How long have you been with Fuchshuber? What is your position and what are your tasks?
I have been Head of Sales and Marketing at Fuchshuber Techno-Tex since January 1st, 2023, taking over from Christian Schuster as it were. My tasks are to look after existing customers, for and with whom we are developing new solution concepts, which also applies to new customers. In addition, my targets include growing our core business. That means making Fuchshuber and our protection concepts, especially in the areas of cut, puncture and flame protection, better known abroad.
How long have you been at home in the textile industry?
I entered the industry immediately after graduating in business studies, joining Industrial Laundry Koch, where I was in charge of sales and marketing along with a number of other responsibilities. Cooperation with the customers on a basis of partnership was a central concern of ours. We developed solutions to meet their requirements to ensure a win-win situation for both sides. That is my ambition for Fuchshuber too: to jointly achieve the best possible result.
Ties with the textile industry were laid in my cradle: my grandmother ran a small laundry business for decades, turning the full circle to Industrial Laundry Koch, and my other grandmother worked for over 20 years in the very building where we are now, where Fuchshuber is located in. It used to be the Unterhausen cotton spinning mill until it went out of business in 1993.
So you now know that I come from hereabouts. Today, I live in Bad Urach, where I grew up.
Where do you see the greatest challenges for the textile industry in Germany?
First and foremost is the high cost of production in Europe and in Germany. Personnel and energy costs have continued to increase with the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine. That leads to a lack of attractiveness for international investors. The high price level that we must charge for our products makes survival in the face of international competition difficult. That is why it is important for us to create understanding for the value of high-quality products and articles. Buyers clearly make economic decisions, but these decisions can lead to inadequate protection or to low wearing comfort, which is even worse because people who need protective clothing would soonest not wear it at all. Think of flame-retardant underwear. It incorporates coated polyester, which is incredibly sweaty in summer. Our shirts are breathable and anti-bacterial. Even during summer they are highly comfortable to wear.
We must make it clear to users that a certain standard for individual products in keeping with the wearers’ needs and providing maximum protection will cost more but will significantly reduce the likelihood of serious injury. Durability is a further aspect. Buying quality once makes more sense than buying the minimum standard three times.
Where do you see the greatest opportunities for a company like Fuchshuber?
We have short agreement and decision-making routes, can discuss matters in an uncomplicated way, often in a personal conversation with our partners, implementing solutions ideally. That is how we succeeded in adapting to changing circumstances such as we experienced due to Covid and the ensuing delivery difficulties. We have remained capable of action because we still have a textile location in Germany. We offer supply reliability because we have production in our hands, because we are flexible and have local partners. Recent years have made it especially clear how short-lived the status quo is – and how quickly you need to be able to adapt.
What has been your personal highlight at Fuchshuber?
The team! The team is great, there can be no comparison with other companies. We laugh with each other, pull together, problems are worked on as a team, we support one another. I really enjoy going to work. It feels like working in a family.