“We are moving to a customer-focused organisation”

Press and coating technology specialist Robert Bürkle announced its corporate restructure and strategy realignment back in August to better serve the industries they are in. Matthias Picker, vice-president Division Woodworking of Bürkle, tells Yap Shi Quan why this move is timely, and how exactly it impacts the woodworking industry.

Spray coating systems by Bürkle for carpentry

Robert Bürkle is best known in the woodworking industry for their press and coating technologies, but its solutions are also harnessed and recognised elsewhere. Specifically, in the printed circuit board (PCB) and photovoltaic industries.

In the past, Bürkle managed all these industries with a central organisation. “Bürkle was traditionally organised by functions, rather than markets, with a hierarchical arrangement of roles and responsibilities,” explained Picker. “Decisions were made centrally with a focus on all business segments.”

Over time, however, Bürkle realised that such a way of serving their industries was inefficient. According to Picker, the requirements and investment cycles of each industry segment differed, and it was difficult to keep focus on all the requirements with a central organisation. Hence, they started the restructuring process towards an industry-focused organisation, a process “planned long in advance”.

The result is a more customer-centric company, where instead of one central management, there will now be four independent business divisions covering the respective product segments: woodworking or surface finishing, photovoltaics, PCB, and lastly, a specific branch in Mastholte village in Germany which specialises in door and parquet lines, systems for the production of insulating elements, as well as automation and robotics. These four segments are managed by different management executives. Picker, of course, is in charge of the woodworking division.

“In this new structure, we are moving to a customer-focused organisation,” Picker said. “We work in cross-functional teams with a focus on industry specific requirements; decision-making is faster, and the hierarchy is flatter. We are ready to act flexible according to market requirements and will always focus on our customer’s benefits.” The company will strengthen customer relations and extend their technology portfolio in the industry. They also plan to improve their internal and external processes, such as in sales, application engineering and development, to provide a better customer experience.

Matthias Picker, vice-president, Robert Bürkle

Particular to the woodworking industry, Bürkle has opportunities to grow into new geographical areas and market segments, as well as into new applications. Using these opportunities, they plan to develop new sales channels and new technologies to fit the requirements of those markets.

“We will grow our digital portfolio to enable seamless business processes for our customers,” elaborated Picker. “We have demonstrated our machine dashboard at LIGNA in Hannover, Germany, which helps customers to improve productivity by reducing downtimes and eliminating bottlenecks, make data-driven decisions for example on quality control, and reduce waste and energy consumption. Our digital twin enables the virtual commissioning of new manufacturing equipment or new workpieces. In both cases, customer can reduce their time to market, save money and make more business.”

Curious to know more? Click here to read on in the November/December issue of Panels and Furniture Asia.