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07.05.2024 / Volker Leonhardt

The Secret of Müller Martini's Spirit (Part II): Changing technology makes our jobs especially exciting

Last week, I told you in my first blog about Müller Martini's spirit what a decisive influence forward-looking management and innovative top technology have for the success of our company. Of course, our well-qualified and motivated employees also make a substantial contribution – in development, technology, in our plants, and in the back office, as well as on the sales front.
Müller Martini’s culture is characterized by short decision-making paths, flat hierarchies, and no airs and graces. We create space so that our employees can grow, and we ensure that it's possible to balance work and family for an optimal work-life balance. Thus, for example, we have our own childcare facility, which is very popular with employees.
At Müller Martini we don’t have soldiers, but rather Samurais – that is, employees who have been walking through fire for us for decades. Naturally, this has a positive effect on the corporate climate. Müller Martini is a mirror image of the market and undergoes change along with its customers. That's exciting for our employees, who bring their enthusiasm to work each day.
We understand our customers
Of course, the focus in many jobs at the company is on technology. For since the company was established in 1946, Müller Martini has stood for first-class, high-quality engineering and technology leadership. On the one hand, this is evident from the fact that we have several engineers in management. On the other hand, we ensure our culture of innovation by providing senior engineers with an interesting career at our company.
Our employees’ strengths are confronting new challenges, understanding and solving problems that arise, learning from mistakes, and developing their skills constantly. They understand the customers, tackle the challenges of the market, and are solution oriented.
Maximum customization instead of maximum output
Changing technology makes our jobs especially exciting. Previously, our focus with new products was primarily on making them faster – for example, our high-performance Supra, which can achieve a speed of 30,000 cycles per hour. Today, our focus is no longer on maximum output, but rather on topics such as the maximum customization of a print product, minimal deployment of personnel, connection to ERP systems, and fully automatic changeover. This is how we do justice to the market characterized by fragmentation and the challenging personnel situation – and here I am thinking especially about the lack of skilled workers and loss of expertise.
That one day it would be possible to produce completely variable products in a print run of 1 was once inconceivable. The digital transformation of pre-press to printing and finishing, on through to transportation has made this possible. Designing and developing the machines and workflow systems required for this is every engineer’s dream. This way, our customers can put new, attractive products such as photo books, personalized children’s books, and custom instructional materials on the market; ensure an interplay of various media (for example, via QR codes and augmented reality); and optimize their operational processes on through to distribution. And today, self-publishers can produce their books cost-effectively, in even the smallest print runs.
We set milestones
Being close to the market means working with marketing to create requirements specifications, and then our technology department examines how we can implement our customers’ needs in machines and solutions and therefore fulfill their requirements. This involves an exciting solution-finding process that involves salespeople, product managers, and technical staff. Staying on the ball technologically was always a defining characteristic of Müller Martini. In this context I remember (automation) milestones such as our legendary flying stitching heads, central drives, electronic curve drives, servo drives or robots – always with the goal of making the machines better and better. And Müller Martini sets the pace of the digital transformation as well. We launched the Connex Workflow System more than 20 years ago.
So that our teams are always up to date, we read a lot of articles on the Internet and in trade publications, not to mention studies, and we attend trade conferences. Our technicians also participate in these and profit from exchange with colleagues and the associated networking.
Where will the journey with the digital transformation take us? My colleagues and I concern ourselves with this question almost every day. It’s certain that automation and intralogistics will continue to develop. We're still few steps away from complete “lights-out factories,” because a certain amount of human attention is still required to monitor the paper flow, but the improvement of automation and logistics will continue.
The human touch as a special characteristic
All of this makes our jobs especially exciting and varied. The fact that Müller Martini has been named the best employer in the Swiss mechanical engineering sector for the second time proves that satisfaction is high at our company. At Müller Martini, our employees are the cornerstone of our decades of success.
A special characteristic – typical for an owner-operated company – is the human touch. So, it's fitting that we maintain an informal culture, that 60% of our employees live within a 15-km radius of Zofingen, and that, in keeping with today’s spirit, we offer attractive working hours and the possibility to work from a home office.
Added to this is the fact that Müller Martini has become more open with regard to communication in recent years – in line with the motto “do good things and spread the word about them.” For example, by placing blogs by employees on our website and using social media channels more, we let people participate in what's going on at the company. This encourages a feeling of belonging and motivates our employees to join in even more. And among other things, this helps us with our targeted search for skilled workers.
We present ourselves as a cool employer
Via our social media channels, which we also use for storytelling, we present ourselves as a cool employer and we enjoy the many likes. For what once was word-of-mouth propaganda is link-to-link today. When candidates for engineering positions come to visit us, they are often amazed. They experience a kind of aha effect when they see our top technology.
But we don’t just focus on recruiting new employees; we also place great value on the continued training of our personnel. Because technological change is happening so fast, people are even receiving training shortly before they retire. For even “old dogs” want to be up to date and update their knowledge constantly.
If you would like to start your career at Müller Martini, I can only recommend this. Go visit our career portal Shape the Future – we look forward to meeting our new colleagues!
Volker Leonhardt, member of the Group management at Müller Martini, responsible for Global Sales
07.05.2024 Volker Leonhardt Member of the Group management at Müller Martini, responsible for Global Sales