HydroService hires new trainees
Helweger Anzeiger - 170th edition / no.202 - Tue 02/09/2014 - Text: Carsten Fischer, Photo: Grzelak
The Hessian entrepreneur Horst Watz appeared as a knight in shining armour for the hydraulic cylinder manufacturer, HydroService in Kamen, Germany. The restart after insolvency now seems to be bearing fruit even after a bumpy start. The company has 75 or so employees and is now investing heavily in training up young staff.
Yesterday, three months after taking over the firm, the new owner took stock at the start of the apprentice training year. Granted, the start was unexpectedly bumpy, Watz said when introducing the four new trainees.
Due to errors on the part of the liquidator, five or six weeks were lost during the acquisition of the firm. The legacy issues, such as were found with the firm's machine inventory, were larger than anticipated. But now HydroService is running under his control and is "working properly" again.
Watz has high expectations of the new trainees, a woman and three men, as well as two newly hired employees in the design and sales departments. Watz counts the high average age of the workforce as one of the structural problems with the old HydroService company. What the 73-year old entrepreneur has done with the introduction of the young people sounded like a hint for the long-serving employees to master the transition process. Only someone who is ambitious as a player in a football team and can follow the criticism of the coach can evolve as a player, Watz said.
Both the employees and also Paul Turowski, chairman of the works council, were relieved when Watz announced the takeover of HydroService GmbH & Co. KG Zylinderbau in May. Around 70 jobs were saved. Watz himself is known as a being able to successfully regenerate a company, following him saving the filter technology producers Faudi in Stadtallendorf near Marburg from going bust in 2006. He was honoured by Christian Wulff, the Federal President, for his commitment despite the high level of business risk as being someone who "encouraged the nation".
The level of trust is high - and it has not been disappointed by Watz. The investments in the company headquarters in the Hemsack industrial area can be seen, from the purchase of new CNC machines for the production department to the revision of the website. The new owner has announced that, in addition to the purchase price of approximately EUR 3 million, he wants to invest in new machinery among other things. Yesterday, he announced that the IT systems will be modernised.
A shift of production to his Hessian base, to the location of Watz Hydraulik GmbH in Lollar near Gießen, the hydraulic cylinder and equipment manufacturer, has been ruled out by Watz. Rather, the Kamen location enables the family patriarch to expand his family-run group of businesses to include the specialised area of larger hydraulic cylinders.
The staff are working to ensure that HydroService comes back onto track despite having lost some customers due to the insolvency. The high quality of the cylinders it produces are the best argument for this. With an increase in the working week from 35 to 40 hours through the in-house tariff agreement, the workforce is making a further contribution to the success of the restart. When the company generates a profit, a third of this will be distributed. Half to the employees and the other half will be invested by the owner in the gradual increase in the company's equity.