Editor: Mr. Müller, Müller has grown by between 8 and 30% in recent years. What strategy was responsible for this?
Martin Müller: Well, a number of factors were responsible for it. In the first instance, of course, our products. In recent years, we have been able to make a name for ourselves for efficiency, innovation, design and quality in the fields of compact high pressure and chip management. Then there is our willingness as a company to constantly invest in improvements, staff, capacities, manufacturing technology and qualifications. And finally: our very strong customer orientation and focus. We have developed mainly in the field of sliding headstock automatic lathes with combiloop and combistream products with our partners of many years’ standing, because we have specifically worked at building up system partnerships in this area.
Editor: What do you mean by system partnerships and how do they influence your strategy?
Martin Müller: We see our system partnerships as very close cooperations with leading machine manufacturers such as Citizen, Star, Tornos and, most recently, Tsugami. The fact that we are able to service our customers this way today is the result of the many years that we have spent addressing machine manufacturers so intensively and on our own initiative. We have also always addressed the genuine requirements outside in the plants, and still do so today. And we don’t only look to our technologies, but always at the whole process so that we really do understand, down to the smallest detail, what a machine actually does. This working method has enabled us to create a system and technology building set as the base for our idea of system partnerships. And for about three years now, we’ve been at the point where machine manufacturers include us in the development process at a very early stage, so we are constantly able to adapt and adjust our building set to the latest changes. Of course, these adaptations also mean the corresponding investments for us, but that is the only way our customers will benefit quickly and entirely from technological progress.
Editor: Have these system partnerships also influenced your regional growth?
Martin Müller: Absolutely! Of course, we grew nationally first and then took the step to nearby countries. To the countries where our system partners are, because the system partnership goes beyond common product developments. We want to support our partners and their customers with services in their core markets as well. So we have also grown along in all these regions, and strengthened ourselves where they are strong: in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France. That is where we have now massively developed our system partnerships, and where the markets are developing extremely satisfactorily for us with our partners. So it’s a positive situation for both parties.
Editor: What will be the next steps in terms of growth strategy at Müller?
Martin Müller: You have to see that almost all of the system partners with whom we today have system partnerships either partly or in full, are from Japan. For us at Müller, in line with its growth strategy, this means that we want to move a little closer regionally to the headquarters of our system partners in Asia in the future in order to support them with first-class services as well. That is why we recently founded our own service and production location in China, to be precise at the German Industrial Park in Zhangpu Kunshan, where we are represented with our brand M-Tech in the customary quality.
Editor: Thank you very much for the interview.
// Müller production site China: start-up factory at the German Industrial Park in Kunshan