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Shaping the future: Markus Glaser-Gallion

Founded in 1962, Leadec started as a cleaning business. Now, more than 50 years later, the company is a global player in technical industrial services.

“Strategy always starts as a piece of paper,” CEO Markus Glaser-Gallion notes. “Once you start to execute it, that’s where the proof is. We are pleased and very convinced of our strategy.”

“We have focused our portfolio on service lines, which are globally applicable. More importantly, we’ve diversified into other adjacent areas and improved our operational-excellence approach throughout our 200 sites.”

Markus Glaser-Gallion CEO of Leadec Holding
Markus Glaser-Gallion CEO of Leadec Holding

Since Markus last spoke with The CEO Magazine, Leadec has achieved significant results, particularly regarding customer satisfaction. “We have a renewal rate of more than 90% for our long-lasting customer contracts,” he says.

“This is best-in-class in this industry. We increased our profitability significantly and did our divestments.”

In the past two years, Leadec has made noteworthy changes to its systems and processes. “First, we cleaned up our portfolio,” Markus says.

“Next, we invested in new acquisitions. This is still at the top of our agenda for 2019. We plan to grow by external add-ons. Third, we were excellent in developing our existing customer base, but we still have some room to improve on creating new business, new business segments and new customers. In 2018, we put effort into our sales excellence initiatives, grew a sales team, improved sales processes and introduced a new CRM system.”

“Fourth, we will continue to focus on our operational excellence. We’re going through a lean transformation, and we see much potential to improve our processes to eliminate waste in our execution. Last but not least, we want to work on our HR approach, our employer branding and attracting new talent. These days, the war of talent is a buzzword and our growth is dependent on getting people to fit our sales efforts.”

Markus believes that the company has a strong sales record, but if it doesn’t find the right people to execute the contracts, it won’t succeed. “We invest in our recruiting and employer branding,” he explains.

“Leadec is growing its awareness but it still has a way to go. Upscaling Leadec as an attractive employer is the essence of growing organically. These are our core initiatives.”

Leadec has also recently established an independent structure and infrastructure within this environment. In the past few months, it has logically separated its IT structure from the previous Voith system. “For example, we’re moving now into a cloud environment,” Markus says.

While other companies may be scrambling to keep up with the change of technology, Leadec is excited about it. “Disruption is good for us,” Markus says.

“We see ourselves as unique. We are continuously working on digitisation. We want to be one of the facilitators in this ecosystem of the factory of the future.”

“We want to be one of the facilitators in this ecosystem of the factory of the future.”

Markus Glaser-Gallion CEO of Leadec Holding

“We see this as a substantial opportunity for us that could help us leverage our expertise better than we have before. Even with disruptions in the automotive industry, we see it as a positive because our main customers have to reallocate their investments into this new area of e-mobility and autonomous driving. If so, we can take on more responsibility in their value chain and their production process.”

The company is in a unique position as the leading service provider for factories. There aren’t a lot of other service suppliers who are as strongly focused on the factory.

“Most of our competitors are largely focused on real estate or buildings,” Markus explains. “We have the opposite approach. We’re also the leading service supplier for the challenging automotive industry. Automotive will remain at our core, but we’d like to apply our recipes to other industries. We’re looking at potential aerospace, aircraft manufacturing, and food and beverages, which have very similar production processes.”

Three factors make Leadec stand out in the industry. The first is its focus. “We have a clear focus on being the leading service provider for the factory of today and of tomorrow,” Markus says.

The second is unique references in the automotive industry. “For instance, we just won the full maintenance scope of the new powertrain plant at Daimler in Poland. There are not many, if any, other service providers capable of covering the whole maintenance process of powertrain plants as we do in China, Poland and Germany.”

The third is its global portfolio. “We have 20,000 staff and about 250 sites. Our customer base is located in 14 countries. These include Mexico, the US, Canada, Brazil, India, China, Eastern Europe, the UK and Germany.”

From humble beginnings, the company is proud of its success and looks forward to the future. “We started as a cleaning company,” Markus reflects.

“Step by step, we moved up the value chain from being a technical cleaning provider to a mechanical service company. We then bought into electrical installation and automation. Our next steps are to invest in our engineering, process engineering, manufacturing engineering and digital capabilities.”

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Adolf Wurth
Adolf Wurth

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