July 27, 2018
STIWA CEOs Peter and Raphael Sticht take a look back at a successful business year: The family-run company with its headquarters in Attnang-Puchheim, Austria achieved a turnover of EUR 255 million for the last financial year (July 1, 2017–June 30, 2018). This constitutes an increase of 23 percent compared to the previous annual turnover of EUR 207 million. The number of employees has also reached a record high at 1,810 (accurate on June 30, 2018). Ninety-five percent of employees work in Upper Austria. The export rate stands at more than 70 percent.
Building on the successful development of the previous year, STIWA Group continued to pursue its growth strategy in 2017/2018:
- Machine and system manufacturing, the Group’s core business at the Attnang-Puchheim site, remained the strongest contributor to this year’s annual turnover at EUR 141 million (55 percent of total turnover). And the business unit is already working to full capacity in the current business year.
- The second-largest business unit, the production of automotive parts at the Gampern site, achieved a record result last year with a turnover of EUR 87 million. This can largely be attributed to a dramatic increase in the number of orders for gear assemblies.
- The new Mechatronic Systems business unit represents a broadening of the STIWA Group’s business activities and expands its competencies in the fields of serial production as well as mechatronic supply, handling, and transfer systems.
Investment in Upper Austria Sites
In the 2017/2018 financial year, the STIWA Group invested a total of EUR 45 million into its sites in Upper Austria. Of this figure, half went to site development and the other half to machinery, along with factory and office equipment.
- At the Gampern site, a 10,000 m² production hall is now in operation, along with an office for the new Machining Center business unit. Nine additional cutting machines have been purchased.
- At the headquarters in Attnang-Puchheim, the first two sections of the new office building came into use in December 2017. The third section with space for 380 employees will be completed in the first quarter of 2020, by which point a total of 700 new office workstations will have been created in the building.
- The construction of an 8,000 m² assembly hall in Attnang-Puchheim by the third quarter of 2019 will create extra capacity for machine manufacturing.
“Over the last few years, the consistently high demand of our customers in all business units, along with the good economic situation, have enabled us to make important investments in the future and to develop our sites. We have focused particularly on our Upper Austrian sites in Attnang-Puchheim and Gampern”, says Peter Sticht, CEO STIWA Holding GmbH.
The STIWA Group also expects to see increased demand for automation solutions over the coming years. Further resource development is crucial to covering agreed and upcoming projects. Not only do we need to invest in the necessary buildings and machines, but also increasing the number of qualified employees across all sites.
“In order to guarantee further growth, we are focusing our efforts on developing our workforce. We are therefore reliant upon high-quality apprenticeship training and are intensifying our efforts to stress even more clearly the appeal of a career in technology”, says Raphael Sticht, CEO STIWA Holding GmbH.
STIWA Intensifies Efforts to Train and Recruit New Specialists
Despite the fact that young people with technical training have the best chance of a job with a future, the shortage of specialists in all fields of technology is undeniable, starting with apprentices through to college and university graduates. “On one hand, the key is to train qualified specialists; on the other hand, we must generate more interest in technology—and the sooner the better,” says Raphael Sticht. STIWA therefore wants to use a range of measures to raise enthusiasm for technical careers, including an attractive apprenticeship program.
- Attractive Apprenticeship: In order to meet the demand for specialists, the STIWA Group has been offering apprenticeships for nearly 40 years; for many years in its very own training center in Attnang-Puchheim. This is why the intake of apprentices at the company has continued to rise. This year, 57 young people will enroll on a STIWA apprenticeship. As of fall 2018, 170 apprentices will be undergoing training at STIWA.
In total, the STIWA Group has trained more than 700 young people up to specialist level. Around 60 percent of those apprentices have continued working for STIWA—some in managerial roles.
- Comprehensive Training Collaboration: The STIWA Group is broadening its collaboration with schools, colleges and universities across Austria. For example, as a long-standing partner of the Vöcklabruck Technical College (VHTL), the Group will be providing the college with new technical teaching equipment for its new Mechatronics department. A degree scholarship of 15,000 euros will be awarded to one student from Automation Technology at the Wels University for Applied Science.
STIWA Continues to Pursue Internationalization Strategy
The STIWA Group has built several new international sites over the last few years. The company follows its regular clients into new markets in order to provide local support and to enable mutual growth. This strategy creates new jobs in all the business units and safeguards the company’s sites in Upper Austria. Furthermore, the STIWA Group is reinforcing its reputation as a full-service provider of automation solutions who supports its clients from product conception right through to plant optimization—wherever the world takes them. The family-run company currently runs nine sites in four countries.
- Originally built in 2013, the second STIWA plant in Nantong, China was opened in March 2018. The Chinese site is of great significance to the growth of the STIWA Group: Next to Europe, Asia is the most important growth market for the company. In the 2018/2019 financial year, the number of employees will be expanded from the current 74 to more than 100. From September 2018, an apprenticeship program based on the Austrian model will be introduced. Six apprentices will be taken on in the first training year. In addition to system manufacturing, machining manufacturing is currently being developed.
- The Service and Support office which was opened in North Carolina (USA) in May 2016 is set for expansion during the new financial year and will be developed into a fully functioning site. In order for machining projects to be carried out there, an assembly hall will be rented and investments made into recruitment and training of employees.
- The STIWA Group has made a successful landing in Germany: An office was opened in Wilnsdorf, North-Rhine Westphalia at the start of July 2017. We have already successfully implemented our first automation project with an internationally renowned manufacturer for writing utensils. Over the coming years, STIWA Deutschland GmbH plans to gradually develop its site as well as its capacities.
The STIWA Group based in Attnang-Puchheim, Austria provides clients worldwide with comprehensive automation solutions and services, from engineering to software development all the way through to machine optimization. In addition, the STIWA Group itself delivers supplier production and building and laboratory automation. The company employs more than 1,800 people worldwide across nine sites and achieved a turnover of EUR 255 million in the 2017/2018 financial year.