Four Strategies to help Schmalz through the Corona Crisis
Published on : Tuesday 13-07-2021
Schmalz has always acted sustainably. A look at the social, economic and ecological commitment of the vacuum expert shows why this is now proving its worth.
Schmalz is the market leader in automation with vacuum and ergonomic handling systems. The products are used in logistics applications as well as in the automotive industry, the electronics sector or furniture production.
"Even though the first quarter makes us optimistic with record figures, we must not rest on our laurels," says Dr Kurt Schmalz. As managing partner of J. Schmalz GmbH, he is also responsible for manoeuvring the family business safely through the corona crisis. Four examples show why he will succeed.
1. Schmalz makes economically sustainable decisions
Invest despite the crisis? A clear yes. In January, Schmalz moved into a new 900-square-meter building in Poznan, Poland; in Italy, the company renovated an existing building, including energy aspects; and in the USA, the expansion of production and logistics by approximately 150 percent has been underway since May 2021. The largest current project is in Taicang, China. Here, Schmalz is building a modern administration and production building as the new headquarters for its Chinese subsidiary. A sustainable investment – Taicang is a popular location for German SMEs. "We can only benefit by networking with these companies," emphasizes Dr. Kurt Schmalz. Just as at the German headquarters, in Poland, Italy and the USA, Schmalz also pays attention to resource-saving construction methods in China. Geothermal energy and geothermal probes air-condition the buildings, and photovoltaics use solar power to generate energy. The building is a prime example of the second strategy that strengthens Schmalz during the crisis:
2. Ecologically sustainable action
Anyone who has ever visited Schmalz in Glatten knows that the careful use of natural resources is practiced here. This not only helps the company's image: a wind turbine, a combined heat and power plant and the rock-slide cooling system are just a few examples of how the CO2 backpack of Schmalz products is already being significantly reduced today. By 2050, the Black Forest company wants to be completely climate-neutral. Not just empty words, but a path that Schmalz is actively pursuing, as evidenced by its membership in the Baden-Württemberg Climate Alliance. This protects the environment and also pays off for the company - among other things, saved electricity and heating costs amortize the investments in ecological sustainability. Further proof is the repeated award as one of the three most sustainable medium-sized companies in 2020. The "German Sustainability Award" not only proves that Schmalz offers products and services with high ecological standards, but also that it knows how to combine these with the third strategy – social sustainability.
3. Employees appreciate
In order to be able to call itself "Best Employer in Baden-Württemberg 2021" (1st place!) and to be counted among "Germany's Best Employers 2021," two things are needed: First, employees who confirm in a survey that Schmalz really is "a great place to work. And secondly, personnel and management work that auditors find worthy of distinction in a comprehensive cultural audit. The Axia Award also confirms sustainable corporate management. For this, the jury examines four areas, including strategy, productivity and innovation, culture and commitment, and governance and finance. But away from the trophies, and towards real life: Schmalz has long been creating scope for its employees to provide them with the best possible support in all areas of their lives. This includes protecting their health, which has never been more important since last year. Hence the fourth policy decision to help Schmalz through the pandemic:
4. Protect employees
Schmalz reacted early on with a comprehensive concept to protect its employees from the Corona virus - and thus maintain its ability to deliver. Home offices are now just as established as the use of the protective masks, faceshields and quick and self-tests provided. Schmalz is going one step further as a pilot company in the "Vaccination in SMEs" project. In the end, more than 70 percent of the workforce will have been vaccinated - on a purely voluntary basis, of course. "For us, this is a milestone on the way back to normality," says Dr Schmalz.
Dr Schmalz does not know when this will happen again. However, he assures: "We are fit for the future. We are taking advantage of the current growth in the markets of Europe, China and the USA and are continuing to drive forward the current trends of robotics, digitalisation and sustainability”.