Das Unternehmen MEISTERWERKE in Meiste
The company 

Growth through innovation 

Ceiling edging is now part of the standard product portfolio in the wood and building materials specialist trade. For MEISTER­WERKE, this product marked the beginning of a story of rapid growth. In 1972, 31-year-old Johannes Schulte developed the first ceiling edging. Just a few weeks earlier, he had taken over management of the company from his father and founder Josef Schulte, and thus laid the foundation for the company's rise to become one of the leading German suppliers of high-quality flooring, panels and mouldings.

 

While 19 employees celebrated the company's 50th anniversary in 1980, 20 years later, the family business already employed 540 people. Today, a total of over 700 employees work at the company headquarters in Meiste in the northern Sauerland region and at the subsidiary Hain Natur-Böden in Rott am Inn. In addition, there are 30 apprentices as well as 20 interns and student trainees. “The pioneering effort of my father was without question the central impetus for our company's exponential growth, which we have driven forward in the past decades with many additional product developments. This innovative strength, our close proximity to the needs and wishes of our customers and, not least, the high quality of our products still distinguish us today,” said Guido Schulte, Managing Partner of MEISTER­WERKE. The company's innovative strength has won awards, and just a few months ago it was once again recognised with the prestigious Top 100 Seal for 2021 as one of Germany’s most innovative medium-sized companies. 

Guido Schulte, geschäftsführender Gesellschafter MEISTERWERKE

“The pioneering effort of my father was without question the central impetus for our company's exponential growth, which we have driven forward in the past decades with many additional product developments. This innovative strength, our close proximity to the needs and wishes of our customers and, not least, the high quality of our products still distinguish us today.”

Guido Schulte, Managing Partner of MEISTER­WERKE

Success thanks to a long-term strategy 

The positive economic development of MEISTER­WERKE can also be seen in the figures: with sales revenues of around 170 million euros, the company looks back on a successful 2020 financial year. “Compared to the previous year, we were able to improve in all key performance indicators and significantly exceeded the targets we set ourselves, which ultimately is also the result of a consistent corporate strategy. We not only invest considerable sums year after year in the research and development of new products, but we are also constantly driving forward the modernisation and optimisation of our machinery and plant. This long-term strategy is paying off,” explained CFO Gregor Wallmeier. 

“Compared to the previous year, we were able to improve in all key performance indicators and significantly exceeded the targets we set ourselves, which ultimately is also the result of a consistent corporate strategy. We not only invest considerable sums year after year in the research and development of new products, but we are also constantly driving forward the modernisation and optimisation of our machinery and plant. This long-term strategy is paying off.” 

Gregor Wallmeier, CFO
Gregor Wallmeier, CFO MEISTERWERKE

On a total area of around 446,000 square meters – roughly the size of 60 soccer fields – more than 7,000 articles are produced, picked and delivered, primarily by the company’s own fleet of vehicles. The company also keeps an extensive range of accessories in stock for its customers, in order to be able to offer holistic and installation-friendly system solutions. “Given the enormous abundance of products on the market, we want to offer our customers more guidance and support them with custom-tailored solutions and a clearly differentiated price-performance ratio. This high level of customer focus is at the heart of our activities and ultimately distinguishes us as a brand,” said Managing Director Ludger Schindler, describing the company's strategic alignment.

Shaped by the region 

Innovative strength and a clear sales focus on the specialist trade: these are two central pillars of the corporate strategy that MEISTER­WERKE has stood for since its beginnings. Aligning business activities not only with economic criteria but also with ecological and social criteria is also nothing new for the company. “For us as a wood processing company, doing business sustainably has always been an important part of our philosophy. After all, we not only work with this valuable natural raw material every day, but our company is also located in one of the most densely forested regions of Germany. From this perspective, we as a company have grown up with this topic,” said Guido Schulte. Expressions of this attitude include, for example, completely foregoing the processing of tropical wood and the clear focus on manufacturing products that are especially environmentally compatible and good for healthy living. Almost all floors and panels from the MEISTER­WERKE product range have been awarded the Blue Angel, bear the PEFC seal, are certified by the eco-Institut, or have been tested for healthy living by the Sentinel Haus Institut. 

Produkt-Zertifizierungen MEISTER
Certifications for products from the MEISTERWERKE product range

Clear incorporation within the organisation required 

The ingredients in products are not the only focus of attention today for contractors, specialist retailers and consumers. The circular economy is also taking on an increasingly important role and is posing new challenges for product development, especially when it comes to the ease of separating product components after disassembly and returning them to the material cycle. In some cases, product life cycles and associated processes have to be completely rethought. To account for the numerous aspects of sustainable management and to be able to fully utilise the associated potential, it is necessary to consistently implement suitable structures and processes in the company organisation. The topic of ISO 50001 energy management can serve as a model here. Coordinated by Holger Zeiske, Environmental Officer at MEISTER­WERKE, a working group made up of members from different areas of the company meets several times a year to implement potential improvements.

A strong team 

As with all other projects and initiatives in the company, the topic of sustainability can only be crowned with success if all employees are motivated to join in. The COVID-19 pandemic in particular and the associated effects on operational processes have shown how flexibly the MEISTER­WERKE workforce can adapt to changing conditions. “Because we immediately implemented all social distancing and hygiene measures on the company premises and quickly switched to mobile working in administration, the company has been spared any major outbreaks,” explained Guido Schulte. He views the continuity and long-term nature of working relationships in particular as a major advantage: “Many colleagues have been on board for over 25 years, and accordingly bring a lot of experience with them. We also have quite a few young employees in the company, most of whom did their training with us and therefore already know our business very well despite their young age.”

“Many colleagues have been on board for over 25 years, and accordingly bring a lot of experience with them. We also have quite a few young employees in the company, most of whom did their training with us and therefore already know our business very well despite their young age.”

Guido Schulte, Managing Partner

To keep motivation and commitment among the workforce high, not only are monetary incentive systems and suitable personnel development measures necessary, but also open and constructive communication. Management and employee representatives regularly engage here in dialogue based on trust. “The basis of any successful collaboration is trust, reliability and teamwork. Under these conditions, we can achieve the goals we have set together,” explained Guido Schulte. Information about the development of the company and strategically relevant projects is also going to be increased systematically. One example of this is the employee newspaper, which was relaunched at the beginning of the year. “Our strong cohesion is the basis upon which we continuously develop MEISTER­WERKE – and that is the best basis for being successful in the future,” says Guido Schulte, who is optimistic about the future.

MEISTERWERKE Mitarbeiterzeitung MAZ
MEISTERWERKE employee newspaper MAZ
Other sections of the sustainability report