04.12.2019 Handover at SPANGLER
Managing Director Helmut Graspointner honoured with Roritzer Medal
Dietfurt/Töging, 04.12.2019 – Helmut Graspointner, Managing Director of SPANGLER GMBH in Töging and man of the very beginning, retires at the end of this year. His lifetime achievement in electrical engineering and automation technology was honoured by Dr. Georg Haber, President of the Chamber of Skilled Craft of Lower Bavaria and Upper Palatinate by awarding Helmut Graspointner with its Roritzer medal. Till the end, the secretly organised celebration was said to be a family dinner for his birthday.
The president of the Chamber of Skilled Craft portrayed various professional stages of Helmut Graspointner, from master baker to electronics technician. His drive was said to be the will of wanting, which was repeatedly expressed by his intuition for innovation.
Among the invited guests was the District Administrator of Neumarkt Willibald Gailler, SPANGLER managers and supervisors, long-term politics and business associates, his wife, his mother, his children with their families and his sisters and brothers. The Bavarian State Minister of Finance and Regional Identity, Albert Füracker, had sent his congratulation. Helmut Graspointner took the special honour with emotion and thanked for the felicitous surprise.
He said he will leave with mixed feelings, Graspointner explained. One day the time has come to retire from daily business life. With his sister Hannelore Spangler-Schäfer, his niece Tina Lambert and Christian Brandmüller continuity is guaranteed and with his daughter Cornelia Hofmann another member of the family is involved in the management of the company.
Interview with Helmut Graspointner:
Since the foundation of Spangler GmbH in the year 1981 you have been working with this company. In which fields have you put your focus?
The focus was quite different and has changed regularly with the development of the company. Franz Spangler started the business with repairing radios and TVs and with electrical installations of buildings. In the year of start-up we had only a handful of employees, all of them did all works which incurred. At the beginning I worked only part time in addition to my original job and helped with installation works. When in the second half of the Eighties the design and construction of machine controllers started I focused on the business of machine control and construction of control cabinets and supported production. This was the time when I started to work full-time as authorised representative of the company and when Franz Spangler and I divided up the processes according to fields. Later the company-owned building measures were added: as project leader I was responsible for all three new buildings since 1995.
Which milestones of the company were decisive from your perspective?
Firstly, the great success of machine control cabinets at the beginning of the Nineties. We received the first large orders, the pace of growth was enormous and within a few years the number of our employees tripled. The company become a limited liability company with Franz Spangler and me as Managing Directors. Secondly, the death of Franz Spangler in the year 2003. After this stroke of fate my sister Hannelore Spangler started working full-time at our company. We had to structure the company anew and built up a new organisation under the aspect of long-term customer loyalty.
One aspect of a successful family business is agility and power to innovation. Is this the secret of success of Spangler as well?
That’s right; as we have flat structures we can quickly and unbureaucratically react to developments on the market and as regards technology; often we can face upcoming changes beforehand. As an owner-managed company we always put the whole issue into the focus with a long-term sustainable business development. A decisive aspect is that we have well trained and committed employees, who are engaged with heart and soul and always work at the cutting edge.
This sounds as you have a great working atmosphere…
Indeed, this is the case and it has always been a matter dear to my heart, as has been the fate of the whole company. It starts with a balanced, open atmosphere and ends in jobs which are planned on a long-term basis. We have a close look whether our employees are doing well and offer our help if needed. This results in a safety which is useful for both partners: on the one hand the company, as the fluctuation is very low, and on the other hand our employees as they can reliably plan their lives. Not least due to this balance and stability I can leave with a good feeling.
Many entrepreneurs have to cope with a lack of trained staff. Is this also the case with Spangler?
We do not have as many job applications today as we had some years ago, but we can still cover our demand. I think that the working atmosphere described before will make our offer for future employees still more interesting. It goes without saying, however, that the degradation of skilled manual jobs which took place in the mid-1990s has huge consequences on today’s business life and should lead to rethinking our system of apprenticeship and training.
For companies managed by its owners the succession of generations is often quite a challenge. How does Spangler solve this topic?
We have already solved this issue. 2008 my daughter Cornelia Hofmann joined the company as proxy holder and she is responsible for the finance and personnel department. Even since 2003 Tina Lambert, Hannelore and Franz Spangler’s daughter, has been working in the company and has been part of management for some time. Both agreed to carry on Spangler GmbH as a family-run business on a long-term basis. Since the beginning of 2019 our longtime Sales Manager Christian Brandmüller has been part of the management. This handover as well is part of the entrepreneurial aspect of business sustainability: Christian Brandmüller celebrated his 25-years company anniversary this year.
At the end of this interview one question to the future private man Helmut Graspointner: Which interests and perspectives are you planning to spend your time with?
I have a number of interests and hobbies and I am indeed looking forward to having more time for them. Above all beekeeping – my 20 bee colonies and the support and encouragement of the young generation will take a lot of time. And as a passionate hunter I will take care of fostering of the local fauna. Moreover, I promised the management of our company that I will accompany the construction of our new building until its completing next year. I’m sure it won’t be boring in future.
Thank you, Mr. Graspointner for this detailed conversation and all the best for your future.
All photos: SPANGLER GMBH, Michael Müller