Interview with Timo Henkelmann
"My time at Würth has had an impact on me – now I am happy to realize my visions at ELABO and to be able to effect many positive changes" – Interview with Timo Henkelmann | Picture credits: ELABO GmbH

"My time at Würth has had an impact on me – now I am happy to realize my visions at ELABO and to be able to effect many positive changes"

Interview with Timo Henkelmann, Managing Director of ELABO GmbH

Since July 2020 Timo Henkelmann and Dr. Mark Dolezal are the new managing directors of ELABO GmbH. We asked them how they came to ELABO and what visions they have for the company.

Could you describe your career so far?

My career started at Adolf Würth GmbH und Co KG. Here I started my dual studies at the University of Cooperative Education in Mosbach in 2000. During my studies I passed through many departments at Würth and studied at the same time. Towards the end of my studies I changed to Würth Industrie Service in Bad Mergentheim. In 2003, only about 150 people were employed there. Personally, I liked that, because in a smaller company you are always in direct contact with the management and know your colleagues. At the beginning, I was responsible for the industrial sector in the office in Key Account Management. After a few years, I took over the field service for key accounts in the Bielefeld region. That's where I developed my enthusiasm for building something together with the customers and offering them added value. The last few years there I took over responsibility for Key Account Management Germany.

In total, I worked at Würth for 18 years in various positions, and this period had a significant impact on me.

When did you "get to know" ELABO?

As an old-established Crailsheimer, ELABO has actually always been familiar to me. My aunt and her partner also worked at ELABO for a long time. In 1994, I also did a summer job at ELABO in the logistics department.

During my time at Würth, there was always contact with ELABO. After a presentation I once gave on the subject of Smart Factory, I came into contact with the former Managing Director, Thomas Hösle. This led to joint meetings with customers, because Würth's products complement ELABO's connected workstations well.

What was the main reason you came to ELABO?

Working with ELABO was always very interesting and I really enjoyed it. I was particularly impressed by the innovative strength of ELABO. During this time, I have already got to know some of my colleagues at ELABO.

In the end, I was offered the opportunity to join ELABO and take on responsibility here. Therefore I joined ELABO in September 2018 as division manager.

The decision to join ELABO was also a conscious step towards a company with fewer employees than was the case at WIS. You can actually move a lot and have great creative possibilities - and this challenge is a new incentive every day.

Another point was definitely also my family. The daily two-hour drive to Bad Mergentheim and back to Crailsheim has now become about five minutes. And my two daughters, aged 5 and 7, are always very happy when I can come home for lunch every now and then.

Together with Mark Dolezal, you will manage the company - what is the division of responsibilities?

Mark and I - this has already become clear in the last few months - complement each other well in our cooperation. The more technical areas, such as testsystems, testing and measuring devices and service will be managed by Mark. The areas of sales and marketing, logistics and production are in my hands.

Mark and I understand each other very well, but we can also discuss controversial issues and then find a solution together. I appreciate that very much.

What is your vision for ELABO?

This is a topic on which we are currently working together intensively. In particular, the focus is on stable and continuous growth and security for all colleagues, especially in the current situation.

Digitization and export are also topics that we want to push forward together. Other important aspects are the optimization of processes within the company and the efficient design of interface areas.

ELABO is a strong brand that we would like to establish in areas where we are not yet that strongly represented.

And what are your plans? What topics would you like to tackle next at ELABO?

We believe that a company always lives from its people, so there are a lot of changes coming up and important decisions are being made.
An important undertaking and basis for many other projects is also the changeover to a new version of our ERP system Navision.
One highlight will also be a future project in the area of workplace solutions, which is scheduled for spring 2021.

What challenges do you see?

Corona is of course a great challenge for many companies – ELABO is no exception. Nobody can really estimate how things will develop here. At the moment, things are still looking good for ELABO, but of course we all hope that we will be spared a second wave.

We are trying to get out of the whole crisis in the best possible way and see this time as an opportunity. In this way, we want to become more independent of individual markets and industries and position ourselves more broadly. We are also very active on the sales side at the moment. We are furthermore seizing the opportunity to push ahead with digitization issues. Starting with data lines, a configurator for our solutions and automated ordering processes, to name just a few examples.

In order to master these challenges, it is also important to find a balance to your professional life – what do you do in your free time?

I get my sporting balance from tennis and playing soccer. I play tennis with SV Tiefenbach and soccer with VR Altenmünster. I've been doing that for many years and it gives me great pleasure.

But the most important balance is the time we spend together with my family.