting, traveling, and the theater.


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