A little humility is never wrong

01.04.2021 A little humility is never wrong

Hannelore Spangler-Schäfer transfers management to the next generation

Dietfurt/Töging, 22 March 2021 – She will leave with mixed feelings. Hannelore Spangler-Schäfer, who has built up, accompanied and led the Töging automation manufacturer from a three-person operation to an internationally active company with 150 employees, will leave the active business life as of 1 April. After her brother Helmut Graspointner left the company at the end of 2019, the founding generation now ultimately passes on the stab of the management to the following generation.

Hannelore Spangler-Schäfer has many reasons to leave with happy feelings: a prosperous enterprise with positive future perspectives, a systematically regulated succession with reliable family members and managers and last but not least a workforce which stands behind the company and its management in familial closeness. ‘I am deeply grateful for this and very touched’, the senior manager said and explained the sad feelings: ‘I will miss the people’.

And with people she means all those who have shaped her everyday life up to now: the employees, the customers, the suppliers, the representatives of public life. Hannelore Spangler-Schäfer has always met them with appreciation and with this attitude she laid the foundation for the continuous success of her company. Thus, the connection to customers and suppliers are based on a long-term cooperation and  the concerns and welfare of her employees have always been important for her. ‘We are a family-run company and our employees are members of the business family.’

The people always in mind

Freedom of movement for young people is important so that their training is not only good for transfer of knowledge, but also for personality development. The tasks in the company finally should fit to the individual employees. As it is similarly important to be up to date in later years, Spangler Automation actively supports further training. In this way and with numerous other supportive benefits the company creates future perspectives for its employees and motivates them to a long company loyalty. This holistic approach results in a security which is useful for both parties: for the company, as the fluctuation is very low and for the employees, as they can plan their lives reliably.

Hannelore Spangler-Schäfer is the one who knows best what support means. ‘When I entered the company after the sudden death of my husband Franz Spangler in 2003 and took over the management together with my brother, the backing was the base for surviving – both in the family and in the company.’ The past twelve months now have shown again how precious mutual reliability is under difficult conditions. ‘Like a chain we have defied the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic together and managed to come with our company through troubled waters.’ The gratitude in Hannelore Spangler-Schäfer’s voice is not missed and clearly signals that everything cannot be taken for granted.

Joint effort

Due to the fact that the digital structure has already existed for the sales approach and the working time models, the implementation was possible within a short period of time. A positive aspect was the new company building with new offices and production area which was ready to move in and in this way there was enough alternative area available for the employees. The general acceptance for digital work has increased. For the future, the company leader expects a higher proportion, however, in total a mixture of digital and traditional work forms – finally the individual disposition of the employees has to be considered as well.

The openness of the company towards new developments comes through here. ‘As a service provider we are always open for ideas and approaches which are brought up by customers, the market or other companies. And we have never missed development steps”, Hannelore Spangler-Schäfer sums up. She has in view both the technical development and the programming issues as well as personnel management. Despite all the forward drive, the management never forgets reflection: is the path taken really the right one? A close exchange with the employees is always on the agenda and helps that the reliable team spirit in the corporate family permanently gets new input.

Smooth transition

Exactly for this reason and considering the background of a well-established management team, Hannelore Spangler-Schäfer can calmly hand over the reins. The future management consists of Tina Lambert (born Spangler) and Christian Brandmüller. Furthermore, the authorized representatives Cornelia Hofmann (born Graspointner) for the sections finance and personnel and Thomas Zenk for the department process automation are part of the extended management team. All of them have been part of Spangler and well known for many years or even decades.
And what is Hannelore Spangler-Schäfer doing after 1st of April? Of course, she will be in the company for some hours, but she will have enough time for trips, bicycling or hiking. ‘The biggest gift for me ist that I can shape my daily routine on my own’, she says humbly. She has always kept humility during her business life – despite all successes or perhaps precisely for that reason.


SPANGLER Automation employs around 150 people at its headquarters in Töging in the Altmühl valley and has been a reliable partner of the national and international mechanical and plant engineering for more than 40 years.

More than half of the plants produced are exported worldwide. The medium-sized family-run company plans and engineers plant automation, programs the control technology and manufactures switch and control systems for various sectors such as environmental technology, agricultural economy, building industry, food industry, automobile industry, raw materials industry as well as renewable energies.
Moreover, SPANGLER carries out the start-up and the after-sales service of the plants.