A glimpse behind the scenes of production
Mr Kirchstetter, you took over as head of production at the beginning of 2019. Why take over what is quite a straightforward job with just a few dozen employees, when you have come from a European steel giant where you worked both locally and overseas?
There isn’t really much of a story to tell… I’ve known the two chaps at the top for over 25 years and we worked together very successfully for many years at a German drive technology and automation company.
I love setting something up, playing a part in an organisation and passing on knowledge and experience. And if this is possible at a company that knows exactly where it is going, then of course that’s really quite something. You just can’t dampen the enthusiasm and motivation.
Nevertheless, how are you coping with the transition from a large enterprise to an SME, do you not miss the magnitude of the task?
Let’s talk again in another year, or two or three… we are currently in the middle of planning for a new company building with another 100 jobs, which should be ready by summer 2020. We have a factory in China to inaugurate yet in 2019 and the leap across the pond into the USA is the next escapade, albeit a thoroughly logical one. I think that describes the magnitude of the task.
Okay… that certainly sounds really exciting!
That it is. Although we are, for now, a simple hidden champion, our speed of expansion and our growth are enormous. Again, it’s not about the size of the company, but about how the prospects, and related tasks can be mastered in line with market requirements.
And with production sites in Europe, China and the USA, we’ll be more of a global player than a hidden champion in a few years.
So where do you see your biggest challenge in the next few years?
The challenge won’t be to produce high-quality products, because that’s what the market demands anyway. From my point of view, the biggest challenge is the rapid growth; developing the organisation behind it and the expert knowledge within the organisation. We also need to be able to retain a stable team that can work under pressure.
One last thing…
Something I personally want is safety for our employees at work, that they enjoy their work and feel motivated by it, and that they also share in the joint success, both for our customers and our company. That’s what’s important to me.