Canadian Packaging

Gerhard Schubert GmbH’s Crailsheim plant honoured with the “Factory of the Year 2018” award

By Gerhard Schubert GmbH   


For the first time ever, Gerhard Schubert GmbH took part in the “Factory of the Year 2018” competition and promptly won over the jury: the Crailsheim site was awarded the top prize. The jury was especially impressed with the plant’s innovative capability, the outstanding quality throughout the entire value chain and respectful treatment of employees. The conference of the same name and the awards ceremony scheduled to take place in March 2019 will conclude this year’s competition.

“We are delighted to be honoured with this prestigious award. We are especially proud that the jury selected us as the overall winner the first time we participated in the competition,” says Jörg Brenner, CFO at Gerhard Schubert GmbH. Actually, the packaging machine manufacturer from Crailsheim was looking for a benchmark to further improve its processes. It has always been intrinsic to the company’s philosophy to set ambitious goals and put things to the test. This applies to its technology as well as to all processes. The “Factory of the Year 2018” acknowledgement confirms that Schubert is on the right track with this strategy.

Digitalization strategy

Explaining their decision, the eight jurors from the areas of business and science highlighted the fact that Schubert thinks ahead in a way that is very innovative, has very high-performance indicators and is driving digitalisation forward with a clear strategy. This is precisely what led to the creation of the TLM packaging machines which have made the family business so successful since its founding in 1966. The project teams, following a modular concept, develop highly flexible solutions that are specifically tailored to the needs of each individual customer. The spectrum of users who rely on the Crailsheim machines ranges from confectionery manufacturers to the pharmaceutical industry to the cosmetics sector.

Sustainable quality improvement as a success factor

Customer benefit is always the first priority for the packaging machine manufacturer. In order to be able to produce high-quality, cost-effective systems for customers, several factors, including materials management, logistics and final assembly, are continuously analysed and optimised. An important factor here is the GRIPS management system – an in-house development, like so much at Schubert. This is the result of working “Together towards innovation, processes and standards” (“Gemeinsam in Richtung Innovation, Prozesse und Standards”) in all areas and departments, as well as a clear digitalisation strategy targeted at playing a pioneering role in all important key technologies. This applies to IT systems as well as to production technologies.

Suppliers and employees as partners

The jury saw the close collaboration between Gerhard Schubert GmbH and its suppliers as a further notable strength. “We produce exclusively in Germany, as a matter of conviction, and we rely on long-term partnerships,” asserts Ralf Schubert, Managing Partner at Gerhard Schubert GmbH. “This creates trust and an ideal platform to ensure the flexibility we need.”

Employees also make a significant contribution to the company’s success. Close to 850 people now work at this award-winning location. The fact that Schubert offers them an excellent working environment is also reflected in the employees’ length of service. As delighted as everyone may be with the award, for Gerhard Schubert GmbH, the jury’s feedback is an incentive to continue along the chosen path and pursue ongoing improvement in the future.

More than 2,000 submissions in 27 years

The “Factory of the Year” competition was initiated in 1992 by the internationally active A.T. Kearney consulting firm in collaboration with the German ‘Produktion’ trade magazine. Since then, up to 100 manufacturing companies have participated in the benchmarking test every year. According to the initiators, it is considered to be the most stringent test in this area. Headquarters in Germany, Austria or Switzerland and a staff of at least 100 are prerequisites for participation.

A two-day conference and award ceremony conclude the yearly awards. For the “Factory of the Year 2018”, this will take place on 21 and 22 March 2019 in Ludwigsburg, Germany. Ralf Schubert will give a talk on Gerhard Schubert GmbH’s successful journey. Interested participants will then have an opportunity to experience the plant first-hand during a guided tour in Crailsheim on the second day of the conference.


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