Rainer Marsoun is the new plant manager of our Nordhausen site. He is taking over the position of managing director from Herbert Hoppe, who is retiring after 16 successful years. The Nordhausen site is responsible for wood production in the Stiegelmeyer Group, and manufactures care beds, bedside lockers and contract furniture. Michaela Amedick and Manuel Jennen spoke to Mr. Marsoun.
Mr. Marsoun, please introduce yourself to our readers.
I am 44 years old, married and have an eight-year-old son who makes me very happy. I come from the beautiful region of Franconia. I discovered my love of wood while I was still at grammar school when I worked in a friend's window factory during the holidays. After leaving school and doing an apprenticeship as a carpenter, I studied wood engineering in Rosenheim. I went into the furniture industry, took over a factory of the KGM Group in Thuringia in 2005 as plant manager, built another plant and completed an apprenticeship as a technical business economist at the same time. Afterwards I managed both locations. I have been with Stiegelmeyer since this year.
What does your work in Nordhausen consist of?
I and my entire team ensure that all processes in the company function properly. We are working on optimising the processes in production and administration and keeping them up to date at all times. I am pleased to be at Stiegelmeyer and I have been enjoying the new job right from day one. I particularly like the honest relationship with each other. I am also enthusiastic about the cooperation with the charity "Nordthüringer Lebenshilfe" and the successful integration of people that we practice on a daily basis – a great partnership between "Nordthüringer Lebenshilfe" and Stiegelmeyer.
You were already enthusiastic about working with wood as a student – what is the attraction of this material for you?
It’s a renewable, living raw material, and every type of wood has its own special characteristics. I find it fascinating to see how the board from the sawmill turns into a beautiful piece of furniture, wall panelling or flooring. I like the fact that we manufacture many components of our products ourselves.
Nordhausen trains apprentices to become wood mechanics. Why would you advise young people to take up this profession?
Because it's a great job with a bright future in what is now a highly technical manufacturing company! It is very important that we introduce ourselves at training fairs, among other places, in order to attract young skilled professionals of tomorrow. The high quality of training by our master craftsman André Fritsch is demonstrated by the fact that the 2016 German national winner comes from our plant.
In Nordhausen, contract furniture is produced for tailor-made interior furnishings in nursing homes and hospitals. What are the special advantages of this offering?
We are able to respond exactly to our customers’ wishes, and our great team offers excellent advice. Our customers receive everything from a single source, from the very first contact to making the furniture in our factory to fitting it on site. That's not often the case in this sector. For me, this is the right philosophy and the right way forward. In the end, our customers should be completely satisfied, and our service is the foundation for this.
In Germany, there are still reports on an almost daily basis about alleged differences between East and West Germany. How do you see the situation in a company with locations in both Thuringia and North Rhine-Westphalia?
For me, there’s no East or West, but only regions. People don’t differ because they come from the "former Federal Republic" or "East Germany (GDR)” – if anything, there are regional differences in the mentality. And everything has been growing together positively for a long time now. I come from Franconia, and people from Franconia and Thuringia understand each other anyway. It is only important to treat each other with respect – no matter where they come from. This is a basic condition for working together successfully and, for me, is a matter of course.