Portrait of an employee: Thomas Reiner

Thomas Reiner has been serving our WEINMANN customers for 25 years. Here, he tells us what's important to him about his job and what he enjoys.

Give us an insight into your time at WEINMANN and what you do here.

After completing my training as an industrial mechanic, I joined WEINMANN in 1995 and am celebrating my 25th anniversary this year. For the first ten years, I was always traveling around on assembly assignments and I installed a large proportion of the plants during that time. Once I started a family, I didn't want to spend so much time traveling anymore, so I initially moved to the machine assembly area of production. The Service area continued to appeal to me so I moved back to Life Cycle Services, taking on office work and tasks in the training area, as well as looking after construction sites, spending around 20–30% of my time on external visits. This was the optimal combination for me. During this time I took over the role of the assistant service manager, which is my role to this day. In recent years I have looked after mainly larger projects and made sure that open construction sites are closed and that our customers are able to work. Particularly for larger plants with a lot of machines, there are very many factors to consider at once and these require the relevant experience. These points have to be worked through systematically so that in the end, we can hand over a plant that fulfills the customer's requirements.

What do you enjoy about working in Service and with customers?

In my opinion, the satisfaction of our customers is the most important thing. If a customer has a problem, I want to help them and resolve the problem as quickly as possible. My top priority is honesty. When I phone a customer and make a promise, then I keep that promise.

I work very closely with the customers I look after. Because I spent a lot of time traveling, I know almost all of the customers in the vicinity of our location personally. I visit both woodworking shops and industrial companies. What I really like is the personal and long-term relationships with our customers. It's always interesting to visit customers where you set up a plant 20 years ago and now look after the new plant. Time and again I meet employees that I have worked with before. And, of course, we remember each other. It's nice to see that you've done a good job and that people remember you and call you directly when they have questions.

How do you deal with critical situations?

When I visit customers, it's usually because there are problems. Of course, the situation is initially tense because customers want a quick solution to the problem. But that's why we're there. And the key is just to get things moving so the customers see an improvement. I really like the difficult construction sites. Of course, I don't always have a solution right away, but working on the problem and finding a solution is such an interesting challenge for me.

How do you view the developments in the company?

WEINMANN has grown significantly over the last 35 years; recruited more employees and expanded a lot. Timber construction is also developing very well at the moment, so I think the outlook for future development is very positive. Joining HOMAG also provided more opportunities worldwide. In Service in particular, being part of HOMAG offers us many benefits. As we have service partners all over the world, we are right there on location for our customers and can respond quickly. The partners know our technical components and can perform repair and maintenance themselves, as well as set up machines. Of course, that's a big advantage.

Our plants have also gone through enormous further development. When I see the speed and quality of element production today or the almost completely unmanned work with our autonomous cells, that's tremendous.

What do you enjoy about working at WEINMANN?

I've been at WEINMANN for 25 years now and I just really like it. I enjoy the variety of tasks. Sometimes I'm in the office, sometimes I'm on site visits or in the production hall. But I'm always in contact with customers. I also work with all of our machine types, as well as with design, production and sales. The cross-departmental collaboration with colleagues is very enjoyable. We are a good team and work well together.

In my opinion, the employees and the large wealth of knowledge are one of the main pillars of the company.

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