Hohner's 90th Year Sees New Management, Manufacturing, Sales Strategies
In 2020, Hohner Maschinenbau GmbH/Germany will be starting the 90th year of the company.
This is by far not the only reason why 2020 is an important year for the machinery building company with core competencies in wire stitching technology. What had started in 1930 in the years of the second world war by Otto Hohner was the foundation of the production of turned parts. This then led to the production of tobacco cutting, noodle production, can closing machines, and dental stump forceps for the medical instrument industry, whose home is also Tuttlingen, Germany. Inventiveness was needed to survive in those times and this spirit of entrepreneurship, with the right view for innovations, is still evident three generations later by the grandson of the founder, Hans-Peter Schoellhorn.
In the fifties they began to concentrate their product range to the graphic arts industry. At drupa 1958, Hohner’s printing, folding and stitching machines were exhibited for the very first time. Following, the product portfolio was completed in the eighties with the globally renowned narrow stitching heads, a product that delivered Hohner recognition and the worldwide market leadership to date.
Towards the end of the millennium the decision was made to develop and build saddle-stitchers. Since the launch of the HSB in 1999, a full series of saddle-stitchers have gained more and more market share thanks to delivering benefit and added value to customers. Looking back to June of 1999, the period of time when the first HSB 5.000 was launched, the market was divided between more than 15 players. Hohner has shown quite a success story to have moved from the absolute newcomer to the number two spot in the market over the past 20 years. This is impressive considering that the number of competitors in this time has decreased to 4-5.
The new company’s objective is to become the most competent partner and supplier for all saddle-stitching applications required by the market.
Efficient re-organization is indispensable in times when the printing industry is continuously becoming a more demanding sector.
The management of two directors by the owners and grandsons of the company founder has proved to be sometimes a slowing factor in decision processes and the successor question could never be approached properly.
The concentration of the shares on only one family string has been a significant step into a new era. The complete takeover by Hans-Peter Schöllhorn of both shares and management of the company as of January 2020 will not only allow to planning of the successor with stronger involvement of the members of the Management team, but will also allow a clear path with regard to the realization of Hohner’s vision in the aim of a sustainable market presence.
The first plan foresees a tightened process-oriented organization strictly respecting TQM and the implementation of automated production and assembling processes as a step towards industry 4.0.
The headquarters in Tuttlingen will become a real centre of competence, where the clear focus will be on development, design, and individual customer consulting.
In the research and development department the key task will consist of offering a system with open interfaces that allows MIS and networking with the most various data transmission systems. These market requirements will indicate the individual automation depth that the customers need; that means, there will no longer be a ready-made off rack postpress converting line – nor saddle-stitcher neither DIGI-Finisher.
The traditional salesman will no longer exist any longer at Hohner. This role will be newly defined as technology consultants and will be at the customer’s disposal in the future. Hans-Peter Schoellhorn stated, “The Sales Staff, as we have known it in past, has served out in my opinion. Added value for the customer by customizing (i.e. individually tailor-made consulting of quality products and a real care taking) is the way that will prepare us for the future.”
This new sales and consulting philosophy will also be the basis for a new modified way for the Hohner dealers as well. Since our dealers have to be strong competent holders of Hohner technology, there is a need for tighter cooperation between them and the Hohner technology consultants.
Another step in this direction is the birth of “The Postpess Alliance,” a cooperation of complementary partner companies in the machinery building sector for postpress converting. This alliance will share a joint booth at drupa 2020. For the first time in history it will show what it means to use the synergetic effects and gain strength as a joint dealer network.
Definitely, 2020 is and will be an important year for Hohner Maschinenbau GmbH.
The preceding press release was provided by a company unaffiliated with Printing Impressions. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of the staff of Printing Impressions.