Windows and Doors Made in Germany

Interview with Sylvia Meeth-Kainz, Managing Director of Josef Meeth Fensterfabrik GmbH & Co. KG

Josef Meeth Fensterfabrik Double Windows
Josef Meeth Fensterfabrik GmbH & Co. KG is one of the largest windows and doors manufacturers in Europe

Windows and doors are more than just openings in our houses – they are the interface between inside and outside, connect spaces with the world out there and significantly influence the ambiance of our living spaces.

From traditional wooden windows to state-of-the-art, energy-efficient glazing – the window industry has undergone a fascinating development. Since the 1960s, Josef Meeth Fensterfabrik GmbH & Co. KG has been part of this development with innovative products in the field of windows and doors.

Tradition and Innovation

The Josef Meeth Fensterfabrik is a traditional family business that looks back on a long history. Founded in 1903 by Sylvia Meeth-Kainz's great-grandfather as a small carpentry shop, the company was restructured in 1963 by her grandfather and father. The focus from then on was on serial window construction. In 2016, Sylvia Meeth-Kainz took over the management of the company, after her father became seriously ill with cancer and a succession plan was needed.

Sylvia Meeth-Kainz, Managing Director of Josef Meeth Fensterfabrik GmbH & Co. KG
Sylvia Meeth-Kainz, Managing Director of Josef Meeth Fensterfabrik GmbH & Co. KG

The Managing Director brings a unique perspective as she originally comes from the catering industry. After years in the hotel business, she decided to make a fresh start in the family window construction business. This decision was influenced by a personal crisis when she herself was diagnosed with cancer in 1992 and sought a fundamental change in her lifestyle. Since taking over in 2016, the Josef Meeth Fensterfabrik has undergone significant restructuring.

"We have completely rethought our production processes, creating a good basis for our future development," said Sylvia Meeth-Kainz. "We will continue to transform into the digital world." A new online configurator and a rejuvenation of the external presentation are the focus. Despite challenges such as a 30% decrease in volume this current year, the company maintains good relationships with suppliers and is optimistic about overcoming this phase.

Josef Meeth Window Factory Showroom
The range of Josef Meeth Window Factory GmbH & Co. KG also includes a wide spectrum of doors
Josef Meeth Window Factory Head Office in Laufeld
Due to the central location of the production in Laufeld, Germany, the company can ensure short delivery times and impresses with an enormous production capacity of 1,300 windows per day

Impressive Production Capacity

The strengths of the family business lie in flat hierarchies and short decision-making processes, which enable a quick response to changes. Discussions also take place at a flat level, and the commitment of young, highly motivated employees contributes to the company's dynamics. A comprehensive aftersales service often goes beyond the actual sale. Due to the central location in Germany, the company can guarantee short delivery times and impresses with an enormous production capacity of 1,300 windows per day.

Own Production

The Josef Meeth Fensterfabrik employs 200 people and achieves a turnover of between 25 and 27 million EUR. The product and service range includes the production of windows and front doors in a flow production process, with a particular strength being in short delivery times.

"Our wide range allows for both the classic price entry for DIY stores and the adjustment to new product requirements, such as window frames made of recyclate," explains Sylvia Meeth-Kainz. "The continuous development of the range takes place in close cooperation with our suppliers. Currently, we are particularly dealing with issues such as security, sustainability, and sun protection."

The introduction of new technologies, such as the automation of parts of the production and investment in a new glass line in 2023, underline the commitment to quality products. The manufacture of insulating glass is carried out entirely internally.

Strategy for the Future

The market presence extends over export markets such as Switzerland, Austria, and the Czech Republic, which are served through DIY store chains. The Josef Meeth Fensterfabrik relies on a committed and self-reliant team. Digitization is at the core of the future strategy to secure the company for the next generations.

The managing director emphasizes the importance of attractive working conditions to attract young talent. Digital transformation remains the central theme to make the Josef Meeth Fensterfabrik future-proof. The company plans to adapt to new requirements, with a focus on a pleasant working environment and flexible opportunities for employees. Sylvia Meeth-Kainz sees the challenge in the future in the current performance demands in society.

"It's important to make performance attractive, and politics must set the right signals," says the managing director. "In my opinion, prosperity is only achievable through performance, and it is crucial that children learn to set goals and achieve success through performance."