A Very Personal Perspective: Roland Schreiner in an Interview


A Very Personal Perspective:
Roland Schreiner in an Interview

Schreiner Group has existed since 1951: 70 years in which the high-tech company has been completely in the family’s hands. Since 2012, Roland Schreiner has been at the helm as the company’s third-generation CEO after having previously served at nearly all levels of the organizational hierarchy—from summer jobs as a student to an apprenticeship to leading a business unit. In a brief interview, he shared with us some very personal insights into the company’s history.

You’ve known Schreiner Group all your life. What personal anecdote can you recall spontaneously?

Roland Schreiner: One of my first highlights was at age 14 when I had a two-week summer job in the mechanical shop. Back then the dies were produced there, among other things. All the sawing work was still done by hand. I was allowed to test my skills as well and try out all the machines—be it milling, sawing, or welding. In the mechanical shop, I’d produce things for practicing purposes and still have all of them at home. My masterpiece was a monkey wrench, in other words an adjustable wrench with a double-sided jaw.

What changes has the company seen in 70 years?

The entire environment and all conditions have changed completely in recent decades. Whereas the city of Munich was the only market we served in the beginning, our shipments are now going to customers all over the world: Around 70 percent of our products are exported. At roughly 750,000 euros, we’re currently generating the same sales on a single working day that we used to in a whole year in the mid-nineteen-seventies. Our operational space has grown from roughly 45 square meters to 78,000 square meters. In 1976, 25 years after the company was founded, 33 people were employed by Schreiner—the same number of employees now working just in IT. In the early days, processes, work instructions, standards, and certifications hardly existed. On the whole, everything has become a lot more complex—including our products. While the rollout of self-adhesion technology was still a revolution in the nineteen-sixties, we’re now producing specialized RFID labels and printing electronic conductor tracks with a width of two human hairs. Today, we have machines with a length of up to 35 meters being fed in parallel by as many as seven computers. In addition, we’re now working a lot closer together with partners.

In the 70th year of Schreiner Group’s existence, CEO Roland Schreiner looks back on the past decades and shares some very personal insights into the history and development of the high-tech company.

What were the major milestones over the past decades in Schreiner Group’s development?

For one, each relocation and each new site no doubt are milestone achievements. The move from the founding garage to the former tavern at the very beginning was certainly a milestone too. Subsequently, the move to Oberschleissheim followed and, ultimately, the founding of the three other international production sites.

Would you mind sharing one of the secrets of your success with us?

Schreiner, from day one, has had the will to help the customer. This has been driving innovation immensely.