Covid-19 and the resulting economic crisis has placed an extreme burden on the mechanical and plant engineering industry in recent months. There is currently no sign of a fundamental improvement in the printing press industry. "In recent months, we have been monitoring the situation closely and gradually taking the necessary measures to maintain competitiveness. However, structural adjustments are now unavoidable in order to secure the earnings situation of our company in the long term," says CEO Christian-Marius Metz. Due to the sharp drop in orders, up to one third of the jobs in Nürtingen will be lost across departments. At the headquarters in Nürtingen, the number of employees was 340 in the middle of this year.
Since November 2019, overtime has been consistently reduced and working time accounts have been adjusted on a differentiated basis. From February 2020, short-time working was introduced over a period of six months. Furthermore, IST Metz reacted to the ongoing crisis with a comprehensive cost reduction program.
Management regrets unavoidable step
IST Metz is a recognized market and technology leader with highly qualified personnel. However, the forecasts for the medium-term future require decisive action, as the structural crisis will continue. "When the worldwide demand for printing presses slumps massively, a supplier company can still be in a good position. At some point, there comes a time when you have to adjust your capacities to the market conditions," Christian-Marius Metz explains the difficult decision. The preliminary talks with the works council have already begun. Both sides want to start negotiations as early as August.
In the course of the company's organization, the two managing directors Holger Kühn (Sales) and Dr. Robert Sänger (Technology) resigned from their positions as managing directors on July 31, 2020. Both will take over important key positions within the company in the future and contribute to securing the future of IST Metz GmbH.
Company takes comprehensive restructuring measures
With an ongoing restructuring process, IST Metz is setting the course to make the company fit for the future again. In order to strengthen its competitiveness in the long term, IST will continue to invest in sales and its own innovative strength. However, the positive effects will only be felt in the medium term. "In addition to all the painful cutbacks, it is important to work even more intensively on market areas where the future prospects remain good and to take advantage of new opportunities, which are also arising from the corona crisis," adds Metz. For example, IST Metz already has the necessary technology today to render potentially virus-contaminated aerosols harmless within seconds in busy rooms such as classrooms, doctors' surgeries or even bars and restaurants.