100 Years Schmalz - Innovation and Sustainable Management - 40 Pages

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100 Years Schmalz - Innovation and Sustainable Management

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100 Years Schmalz Innovation and Sustainable Management Over One Century

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Preface Schmalz is celebrating its 100-year company anniversary. We take advantage of this occasion in order to give you – our customers, business partners, employees and friends – insights into the history of the company with this brochure. As contemporary witnesses from childhood on, we have had the privilege of experiencing and influencing much of the company history described here. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to all those who have accompanied and supported us along the way. Our special thanks go out to our customers who have been putting their trust in us day after...

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1 2 3 Contents 1. Razor Blades 1 1910 –1945 The Founding 2 Regional and International Success 4 Employees in the Early Years 5 Donations, Foundations, Support Glattis: A Brand is Born 6 Important Customers Production under National Socialism 7 During the World War II 8 New Product: The Schmalz-Tipper 11 Transportation Equipment for the Post and 13 German Federal Railways Airport Apron Equipment 14 Shortage of Workers: The Search for Employees 15 No Success without Them: Erna Schmalz and Elfriede Schmalz 16 Paint Drying Carts 17 Vacuum Lifting Devices and Vacuum Components 20 with Growing...

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The Schmalz family one year after the founding of the company (from left to right: Luise and Johannes Schmalz with children Irene and Luise as well as visitors) Letterhead of the Johannes Schmalz Razor Blade Factory, before 1945

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1 1 Johannes Schmalz founded the company “Johannes Schmalz Rasierklingenfabrik” [Johannes Schmalz Razor Blade Factory] in November 1910. In the subsequent decades he successfully produced and sold razor blades on the international stage. 1. Razor Blades from 1910 to 1945 First entrepreneur generation: Johannes Schmalz Johannes Schmalz and his wife Luise, with the maiden name Widmar, came from the small community of Oberndorf-Aistaig in the Black Forest. This is where his father Jakob Schmalz made his living as a master wainwright: He built wagons and wagon wheels. Johannes Schmalz was born...

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2 Factory building in Glatten, 1910–1918 Advertisement in the Grenzer, 1917 On November 10, 1910 the following expenses were recorded in the company’s general ledger: The move to Glatten (120 Mark), tips for the move (2.50 Mark) and cleaning the building (1.90 Mark). The first expense for a shipment to Stuttgart and Frankfurt was also recorded that November. But rather than razor blades, the product that was shipped was carded wool produced by Schmalz on an interim basis until June 1918. Electricity had long since come to Glatten in the founding years of the company. In 1915, Johannes...

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3 7 Layout of the new razor blade factory, 1918 After the fire in the company facilities, 1918 When the heat treatment shop burned in February 1918, the company could easily have met its end. But Johannes Schmalz was not to be discouraged. He rebuilt his razor blade factory even bigger and better than before. Production resumed surprisingly quickly. One year after the fire, 80 workers moved into the new building. The new three-story building was surely one of the most modern in the area. A bathroom with running water and a bathtub was not exactly commonplace at the time, let alone the...

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In the early years, Schmalz supplied razor blades to many small companies including numerous barbers and retailers. Among the most important customers was the Süddeutsche Messerschmiedeverband [Cutlery Association South Germany] in Mannheim, buying up to 90 percent of the blades produced by the company under the brand names Cara and Prophet. Beyond the regional environment, Schmalz maintained ties to customers from Freudenstadt to Riga, from Solingen to Vienna. Success was manifest. But the years after World War I were difficult for the young company. Like many other enterprises, Schmalz...

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Donations, Foundations, Support Johannes Schmalz was a socially responsible entrepreneur. He considered financial support for a variety of institutions to be a matter of course: From the Schwäbisch Gmünd sanctuary for the blind to the support group of the Oscar-Helene home in Berlin to the recuperation home for the blind on Kniebis. The Stetten pastoral institution in the Remstal and especially the Bodelschwingh institutions in Bethel received regular donations. Johannes Schmalz hired the first outside sales representative in order to maintain close relationships with his customers. A...

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6 Glattis ads, 1941 Glattis billboard, 1939 Glitt-Glatt advertising brochure, 1937 Glattis: A Brand is Born Schmalz began marketing his products more intensively in the 1930s. Initially the blades were to be distributed under the name “Schwarzwald” [Black Forest]. Finally the razor blade brand Glattis was born in 1938 based on the community of Glatten. Schmalz had the term registered as a trademark for his razor blades. The first advertisements for Glattis blades appeared in Stuttgart daily newspapers at the end of 1941. These ads were designed by Gerhard O.M. Schmidt from Stuttgart-Bad...

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7 This type of harassment occurred on a regular basis. Once again the entrepreneur proved himself with his ability to handle difficult situations, in part through relationships with friends. For example, he shared coupons for cast metal with a cousin in Aistaig. Many companies battled the global economic crisis which lasted into the late 1930s. General confidence in the economy once again improved after the National Socialists came to power. Schmalz also felt the effects of the recovery, which was defined by an improved cost situation in the industry as well as a positive development of the...

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8 Long-term employee Matthias Engisch, Johannes Schmalz and Wilhelm Kopp, 1942 During the World War II The beginning of World War II brought sweeping changes for the company. A Schmalz vehicle was confiscated by the ”Wehrmacht” [German Armed Forces] on September 17, 1939. Like all other buildings, the windows of the Schmalz plant were equipped with regulation blackout blinds. This made structures difficult for enemy aircraft to find at night. But the fact that workers were taken from the company to assist with armament or drafted into the German Armed Forces, making them unavailable, had a...

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