40 years of outstanding packaging solutions from Ströbel
How it all began
In 1978 Gerlinde and Gerhard Ströbel founded Ströbel Industriebedarf GmbH in their living room in Langenzenn, Germany.
Gerhard brought to this start-up his experience with wholesaling and as a sales manager in a large packaging company. He and Gerlinde (who had acquired invaluable experience as an export account manager) proceed to steadily expand their wholesale packaging company.
In addition to packaging and special papers, the couple also began selling work gloves, which they imported from Asia for the German market.
In the 1990s, Gerhard set the course for the company’s development going forward. Building on his uncanny ability to forecast market trends and divine the specific needs of individual customers, Gerhard began devoting all of his efforts to packaging and special papers and stopped selling work gloves.
Steady organic growth from a two-person outfit to an expanding SME
In 1982, four years after the company’s founding, Ströbel hired its first half-time employee (who remained with the company until his retirement in 2010). Ströbel took an important step aimed at prevailing in a highly competitive market, when, in 1986, the company bought a piece of commercial property, where it subsequently constructed a building. Ströbel then purchased, from its own funds, its first packaging-bag manufacturing machine. In 1995 the company constructed a second building aimed at meeting its growing need for space for its packaging materials operations. By 2012 the company had outgrown this facility as well and thus decided to purchase an additional commercial building.
The company had 11 employees ten years after its founding, and by 1997 this figure had nearly doubled, to 20. During this period the company’s machine fleet and packaging-product portfolio were steadily expanded.
Changing of the guard and repositioning
Gerhard retired in 2003 and handed the reins to Rainer Schaal. Two years later Gerhard’s son Rainer Ströbel joined the company after serving as an officer in the German army and earning a degree in business management. He soon rose to the position of CEO.
He and Rainer Schaal (now vice president) have worked closely together to gradually transform Ströbel from a packaging wholesaler to a packaging manufacturer that increasingly sells products that it makes itself and that the company used to buy wholesale and resell to industrial companies.
In this process, the concept of steadily building customer relations and loyalty through countless sales visits and the company’s strictly adhered to philosophy of “the customer comes first” evolved into the concept of making plastic-film packaging that is precisely tailored to individual customer needs. To this end, Ströbel offers its customers an extremely customer-friendly service whereby additional work shifts are scheduled so that special customer orders can be fulfilled as quickly as possible.
The fact that Ströbel is both a packaging industry wholesaler and manufacturer is one of the main reasons why it has prevailed in a highly competitive and globalized market and has continued to grow. “Steady and organic growth, as well as treating our by now 50 employees fairly and squarely, are both top priorities for us and key components of our company philosophy,” says Rainer Ströbel.
Full steam ahead into the international realm
Ströbel’s product portfolio today comprises plastic-film packaging, desiccants, and accessories that promote safe overseas shipping. These products are mainly used for corrosion protection and long term product conservation in the electronics, pharmaceutical and food industries all over the world. Ströbel’s international customer roster ranges from coffee bean vendors, for which the company even does very small production runs, to large machinery makers that pride themselves on the fact that their products are made in Germany.
In the interest of meeting its customers’ exacting quality requirements worldwide and the needs of the company’s growing export business, Ströbel now has an in-house export specialist to handle export operations.