Several years ago, when the figures at labeling specialist Logopak lagged well behind expectations, countermeasures had to be taken. In an interview with the principal at Staufen AG, Dr. Dirk Bayas-Linke, Managing Director Steffan Gold, reveals how he plans to get back on track with the “Logopak Go – Optimizing Together” project and where the company currently stands.
Logopak Systeme GmbH & Co. KG with headquarters in Hartenholm, Germany, provides global product and packaging labeling solutions to a variety of industry sectors. When Steffan Gold assumed the position as CEO at the labeling pioneer in 2019, the company had already been having a hard time reaching their economic targets for the past two years. “In this respect, it was obvious that we had to take urgent action to get Logopak on track and return to economic success,” the CEO recalls. Yet when we looked at the reasons for the problems, executive management and the works council were unable to come up with a common denominator.
Shareholders and executive management decided to bring Staufen AG on board for an analysis of the situation and to develop a concept for the future. Bring in an external business consulting firm? At first, this was met with resistance from the workforce, recalls Steffan Gold. Nevertheless, the Staufen compass very quickly helped to structure the project in simple terms and in a way that was easy to understand, enabling them to arrive at a positive target image and to release energy for change.
Transformation process: It was critical to avoid past mistakes
At the same time, mistakes made in past projects were to be avoided with the aid of the holistic Staufen approach. Logopak’s CEO Gold: “I really believe that in the past, the focus had always been on technical issues. What do we have to change from a technical or business management perspective to somehow make headway with the company? The cultural components, where leadership and communication need to also be considered, were issues that had been totally underestimated in these projects in the past.”
A classic functional approach was one of the reasons that had led Logopak into a tailspin, according to Gold. This is why it was important for the close-knit executive and divisional management teams to reverse this situation and show the workforce that it is not “the success of the department that is important, but the success of the company as a whole that is at stake here. Implementing this actually straightforward realization was a major step in a company that “really had not been able to get along with one another well for 2, 3, 4 years.” By making changes in management, Logopak was able to gradually incorporate all employees into the change process, many of whom were local and had an emotional connection to Logopak: “In the past, people often talked about being part of Logopak, about getting things done, in other words, this classic northern German mentality,” says Gold. With the cultural change, the company has returned to this mentality.
Focusing on the right projects to reach the road to success
A change architecture was also established with the Staufen AG consultants, which helped executives to “to greatly improve their self-manage and to focus and prioritize as well”. This helped to really stick to each step of the change process and to concentrate on the right projects that would put the company back on track for success, he says.
To ensure they kept their attention on change, Logopak invested heavily in communication. At the outset of the project, staff was given the opportunity to ask questions of each project manager in a “marketplace”. Today, reports on the progress of the project are regularly published in newsletters and presented at company meetings.
Fortunately, we have made it clear to everyone involved from the start that we are not talking about a quick sprint here.SteffAn Gold, CEO Logopak Systeme GmbH & Co. KG
Where does Logopak stand in the change process?
The road Logopak has to travel in its transformation is still a long one. Working together with Staufen, the company has developed a concept for the future made up of three phases. Right now, the company is completing the first quarter of the journey, which focuses on efficiency, costs, processes, leadership, and culture. “But this is just the critical phase, getting started in the first place, setting the entire process up well, synchronizing the company around it, achieving the initial successes,” says Logopak CEO Gold. As soon as everyone is motivated and enthusiastic, the next steps could be more towards growth and innovation. Looking ahead, Logopak is also contemplating a new building. But all that is still up in the air.
Dr. Dirk Bayas-Linke