WITRON Business Figures 2020
With strong growth into the anniversary year
WITRON turns 50 and has created a solid basis for the company anniversary in 2021. Despite the worldwide Corona pandemic in 2020, we count new projects, sales growth of 110 million Euros, 500 additional employees, 106 new apprentices, as well as a doubling of the manufacturing area - the general contractor from Parkstein still looks confidently into the future. In addition, the company was honored with the award “Bavaria’s Best 50” by the Bavarian State Ministry for above-average growth in mid-sized companies.
WITRON’s innovative solution and operator concepts have an excellent reputation on the logistics market even in economically difficult times. This is reflected in the number of new orders we received in 2020, which broke the 1-billion-Euro barrier for the first time. New contracts with leading retail companies from Europe and North America contributed to this number. These retailers trust WITRON’s omni-channel strategies in their food and non-food logistics centers across assortments and channels. The decision to focus on crisis-proof and system-relevant industry sectors has proven to be the right move in the long term. More than 90 percent of sales are currently generated with customers from retail and distribution.
Sales increased by 110 million Euros - award from the Bavarian State Ministry
Sales was increased from 600 to 710 million Euros, which resulted in 500 new employees being hired. To date, 4,500 employees work for the WITRON Group worldwide, about 2,000 of them are employed at the company headquarters in the northern Upper Palatinate. Due to the continuously positive business development since the company’s foundation, the family-owned enterprise was honored by the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development, and Energy with the award “Bavaria’s Best 50”, awarded for above-average growth in medium-sized companies. “This award is a positive signal not only for us as a company and employer, but also for our region. We are very proud to be among Bavaria’s best mid-sized companies - this is a clear sign that diligence and years of dedication are rewarded”, company founder Walter Winkler is pleased.
More than 100 new apprentices start their professional career
WITRON continues to pay particular attention to in-house training of its employees. A fact that is reflected in the recruitment of more than 100 apprentices for the second year in a row. They will start their professional career in one of the 17 different technical and commercial fields of training. To date, WITRON employs almost 300 apprentices, and the hire rate into full-time positions after the apprenticeship is close to 100 percent. The high commitment of the apprentices and the trainers is proven year after year by numerous prices won in competitions hosted by states and chambers of commerce.
Johannes Schweiger strengthens management board
A significant growth market continues to be the constantly increasing service business, a consequence of the fact that an augmenting number of customers transfer the operator responsibility of their logistics systems to WITRON as a life-time partner. This business area now comprises more than half of WITRON’s workforce. In order to continue to optimally cover the associated variety of topics and internationality in terms of personnel, function, and culture, Johannes Schweiger has started strengthening the WITRON Service Management Board in May 2020. He shares tasks and responsibilities with CEO Christian Dietl. The 33-year old Master of Business Administration, Johannes Schweiger, has been working for WITRON since 2013 and has successfully implemented various projects in the field of national and international human resources. The management board of the WITRON Group is complemented by Helmut Prieschenk, Johannes Meißner, and Martin Stich.
Next evolutionary step: Retail platform omni-channel machinery
Now that the fourth generation of the OPM solution has virtually become a standard in automated food logistics, the experts from Parkstein are going one step further. Although, the lion’s share of the volume in food retail is still handled by stores, almost all retailers in Europe and North America are looking for reasonable omni-channel solutions with different approaches.
The goal is clear: The successful servicing of all customer channels such as store business, click & collect, home delivery, drives, as well as convenience stores - and the successful end-to-end integration of all elements in the supply chain such as suppliers, logistics centers, and transportation. “Successful” refers in particular to four core topics: Maximum end customer service, optimal overall profitability, operational and strategic flexibility, as well as sustainability.
It is exactly these four dimensions, which the experts from Parkstein have in mind. With almost two decades of OPM practice and the daily supply of approx. 35,000 stores or 100 million end customers from more than 80 OPM distribution centers, WITRON provides considerable experience and know-how in terms of food retail networks. The Omni Channel Machinery (OCM) was developed on this basis. This consistently addresses the topic of multi-channel distribution as a logistics platform.
Especially in terms of network efficiency, the following basic principles were implemented:
• Integration rather than parallel worlds and complex atomization
• Use of synergies rather than multiplication of equal processes for different channels
• Focus on overall network efficiency rather than optimization of silos
Projects using the OCM solution are already in the middle of implementation such as Axfood (Sweden) and Migros (Switzerland) and the implementation of the OCM solution is being planned for other customers as well.
Doubling of the manufacturing area:
New building for conveyor system production is fully on schedule
Great progress can be reported from the construction site in Parkstein. The construction of the new building with a size of 120,000 square meters / 1.3 mil. square feet, which was started at the end of 2019 and which will provide additional manufacturing capacity for WITRON’s mechanical production as well as plenty of offices for software developers and engineers, is progressing on schedule. The investment amounts to approx. 160 million Euros. After the planned completion - just in time for the 50th anniversary of the company in 2021 - the complete WITRON manufacturing area will then cover more than 212,000 square meters / 2.3 mil. square feet.