Mr. Paal, on 1 October you are handing over the general management of Paal Verpackungsmaschinen to Holger Hutt. Can you imagine at all a life outside the world of packaging machines?
Claus Paal: To be honest, that will be difficult. However, I have been asked whether I was willing to expand my long standing political commitment and em-ploy my experience in economics and as a businessman in the politics of our fed-eral state. I will face up to that responsibility. However, that does not mean that I will turn my back on the packaging world where my professional roots lie. I will continue to work for Bosch as a consultant on a regular basis. My focus will be on packaging innovations and the involvement in complex projects. I am convinced that my political work will be enriched if I do not lose the direct contact to the economy.
Mr. Hutt, for many years you have been working for Bosch Packaging Technol-ogy. You were last the service manager for Europe. What appeals to you in your new responsibility?
Holger Hutt: Paal is a successful, innovative company that makes excellent ma-chines. Moreover, it has a good reputation and is one of the market leaders in the packaging world. Within the Bosch group Paal is an important manufacturer of secondary packaging machines with a pronounced expanded portfolio which also has a lot of potential for the future. For the customers this means highest quality and maximum security - regardless of whether we are talking about an individual machine or about a complex line. Both groups - individual machines and systems - are successfully established in the market. Next to future innovations, we will especially expand the powerfully growing systems business.
What are in your opinion the strengths of Paal?
Holger Hutt: Paal has delivered 2,500 machines world-wide so far, especially secondary packaging machines, case packers and palletizers. Paal works with their customers as partners. This approach ranges from the custom-made design of packaging styles over the search for solutions to the construction as well as service. I am fascinated by the cooperation with the customers based on partner-ship, the business culture of medium-sized companies, the short reaction times, the innovation as well as the highly motivated staff. We are always aiming at be-ing a reliable partner for our customers.
Which changes are you planning?
Holger Hutt: I will build on the tried and true and continue the necessary changes for the purpose of continuous improvement of our processes. In our portfolio we will consistently proceed with and expand standardization. An optimum standardi-zation of our machines means that also in the future we will be able to offer short delivery times and a good cost-performance ratio. Nevertheless, we will continue to be among the most innovative companies of the packaging industry. Our moti-vated team can hardly be slowed down. Recently we invested in a new software package which enables our pack style design experts to develop new cases, then assess, optimize, illustrate and actually make them. Another specific change will be the enlargement of the project management. This will enable us to manage projects even better and in close contact with our customers. It also gives us bet-ter options in the systems business in which we offer everything from analysis, over brainstorming, over studies, model making to complete line delivery.
Therefore, your customers benefit from a good project management.
Holger Hutt: It is important for me that we keep our promises, meet the custom-ers' expectations regarding quality, keep our delivery times and that we offer our customers optimum solutions concerning price and technical equipment. Our pro-fessional project management helps us to continue being the reliable partner that our customers would like to have by their side. Generally, the most important characteristics that we are living every day are trust, cooperation and partnership.
Mr. Paal, is Holger Hutt the best successor you could have wished for?
Claus Paal: Clearly, yes. Holger Hutt knows the packaging world really well. He has lived abroad for a long time. He also knows the needs of our customers world-wide. He has always directly been in touch with the customers which also is a tradition at Paal. From his work in Service he knows how important quick re-sponse times and short decision-making processes are.
I am convinced that Holger Hutt will use the opportunities that the world-wide Bosch distribution and service network offers us for the benefit of our customers. He will also expand the systems business. I personally like very much that Holger Hutt is a native Swabian. He comes from the Rems valley where our headquar-ters are. He knows the mentality of the locals: they are inventors, crafty-men and are hard-working. We have countless successful small-scale and medium-sized businesses but also global market leaders. It is a great advantage to know the mentality of the locals and work with it. Holger Hutt will know how to make use of this advantage.
Mr. Hutt, what can customers expect from Paal in the future?
Holger Hutt: It is and was the success of Paal to tackle projects and meet the challenges not for the customers, but together with them. All of our innovations, large-scale projects but also improvement of detail have always been done to-gether with our customers. That's what we are proud of and that's what we will continue to do in the future.