Carsten Mohr (Managing Director Metal Foils)
“We want to continue to grow – sustainably and over the long term!”
Mechanical engineer Carsten Mohr, 45, is the new managing director of the metal foils business unit. As such, he is responsible for the business area that specializes in extremely thin foils made of copper, copper alloys, nickel, nickel silver, resistance alloys and fine silver. Mr. Mohr, who hails from the German state of Hesse, previously worked for 20 years at the Heraeus technology firm in Hanau, most recently as a business unit manager and global sales director for solar pastes. In this interview, he talks about his start at SCHLENK, his plans and how he will capture new markets.
Mr. Mohr, you have taken over the managing director position of the metal foils business unit, so you are now responsible for around 120 employees. What’s your initial impression?
Very good! I have had many conversations in which I have come to understand the employees’ great wealth of experience and enormously detailed knowledge.
Previously, you worked in management at the Heraeus technology firm. How do the structures here at SCHLENK differ?
First of all, there are many commonalities; both companies are family-owned with solid financing. And I am very happy to become part of the Schlenk family because, in comparison with large companies, the distances we have to travel here are shorter. For this reason, we can react much more quickly; for example, with market launches for new products. But in some places, things still don’t move quickly enough for me.
What consequences does this have in terms of your strategy?
I want to ensure that communications between departments improve. Quite specifically, this means that the management and sales areas of the metal foils unit will move from Barnsdorf to Bernlohe next year. An existing building there will be completely renovated and enlarged for this purpose. This process will start this fall already. I just want to be closer to production.
Is that your response to the increasing competitive pressure in this industry?
We have to continue to question what we do and examine our processes. This also includes not only meeting our customers’ expectations, but exceeding them. To do so, we must work efficiently in all areas. In any case, the technical status of our production facilities must be good. To make sure, we want to make appropriate investments.
Where will the metal foils area be heading under your direction?
We will participate in the growth of existing industries for which we are a supplier, such as automotive supply and electronics. The life cycles of some products are relatively long there, so we have a good foundation. But we want to continue to grow – sustainably and over the long term! For this reason we also have to venture forward into new areas as well.
Which ideas could the metal foils business unit bring to the market in the future?
We could take a step forward ourselves in further processing; for example, in lamination. In this case, adhesive or adhesive tape is applied to SCHLENK metal foils so it becomes self-adhesive, which means that customers can use it immediately. Of course, this doesn’t mean that we would enter into competition with customers; instead, we would develop new ideas. Today, more than ever, customers are looking for solutions instead of just products.
And where do you see the greatest potential for SCHLENK metal foils?
I see regional opportunities in Germany and Europe, but also in the vigorously growing markets in the USA and Asia. If we move forward even more aggressively in marketing and sales, we can increase our market share. I would like to expand our personnel, but training can also contribute to our becoming more powerful. A high level of motivation and the satisfaction of all employees is not only important to me, but it is also the foundation for our success. I am very much looking forward to working together!
Monika Meyer conducted this interview.