More than 4,000 employees in the GROB Mindelheim plant alone. How do you account for this rapid growth in personnel?
Karl Hempfer: I consider the main reason to be the substantial sales growth of GROB-WERKE due to heavy demand in both the system as well as universal machine business since the end of the economic crisis of 2008. In addition, we have greatly expanded the Assembly Systems and New Technologies areas.
The Unterallgäu administrative district isn’t particularly known for its bottomless reservoir of qualified machine tools workers. How is GROB always able to recruit new personnel?
Basically we have an interesting location and were able to expand our catchment area by about 80 kilometers in the environs of Mindelheim. Ongoing regional presence at all training, higher education and HR trade fairs continually raises our visibility. Our proximity to universities in Augsburg, Ulm, Kempten and Munich is an advantage. In addition, our multifaceted opportunities for students, interns as well as graduates enable us to recruit young professionals on a regular basis. Likewise, we depend on high visibility among graduates of the technical schools in Mindelheim, Memmingen, Kempten and Augsburg.
Evolution in the automotive industry constantly requires new, highly-qualified workers. Advances in electromobility or Industry 4.0 demand completely new expertise. How can GROB meet this challenge?
In the past we have increasingly hired new employees with the related specialist know-how, supplemented by engaging external services. In addition, we have supported numerous theses and dissertations relating to electromobility and Industry 4.0, and have regularly enhanced employee qualifications.
GROB has always placed great value on internal training. How many employees have come through the in-house training area?
Since 1968, GROB has trained 1,573 apprentices, all of whom received a job offer from the company.
How have sales and number of personnel at GROB grown over the past 20 years?
If we consider the past 20 years, we can see that in 1997, 1,768 employees produced an output of about 500 million Deutschmarks. In 2017, about 5,700 employees resulted in a total output of 1.3 billion euros, that is, quadruple the output compared to 1997.
With a workforce of over 4,000 in Mindelheim, GROB is the largest employer in the region. With this comes significant social responsibility. How can GROB meet this challenge in the long run?
Our product spectrum with its innovative range is focused on the future. Furthermore, we can successfully establish new technologies in the market, which constantly expands our international market presence, thus guiding GROB-WERKE profitably into the future.
Mr. Hempfer, thanks for taking the time to talk to us.