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The ability to rethink and act quickly is a necessity today.

01-31-2023 04:48 PM CET | Industry, Real Estate & Construction

Press release from: Markilux

/ PR Agency: conzept3
Despite a challenging year 2022, awning manufacturer markilux is still satisfied with the sales figures achieved.

Despite a challenging year 2022, awning manufacturer markilux is still satisfied with the sales figures achieved.

The business year 2022 proved once more to be a very challenging one for markilux, a year in which flexible and strategically sensible corrections to the company's course were required.

The corona virus has been with us for three years now. Moreover, the war in Ukraine has precipitated the current energy crisis and high inflation which has resulted in a significant cooling of the consumer climate in Germany. And naturally that has had an effect on markilux, too. Sales in 2022 were thus lower than originally anticipated at around 126 million euros. Nevertheless, the awning manufacturer is still satisfied with the results of the financial year, given the circumstances. Looking to the future, the company anticipates continued growth in the medium term and, in doing so, intends to align its activities even more closely with the current market situation.

"For some time now, we have been experiencing daily business as a succession of hurdles. The impression you get is that as the impact of one crisis on the business slowly diminishes, you find that the next one is already just around the corner. In times like these, you have to be prepared for the unforeseeable. This has not made it easy to plan ahead," comments Klaus Wuchner, Director of Sales and Marketing at markilux.

Satisfied with sales under the current circumstances
Politically and economically, the environment has been difficult for three years now. And that is challenging both for the staff and the manufacturing facility because they have had to become increasingly flexible and adaptable. The ability to rethink and act quickly has thus become a must for the awning specialist. In the first two years of the pandemic, for example, the company had to cope with large increases in volume and sales, which, as a result of the war in Ukraine, did not carry on into the second quarter of 2022. "Sales last year were thus lower than expected. So, taking the current circumstances into consideration, we are still actually satisfied with the results," Klaus Wuchner stresses.

Successful product strategy even in 2022
Michael Gerling, Director of R&D and Production, is certain that expansion of the product range has made a contribution to this. "First of all, we were able to extend the range of modern full cassette awnings with the 'MX-2'. And secondly, with the 'pergola stretch' and 'pergola cubic' models, that were launched in 2021 and 2022, we once again expanded the product range for large-area shading", he says. Last year, these product groups were once again very popular at markilux. Mr Gerling also cites the market launch of the "collection one" as being equally successful. Select dealers were already able to include the new cover collection in their range in 2022. He says this gave an increased feeling of security for the official launch of the collection this year. Because with its durable and at the same time trendy patterns, it pursues a concept that is focussed entirely on the future.

A challenging year with good decisions
"In contrast, the flow of goods from suppliers was less reliable. Unfortunately, the uncertainty that had manifested itself in our supply chains continued into this year. In addition to high staff absences due to Corona, this had a negative impact on production, especially in the first quarter," explains Michael Gerling, adding: "This was compounded by rising prices on the side of our suppliers, which continued to exact patience and understanding from our customers." In this environment it has proved to be an advantage that much of what we do within the company has already been automated and digitalised. Providing training in additional vocational areas was also the right decision and proved to be very important. This ensures a high quality level and binds employees to the company. "Since last year we have also had an employee app which has turned out to be a source of lively exchange with the staff and makes it possible to communicate more quickly - also in terms of new or modifications in legal requirements," explains Heike Reinermann, Head of HR. The awning company is also digitally active as far as additional training is concerned. Since2022, employees have had the opportunity to use a dedicated e-learning channel whenever it suits them.

Marketing focusses on end consumers and specialist dealers
And the cooperation with specialist dealers also benefits from the digital tools developed by the company. Such as new, supportive features on the markilux website, for example. "This helps us reach out to more potential awning customers. And passing on contacts to the specialist dealer has also become easier as a result", Christiane Berning, Head of Marketing and Business Development explains. Furthermore, the Marketing Customer Service provides assistance in the design of showrooms and websites or with regional promotional campaigns. Otherwise, marketing has concentrated on showing the brand in the best possible light on all communication channels. The focus continues to be on convincing the end consumer of the benefits of the products and the service. According to Ms Berning, the end consumer hotline and the company's own flagship stores also contribute to this.

Sales process at specialist dealers more demanding
Klaus Wuchner sees continuous investment in brand building and professional sales as being crucial for the company's success. Because today, end consumers do extensive research online before actually going to a specialist dealer. "The demands put on service and what a company offers in its range have grown and customers now reflect longer before actually deciding whether to buy or not. This in turn means that the sales process in the showroom of specialist dealers has become more time-consuming. Of course, our office staff and sales representatives support the specialist dealers as best they can and our Academy training courses also provide focussed assistance," says Mr Wuchner. So in future the company will be putting even more emphasis on well-qualified specialist dealers.

Continued growth with caution and with an eye on the environment
The awning specialist aims to continue along the trajectory of growth it has been pursuing for years in both the middle and long term. Even though the current political and economic environment repeatedly requires strategic countermeasure, the two directors, Klaus Wuchner and Michael Gerling, both agree that solar protection will continue to be in demand in these times of climate change. "This year, we are offering excellent new products and a well-thought-through fabric collection which has been designed in a very material-friendly way and therefore uses a minimum of resources. Furthermore, in the future, we will continue to focus on durable products which are easy to repair and that therefore have superior longevity. This is an essential anchor for the future of our brand. And, very importantly, it preserves the environment," says a convinced Klaus Wuchner.

For further information, please visit: markilux.com

conzept3
An der Alten Ziegelei 34
D-48157 Muenster
Fon: +49 (0) 251-1347740
info@conzept3.de
www.conzept3.de

markilux stands for 'Design Made in Germany', innovative new products and excellent quality in the exterior solar protection sector. Since 1972 folding-arm awnings, conservatory awnings and vertical blinds have been produced at its manufacturing facility in Emsdetten, northern Germany. The high-quality products are distributed by professional partners in Germany and abroad. Selected companies assure the high qualitative standards during the assembly of the awnings.

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