Corporate objectives

Positioned for the future.

Corporate objectives

Over 125 years ago, Hugo Kern founded a company in the town of Schramberg in south-west Germany to manufacture springs for the Black Forest clock industry. Today, that company has evolved into the KERN-LIEBERS group, a globally positioned supplier to the automotive, textile and consumer goods industries with annual sales of almost 600 million euros. We are one of the largest independent family businesses in Germany.

In the production of technologically sophisticated springs and stamped, bent and fineblanked parts, we hold a leading position in our market segments and have established ourselves as a competent and reliable partner for industrial companies with global significance – to give an example, you will find KERN-LIEBERS parts in about two thirds of all passenger cars worldwide. With are very proud of the extraordinary success that we have achieved through the implementation of our zero-defect objective and of the recognition it has frequently receive from our customers. The financing of our business and growth has always been characterized by sustainability, so that our business today rests on a solid economic foundation that is capable of withstanding cyclical fluctuations. We also took advantage of the opportunities presented by globalization at a very early stage, becoming for example one of the first foreign companies to establish its own subsidiary in China, a move that today contributes significantly to our growth and success. In the internationalization of our business activities, the core competencies developed and established in Germany remain crucial to this day.

We are firmly convinced that this extremely successful development is based on the fact that we work persistently and consistently to realize our corporate objectives, and we will continue to do so in order to preserve and develop everything we have achieved so far.

- What are our objectives and what do we want to achieve? -

We want to satisfy our customers by providing goods and services that are always high quality and always on time. Quality and on-time delivery are our highest priorities. In our dealings with our customers, our actions are always focused on their particular requirements. By creating the highest possible added value, we continually develop the trust of our customers, providing the basis for ensuring survival in the market in the long term. We are guided at all times by the question of what the interests of our customers are and how we can satisfy them in the simplest and most cost-effective way.

We eliminate any doubt or ambiguity by working with our customers to clearly and fully identify their interests and expectations, and by adequately communicating and documenting our common understanding.

We establish our processes on the basis of reasonable assumptions to make sure that the zero-defect objectives agreed with our customers can actually be achieved. We want to be as close to our customers as possible and to tailor our products and services ideally to their requirements. That is why we maintain a powerful sales organization, including our own sales representatives and an international network of subsidiaries.

We possess core competencies in the development, manufacture and marketing of technologically sophisticated springs, wires and stamped, bent and fineblanked parts. In addition to the treatment and processing of metals to create precision parts and assemblies, we are also experienced in the field of plastic composites. By exploiting these core competencies in sectors in which we have product and market experience, we want to present ourselves to our customers as highly qualified specialists. We also want to open up new markets, which is why we are looking for new market segments, niches and products in which our proven technological expertise is in demand. As part of this process, we want to penetrate into regions where we are not yet represented by a subsidiary. That said, we do not want to increase our sales at any price.

Instead, we want to grow profitably, and we are especially interested in niches and market segments that reward technological unique selling points. At the same time, it is important to us to ensure that we remain a highly diversified company by virtue of our global presence, the variety of our products and our broad portfolio of customers. We see the growth of our company through the acquisition of, participation in or cooperation with other companies in the markets in which we are already present as an opportunity. On the one hand, we approach the expansion of our core competencies and our range of services with an open mind, but this also means that decisions of this nature require particularly careful consideration.

We want to strengthen our existing market positions and gain new market share. Where we have not yet achieved it, we strive for market leadership with our products and services. Where we have, we make every effort to retain it We believe that market leadership requires technological leadership, which is why we promote creative and innovative development work in all areas of our group of companies – an essential factor in our success.

Our business at present is mainly characterized by the fact that we manufacture component parts that are then used by our customers to create assemblies or system components. Our customers sometimes also use subcontractors to do this. Where it makes sense from a technological and economic perspective, and where the opportunities and risks are proportionate, we are increasingly looking to offer our customers all-in solutions to increase added value through a higher level of vertical integration.

As a manufacturing company, our success depends crucially on the fact that we can provide stable work processes that are adequately documented. Our processes not only have to meet the requirements agreed with our customers, they also have to meet our own internal requirements. We want to increase our process reliability beyond what has already been achieved. This also includes the documentation process and internal or external monitoring.

We also need to review the processes we have in place for remaining competitive for potential for optimization. We believe that any process can be improved and that we must work continuously to do so.

Our company is built on a sense of family connectedness among everyone who works in it, and this has proven itself a real force in times of crisis. The loyalty and reliability and the expertise and creativity of our employees is crucial to the well-being of our group of companies.

Through motivation and professional, goal-oriented management, we foster the willingness of our employees to perform well, share responsibility, contribute to changes required in the company and improve their skills through continuous education and training. Finding solutions to problems requires the collaboration of those who understand markets, technologies, products, and quality assurance tools. We also encourage and reward our employees when they develop and contribute new ideas, approaches, technologies and processes. We want to achieve synergy effects through the organized transfer of knowledge within the group.

We attach particular importance to open and honest communication. We address problems, ambiguities and dissatisfaction at the earliest opportunity in order to quickly find acceptable and appropriate solutions for all concerned.