Five questions for: Manuel Schmidt
Innovative, sustainable, customer-oriented – if Manuel Schmidt had to summarize MESSERSCHMITT Systems in three words, it would be these ones. He now knows the Zella-Mehlis production site like the back of his hand – after all, he has been working for the company for 22 years. In this interview, the plant manager provides exciting insights into his day-to-day work, where topics such as customized production and sustainability play a decisive role.
1. How would you describe your career at MESSERSCHMITT Systems?
“Zella-Mehlis is my home, where I returned after my training as an electrician and medical technician and started working in production at MESSERSCHMITT Systems in 2001. From there, I gradually climbed the career ladder: first I took over as department manager, then I became product manager and finally, since last year, I have been plant manager at the Zella-Mehlis production site.
Today, I am responsible for all aspects of the production of our access control and room management systems. As a link between the individual areas – from electronic and mechanical production through card production, repairs and mechanics, to the service hotline and R&D – I coordinate all of the department managers. I am also involved in operations and helping to develop new designs for our modules and panels, advising our customers and carrying out feasibility studies – this way, I can productively apply the knowledge I have gained over the years and stay close to the issues at hand. My other tasks include personnel management, which I also really enjoy.”
2. What has been your greatest challenge or most exciting assignment to date?
“Considering how individual each job is, it’s hard to identify the most interesting one. One good example of a wonderful challenge is the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. The customer wanted entirely new access and room control systems to match the luxurious interior. Especially for this hotel project, we redesigned and manufactured mechanical buttons for our panels to provide guests with a haptic experience and intuitive operation. This panel version is now part of our standard range.”
3. Based on your experience, how important is the individual adaptation of products to customer requirements and what advantages does MESSERSCHMITT Systems offer in this area?
“Where other manufacturers reach their limits, we’re just getting started. We offer our customers the full package for their hotel project: from consultation and planning through customized adaptation and production, to installation and maintenance. The individual adaptation of our solutions plays a key role for our customers. Thanks to our Invisible system, for example, they can continue to use existing lever handles – which is particularly important for historic preservation in older buildings. This way, the traditional look is retained without dispensing with modern technology.”
4. How does MESSERSCHMITT Systems contribute to sustainability in the area of production?
“As our products are ‘made in Germany’, we increasingly work with suppliers from the local area. This not only enables us to reduce transport routes – we also strengthen the region. For long product life cycles, we attach great importance to durability and very good reparability of our products from the very beginning. We make this possible on the one hand through high quality standards, and on the other hand through our reliable service team, which supports our customers remotely and on site. We are also continuously developing sustainable alternative products – for example, keycards made from renewable raw materials – and energy-saving room control solutions for hotels. We converted our site completely to LED lighting at the beginning of 2022 and want to continue to operate in a more resource-efficient manner in the future.”
5. How would you describe MESSERSCHMITT Systems in three words?
“If I had to limit myself to only three words, they would be: innovative, sustainable, customer-oriented. These also include aspects such as individual design, strong team spirit, and technical know-how.”