Sales partner of the KLINGER Group - Ruml Group in the Czech Republic
Since 1992 Ruml Group has been supplying industrial valves and gaskets for the the heavy industry and energy sectors in Czech and Slovak Republic
Meet KLINGER’s Sales Partners!
The majority of our customers have already been in contact with our sales partners: Those are the companies who support us in marketing our products and promoting our services. All of them act as resellers, providing expertise and onsite services. Still, some of them go far beyond that, and market products they diligently manufacture under the KLINGER license. In this series, we bring a few of our international sales partners out from behind the curtain – to give you an idea of the important work they do.
International sales partners mean many advantages for our customers:
shorter delivery routes
local production, cutting or assembly as a sustainability measure
reliability even in times of global supply bottlenecks
KLINGER partner Ruml Group is building a lasting legacy in the Czech and Slovak Republic.
When brothers David and Filip Ruml reminisce about their early experiences with KLINGER, their memories stretch back much further than one might expect. Ruml s.r.o. was started by their father Vladimír in 1992 to serve as KLINGER’s distributor for the Czech and Slovak Republic. Even earlier, their grandfather served as general director of a company that started to work with KLINGER in 1968.
David and Filip Ruml visiting a booth of KLINGER in Czechoslovakia in the mid-1980s.
„KLINGER belonged to our childhood. There was a swimming pool at Gumpoldskirchen, which isn’t there anymore. It was originally used as a safety point in case of fire, but also as a swimming pool in the summer. We would go in the pool while our father had a meeting with KLINGER Fluid Control.“
David Ruml, Managing Director of the Ruml Group
Network of a family business
Upon the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993 Vladimir created Ruml s.r.o. to serve the newly-formed Czech Republic and Slovakia. Vladimír steadily built a network of well-known industrial customers such as Chemopetrol Litvínov and District Heating Košice, focusing on valves, sealing, and components. David began his role at Ruml s.r.o. in 1998, not long after completing his degree in economics. He immediately set himself to mastering all the institutional knowledge his father had gained over the years, particularly in gaskets and sealing. He spent much of his first ten years networking, going to customer sites and to trade shows to explain the KLINGER Expert program. Filip studied marketing and management, then went on to earn his MBA. He began his career at Komerční banka, but in 2008 decided to join David at Ruml s.r.o.
David Ruml and Filip Ruml, managing partners of Ruml Group
CNC-technology for tailor made gaskets
The brothers set out to grow the business, focusing mainly on the heavy industry and energy sectors. They steadily added additional suppliers and employees, always putting earnings back into the business. By 2011 they were ready to add a second company, Ruml Tesnění, which focuses on industrial sealing and insulation.
Investments in state-of-the-art CNC equipment allow the location to quickly produce tailor made gaskets at scale. Their third location, Ruml Industry, quickly followed in 2013. Located in Sulkov near Pilsen, this facility features 1500 m² (16,145 square feet) of production space for laser cutting, bending and welding, sheet metal work, and other services. The team also established a RUML Service company directly at a Czech refinery location to begin their service and maintenance offerings. Industrial valves and gaskets, steam traps and condensate pumps, and steam products are among the parts offered, in addition to system design and energy audits. With 150 employees across five companies, Ruml Group’s broad market coverage and vast customized service offerings have attracted major customers such as ORLEN Unipetrol, Škoda, Continental Tire, and Slovnaft.
The brothers are aware that their multigenerational success is unusual. As Filip reminisces, “We met an interesting guy, a quite famous investor. He explained to us that most sons are not as successful as their founder father, that they suffer as sons of successful men.” One major factor that contributed to their prosperity was the way Vladimír phased out his role in the company: while David and Filip began their joint work in 2008, Vladimír stayed on through 2011, gradually pulling back to allow the brothers more responsibility, while still providing mentorship as needed. Filip jokes, “He watched to see whether we would work nicely together, then he left the company.” Seeing some of his peers struggle with the relationship dynamics of their own family businesses has convinced Filip that there is a “sweet spot” of generational overlap in order to prevent strife: “The young people are dynamic, they want to grow, they want to make decisions on their own, and the parents are always more cautious.”
David and Filip Ruml at RUML Service in Litvínov
The key to success
Despite their unlikely achievements, the Rumls’ succession planning is not limited to their own family tree. Some of their division partners are beginning to plan ahead for their own retirements, and David and Filip are encouraging them to consider whether their own children would be interested in taking over those positions. Retaining institutional knowledge from generation to generation requires years of forethought, but the company is positioned to meet the challenge. As David explains, trusting their division partners with leadership responsibilities was a key factor in developing the Ruml Group to its current high level of performance:
„We looked for specialists in their fields, and we gave them a certain independence. They behave like owners, because it’s up to them, and it works perfectly. That was the key to success.“
David Ruml, Managing Director of the Ruml Group
In this way, the Ruml Group is about more than just the name on the banner: forming a family through passion for industry, and through passion for service.