German medium-sized companies are suffering from delivery bottlenecks and inflation.FOCUS Online talked about it with Peter Schwenk, head of the Altendorf Group, a manufacturer of safer sliding table saws. Schwenk explains what the digital transformation looks like and why he is confident about the future.
FOCUS Online: Mr. Schwenk, the Altendorf Group is a typical German medium-sized company that sells to commercial customers such as carpenters, furniture makers or carpenters. How did you cope economically with the recent crises like Corona or the Ukraine war?.
Peter Schwenk: We have been facing new challenges every day since 2020. But we have solved this in the classic way and, for example, increased our stocks in Corona times to cushion bottlenecks.
Are you currently affected by supply chain problems and material shortages?
Schwenk: In the summer of last year, the procurement market was very tense, but we got that under control with a changed supplier structure and maximum flexibility.
Their core business is format circular saws and edge banding machines. These are not products for the do-it-yourselfer.
Schwenk: No, these are professional machines. Accordingly, we also have a broad global customer structure, to which we include the wood trade and also Dax companies such as Siemens or BMW.
How are you doing financially? Satisfactory, because the trend of citizens to beautify their own homes has continued and investments have been made in these areas?
Schwenk: Definitely. We had an above-average order intake in 2021 and are growing faster than the market segment. The market is positive, we all have good things to do. This is also becoming apparent in the first quarter of 2022. It is also positive that we hardly had any payment defaults.
The war in Ukraine didn't change that either?
Schwenk: Until February we were absolutely confident. Of course, we analyzed our business as a result of this unspeakable war, but we see no problems in the sales markets or even slumps.