Zschimmer & Schwarz: chemistry tailor-made
Interview with Dr Martin Haberl, General Manager
Zschimmer & Schwarz
Following its 125th anniversary last year, 2020 will see the Zschimmer & Schwarz Group getting ready for the future: with a restructuring of its business divisions, the company is evolving strategically and intensifying its application orientation.
What were the reasons for restructuring the business divisions?
Since its foundation in 1894, Zschimmer & Schwarz has been offering its customers tailor-made products with pinpoint service. In order to uphold this high level of performance, new approaches and stringent measures are needed to ensure our company always stays closely aligned with its customers, their markets and target groups.
Our company has started taking the next logical step on 1 September 2020. We are combining the knowledge of our experts in application technology and sales worldwide with the aim of offering even better and more comprehensive solutions. At the same time, we are bundling our global development expertise in platforms that are aimed at an even better utilisation of our resources and know-how all around the world.
We have charted the course by restructuring our business divisions, setting them up globally and aligning them even more with industry-specific requirements. Our nine business divisions are now Leather Auxiliaries, Textile Auxiliaries, Fibre Auxiliaries, Ceramic Auxiliaries, Personal Care, Cleaning Specialities, Industrial Specialities, Paints & Coatings and Lubricants.
These divisions allow us to supply the leather, fur, ceramics, textiles, chemical fibre and cleaning industries as well as cosmetics, personal care, paints and coatings, lubricants and industrial applications markets with tailor-made chemistry “made by Zschimmer & Schwarz” in a very targeted manner.
Strong in diversity and strong in unity, Zschimmer & Schwarz offers its customers across all continents and industries one-stop solutions that we research, develop and manufacture specifically for their markets and requirements.
What objective does Zschimmer & Schwarz pursue with the new structure?
We intend with this step to not only enable us to respond to market requirements and specific customer requests more quickly, but also to improve our anticipation of them. Furthermore, it is our express objective to align ourselves even more closely with our customers, their target groups and their markets. We do this by offering one-stop solutions, specifically developed for individual requirements, and guarantee the proven Zschimmer & Schwarz quality in all aspects – from development to technical consultancy, sampling and range of products.
We will achieve this by further bundling our expertise, promoting the cooperation between our international locations and exchanging our broad know-how between all business divisions even more consistently.
How will your customers benefit from the new corporate structure?
An intense internal exchange of knowledge in the development of products or new formulas as well as in the area of product combinations will increase our competitive edge. Our customers stand to benefit from the market-specific expertise of our specialists and can utilise the extensive know-how and experience of the entire Zschimmer & Schwarz Group.
One-stop and tailor-made – from development to the finished product and the technical assistance – our customers have access to the full range of services offered by our company, anywhere and anytime. The optimised internal structure and focused exchange between the experts in application technology and sales worldwide will allow us to offer our customers even better and more comprehensive solutions that are precisely tailored to their specific market.
To take a specific example – what are the markets served to by the Cleaning Specialities Division of Zschimmer & Schwarz?
The Cleaning Specialities Division offers an extensive portfolio of formulation components for manufacturers of cleaning and care products for household, industrial and commercial use as well as vehicle cleaning products. Due to our production facilities and customers, Europe is currently our core market. At the same time, we are pursuing a clear growth strategy for other markets all around the world and would like to harness new potential in these markets with our specific applications and solutions-focused products.
Which application areas does the Cleaning Specialities Division cover?
Our solutions come into play wherever there is cleaning going on. That can be at home using products from Home Care, on the way to work using solutions from Car Care, or at work using developments from Industrial and Institutional – our products can be found almost everywhere.
The most diverse requirements for surface cleaning and care can be met by combining our surfactants, polymers and phosphonates. The wide range of available components ensures that additional environmental or commercial requirements can be met.
Especially in times like these, during a worldwide pandemic, hygiene and cleanliness are top priorities – and our products help wherever thorough, eco-friendly and gentle cleaning is needed.
You mentioned the pandemic: How do you keep in touch with your customers during the corona crisis?
For a company that maintains a close and personal contact with its customers, the pandemic is of course a big challenge. The meetings we are used to, face to face, can now only take place on rare occasions. The important exhibitions and conferences this year were also either cancelled or moved to virtual space.
At Zschimmer & Schwarz, we are relying on video conferencing – which at least allows us to look each other in the eye. As personal meetings and interaction are irreplaceable, the contact to new customers is of course much more difficult in these trying times.
But this is an experience we are currently sharing with everyone else in the world – our customers, families and friends are all affected by the restrictions on social contact and travelling. Sound judgement, discipline and prudence will eventually allow us to leave this difficult phase behind us.