20 years Stiegelmeyer in Nordhausen
The Joh. Stiegelmeyer GmbH Thuringia celebrates its 20-year anniversary this year.
CEO Herbert Hoppe has been there since 2001, and he and his team have significantly contributed to the success of the company. In the last few years, a number of strategic decisions were taken in order to successfully lead the company into the future.
As a result, a furniture production company has developed into a high-tech industry. Today, the Nordhausen site produces over 50,000 products annually.
“We have been able to significantly increase profitability over the existing surface area through process optimisation and industrialisation down to the last detail. We gradually invested in more modern machines and production techniques which allowed us greater flexibility through multiple-shift operation, and enabled us to produce higher quality", says Herbert Hoppe, describing the company’s development.
In a region such as Thuringia, satisfied, motivated and healthy employees are an essential prerequisite for the economic success of a company. To support this, the company set up a ‘steering committee’ for coordinating ways to promote employee health. It also undertook the following measures to structure workplaces ergonomically:
- a special, soft mat under the employees’ feet at the workplace to relieve joints and vertebrae
- conveyor belts at specific angles to avoid extreme twisting of the body
- purchase of height-adjustable equipment for achieving an ergonomic working height for staff
- a new fitness room that encourages employees to improve their own health and well-being
It is still not a matter of course that people with disabilities gain a foothold in the general employment market. The Stiegelmeyer Mission statement includes, among other things, equal cooperation among all employees, regardless of individual abilities, ethnic and social origin, gender or age. The Joh. Stiegelmeyer GmbH Thüringen has been working successfully with people from the Nordthüringer Lebenshilfe for years.
People with disabilities are integrated into the company according to their individual abilities and skills. Small changes in the working conditions were necessary for this. For instance, a lift and a work area which is also supervised by the Lebenshilfe was set up.
This cooperative collaboration not only helps those directly involved. For a medium- sized company, in particular, the collaboration has become a firm employee segment due to demographic development. The earning potential of people with ‘handicaps’ is employed by Stiegelmeyer in Nordhausen for filigree assembly tasks. Mr Hoppe describes the collaboration as follows: “Being different and being able to think differently often also means innovation. The employees from Nordthüringer Lebenshilfe are particularly motivated. They want to prove that they can do it and that their work deserves to be valued. Disabled does not automatically mean reduced performance. Their identification with Stiegelmeyer is impressive and very emotional”.