"One of the biggest challenges in window construction is logistics!"

Interview with Willi Hartmann, Managing Director of Fensterbau Hartmann GmbH

Willi Hartmann, Managing Director of Fensterbau Hartmann GmbH
Willi Hartmann, Managing Director of Fensterbau Hartmann GmbH

An on-time delivery rate of over 90% with a lead time of about six to ten weeks – this is a significant figure, especially in the logistically complex construction industry. How Fensterbau Hartmann GmbH from the Rhine-Main area consistently meets these demands, why the building materials for windows and doors as well as their installation are becoming increasingly complex, and which processes have been noticeably simplified by digitalization, was explained by Managing Director Willi Hartmann in an interview with Wirtschaftsforum.

Wirtschaftsforum: Mr. Hartman, how exactly should we understand the motto of your company – "We create prospects!"?

Willi Hartmann: This slogan was originally developed by our staff and sums up our scope of activities quite well: At our core, we focus on everything related to windows and doors, with a particular emphasis on service. Because delivering an excellent product is already standard for us today.

Wirtschaftsforum: Which services do you wish to excel with?

Willi Hartmann: An important proof of our reliability is certainly in timely delivery. Depending on the workload, it takes about six to ten weeks from placing the order to the installation of the windows and doors, and we can keep over 90% of the agreed deadlines. This allows our commercial and private customers excellent planning.

Hartmann Window Construction Modern Setup
Modern windows impress with a high glass area and an extremely slim profile

Wirtschaftsforum: How do you manage to plan so far ahead at the corporate level?

Willi Hartmann: Over the years, we have built a solid relationship of trust with all relevant suppliers and can also rely on our own experience from over 50 years of business activity in the market. Because the biggest challenge in window construction is logistics – ensuring the right product with the right type of material and the right dimensions is delivered at the right time to the right place for installation. To be able to reliably represent such routine processes, one needs not only sufficiently sized storage space but also grown know-how to sustainably manage the various suppliers and components. To fully concentrate on our logistics and installation expertise, a few years ago we also decided to largely outsource our own production from our company.

Wirtschaftsforum: It's not just logistics, but also the window and its installation in the finished building that are becoming increasingly complex. What innovations are currently dominating the market?

Willi Hartmann: Nowadays, every window we deliver is equipped with a standard security fitting to meet the growing security needs of our customers. Moreover, today the window must consistently be integrated into the respective thermal insulation composite system or other thermal insulation measures to prevent thermal bridges, which naturally increases the complexity of installation. Additionally, many builders are now relying on residential ventilation concepts to be able to create a comfortable indoor climate independently of window ventilation. Visually, windows are continuing to evolve, with the glass surface increasingly growing while the profiles become slimmer. This allows for more natural light and at the same time provides a pleasant aesthetics that is up-to-date.

Wirtschaftsforum: How does Fensterbau Hartmann GmbH plan to further develop as a company?

Willi Hartmann: We want to be a reliable and committed partner not only to our customers but also to our employees. With the flexibility that we maintain towards our clients, we would like to show the same towards our staff – because, at the latest, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that more flexibility is required and can also be implemented sustainably. Trust and responsibility are key here, but issues such as transparency and digitalization also come into play. For example, an employee on the construction site can directly send photos of the current progress to the builders and discuss further actions with them, without needing to first file these documents centrally in the company and then forward them. This not only streamlines our processes but also pleases the customer because they can always rely on the same contact person for all occasions. Without our trust in our employees, this would not be possible. In perspective, we want to engage even more in the health sector – because in this appreciation lies an important cornerstone for our further successful future.