In today's world, the ecosystem concept is widely recognized. For generations, the ecosystem at KLINGER has been deeply ingrained. What is the idea behind this concept?
Christoph Klinger-Lohr: We want to optimally leverage the strengths of our global network and enable our customers to enter at any point in the supply chain. At the same time, we are developing new services that would not be possible without the cooperation of our widely branched partner network.
Daniel Schibli: For many decades, the strength of KLINGER has been precisely what is now commonly referred to as the “ecosystem”. KLINGER is present worldwide with tailor-made products and services, close to the customer, and strong in the segmentation of the individual industries. The ecosystem is not only important at KLINGER since it has become popular; it is, so to speak, in our DNA.
KLINGER CEOs Christoph Klinger-Lohr (left) and Daniel Schibli interviewed by Christina Raimann
How did this become part of the DNA?
Klinger-Lohr: KLINGER has always placed great importance on maintaining long-term partnerships worldwide. I still remember accompanying my father on his trips to business partners in Norway and being able to learn skiing there with our partners from Bagges. This creates a foundation for connections that last for many decades.
In addition to these sustainable business relationships, the KLINGER Group also values sustainable business practices. What priorities do you want to set in this regard?
Schibli: In addition to the increased use of renewable energies - last year we were able to put new PV systems into operation at several locations – the manufacture of durable products is particularly important to us. We do not want to throw mass-produced goods onto the market; instead, we focus on quality.
Klinger-Lohr: We are also striving to make our transportation more sustainable. Supply chains should no longer run across the entire globe, so we are increasingly switching to inbound supply. This includes optimizing our own distributor network and being as close to the customer as possible with our warehouses.
In 2023, when it could be an economically challenging year for many, how do you plan on supporting your customers?
Klinger-Lohr: Fortunately, we are in a financially healthy position that allows us to be more accommodating to our customers than the competition. This goes hand in hand with an increased service mentality – for example, we ask ourselves how can we better help them with their inventory management? This is how we want to support customers who could be affected by a possible recession.
„These results are all the more remarkable because our political, economic and health environment was completely different from what we would have preferred. Nonetheless, the majority of our subsidiaries have done an excellent job of meeting all the challenges.“
Daniel Schibli, KLINGER Group CEO, responsible for the Business Units Fluid Control and Service & Distribution
So, 2022 went well from an economic point of view?
Schibli: We can indeed look back on a very satisfactory year. Both growth and profitability met our expectations. We have also succeeded in expanding our product portfolio and promoting new developments.
„As of today, we do not see any danger of a recession for the KLINGER Group itself. However, we do not know what geopolitical events will occur in the coming months. We have a lean organization and have always been careful to operate in a cost-conscious manner. We also benefit from the fact that many industries are increasingly focusing on efficiency, for which they need our high-quality products. We also have suitable solutions for new technologies such as Power-to-X. In addition, we are financially solid, which helps us to survive any crises or recessions.“
Christoph Klinger-Lohr, KLINGER Group CEO, responsible for the Business Units Soft Sealing and Metal Sealing
What goals do you set yourself for 2023?
Klinger-Lohr: We aim to further advance segmentation within our group and expect a new positioning in this regard. We will be focusing on holistic products and services, which will keep us busy over the next twelve months.
Schibli: In addition, we will be focusing on product expansions, company acquisitions, a unified appearance, as well as marketing and digitalization. A significant emphasis will also be placed on further development within the framework of ESG (Environmental Social Governance) criteria. We not only want to demand it, but also implement and exemplify it ourselves.