3 questions for...
In-house production has always played a big role at the STIHL Group. Why do we get so caught up in this kind of attention to detail?
Martin Schwarz In-house production has a long history here. After all, we started building our international manufacturing network more than 40 years ago. This strategic approach has remained an important part of our success to this day. Ultimately, this approach brings us unique selling propositions and competitive advantages, ensures value creation, and underscores our claim to technological leadership.
STIHL is far ahead of the competition in terms of in-house manufacturing of gasoline-powered products. What is the situation with battery-powered products?
Martin Schwarz The majority of our battery-powered products are produced at STIHL Tirol, but we are also expanding the international manufacturing network in this segment step by step. Right now, for example, that means expansion at STIHL Inc., STIHL Qingdao, and also in Germany. Our completely innovative battery packs will mark a new technological milestone in 2021. The series processes have already been developed and are ready to go. Being able to make use of expanded in-house manufacturing in the battery-powered segment is an advantage for us because we are still operating in a niche in certain fields, such as high current capability. This project and others will help us improve our cost-effectiveness and competitiveness and the value we create within our organization.
How do these efforts benefit customers?
Martin Schwarz This practice means our products’ components are designed to our own high standard, with a singular purpose – achieving optimal performance. Our customers get durable, high-quality products with the optimal power-to-weight ratio. We don’t have to rely on our suppliers’ standards. Instead, we coordinate the components and production processes with an eye to our requirements in the finished product. Changes and ongoing improvements come from within, which lets us work quickly to provide exactly what our customers want.
Martin Schwarz has been the STIHL AG Executive Board Member Manufacturing and Materials since January 1, 2020.