Schuler adapts structures to global challenges

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November 19, 2013 – The Schuler Group is streamlining its corporate structures in Germany and continuing to drive its internationalization. ‘We are following our customers to their foreign markets and thus laying the foundation for us as a German company to remain the global leader in metalforming technology after two record years,’ explained CEO Stefan Klebert on Wednesday following a Supervisory Board meeting of Schuler AG in Göppingen, Germany. Schuler aims to secure its success in major growth markets like China with more local production, procurement and development. It was to this end that the company greatly expanded capacities at its Chinese factory in Dalian a few months ago.

Germany to remain Group’s main base
With around 75 percent of all Group employees, Germany will remain Schuler’s most important location by far. However, the company aims to streamline its manufacturing in Germany, while reducing its degree of vertical integration and raising flexibility. The company’s traditional foundry in Göppingen, which has been running at a loss for several years, is to be closed after no potential buyer was prepared to guarantee its continued existence. In Weingarten, Schuler will focus manufacturing on its core competencies, and above all on its fast growing service business. The Board of Management plans to make further savings at other German sites, such as Waghäusel and Erfurt – the latter is to become the sole production plant in Germany for large-scale presses. Göppingen will be the center for presses with in-house production launches. Schuler also expects to achieve synergies from the centralization of administrative functions at its sites in Göppingen, Weingarten and Erfurt.

The Supervisory Board has given the go-ahead for the construction of a new Engineering and Technology Center with around 750 modern workplaces. (source: Holzbauer und Partner Architekten). Source: Schuler.

New Engineering and Technology Center at Göppingen site
The Supervisory Board has given the go-ahead for the construction of a new Engineering and Technology Center. The new complex in Göppingen costing around € 40 million will provide about 750 modern workplaces and is expected to be completed by 2016. ‘This is a clear sign that Germany will remain our home base,’ stressed Klebert.

Socially compatible staff measures
The planned changes will result in internal restructuring throughout Germany and affect 350 jobs – 100 of which at the company’s foundry. Schuler plans to avoid redundancies wherever possible. The company has earmarked costs of approximately € 50 million for the corporate restructuring process, of which around € 35 million are expected to be incurred in the current short fiscal year 2013 (October to December 2013). The Board of Management anticipates annual cost savings in the coming years of € 15 to € 20 million.
‘Schuler has enjoyed exceptional growth in sales and earnings over the past few years. The Board of Management and workforce realize, however, that we have to adapt our structures to remain successful in future. And it’s always better to make such changes when times are good,’ concluded CEO Klebert.

Flatter structures, leaner management
The planned changes in production and administration are part of a corporate project entitled Growing Together 2.0, during which several of the Group’s German facilities are to be merged. The aim is to simplify the Group’s complex structures which have evolved over the years.
At the beginning of the current fiscal year, Schuler already made significant personnel reductions at the Board of Management and second-tier management levels.
Schuler will publish its preliminary figures for the fiscal year 2012/13 (ending September 30, 2013) on November 6, 2013.

For further information on Schuler pleases visit the company’s website.