Buildings managed first-class!

Interview with Dieter Lenuweit, Managing Director of Schultz Gruppe GmbH

Dieter Lenuweit, Managing Director of Schultz Gruppe GmbH
Dieter Lenuweit, Managing Director of Schultz Gruppe GmbH

Offering all building management services from a single source and taking personal care of every customer is the philosophy that has made Schultz Gruppe GmbH, headquartered in Hamburg, a successful player in the northern German region for decades. We talked to managing director Dieter Lenuweit about a corporate culture of lived diversity and future issues such as further growth and the focus on sustainable actions and work.

Wirtschaftsforum: Mr. Lenuweit, the Schultz Group is a traditional company with a 120-year history. What services do you offer your customers today?

Dieter Lenuweit: The company has been around since 1904. What started as a building cleaning company evolved over the decades into a multi-service provider: In addition to infrastructural, technical, construction, and commercial building management were added, so that today we have four business divisions. At the end of 2022, we joined the Finnish PHM Group, a group of locally and regionally operating real estate service providers from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Germany. Of course, we also continue to operate independently as Schultz Group GmbH.

Schultz Group Construction Craft
The construction craft building management area includes services such as repair, maintenance, remodelling, and modernisation as well as numerous craft services
Schultz Group Window Cleaning
Strong demand: Infrastructural facility management with services such as building cleaning and maintenance of outdoor facilities is an important area for the Schultz Group

Wirtschaftsforum: Are specific services from your four business areas in particularly high demand, and do you focus on certain industries?

Dieter Lenuweit: It varies greatly. Some customers commission both technical and infrastructural facility management, while other orders relate exclusively to one or the other, or to the remaining areas – it's like a menu where everyone chooses what they want. We receive many inquiries for technical facility management, i.e., the repair and maintenance of technical systems within buildings. However, infrastructural facility management, with services such as building cleaning and the maintenance of outdoor areas, is also an important sector. We have 570 customers from various industries: insurance companies, hospitals, public sector, housing companies – so we serve both the private sector and public clients.

Wirtschaftsforum: Why, in your opinion, do customers commission the Schultz Group and not another provider?

Dieter Lenuweit: This is certainly due to the fact that the Schultz Group can offer all building management services from a single source. On the other hand, we assign a personal contact person to each customer who takes care of their concerns here with us, allowing us to serve the customer comprehensively.

Wirtschaftsforum: In which vicinity do you offer your services? Are there locations other than in Hamburg?

Dieter Lenuweit: We are set up in Northern Germany and work from Flensburg to northern Lower Saxony and Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. Our central administration is located in Hamburg, but we also have additional branches in Rostock, Heide, Lübeck, and Brunsbüttel.

Schultz Group Construction Division
Good collaboration: The Schultz Group employs about 1,000 employees. The company is constantly looking for additional skilled workers for all areas of facility management
Schultz Group Maintenance
The Technical Building Management includes, among other things, heating and plumbing, refrigeration technology, building control technology, and ventilation technology

Wirtschaftsforum: The recent years of crisis and war have posed challenges for many companies, such as supply chain issues, price increases, or rising energy costs. How has the Schultz Group dealt with these difficulties?

Dieter Lenuweit: All of this naturally had an impact on our business operations. However, it was to our advantage that we maintain a very partnership-oriented relationship with our customers and are in constant dialogue with them. Since our clients were mostly facing the same problems, we encountered a great deal of understanding from them. Of course, we could only pass on price increases to a certain extent. Despite everything, we were able to maintain our services during this time. Especially in the construction industry, we felt the limitations, but since we mostly work with existing customers in inhabited and used properties, it's mainly about standard services where the contracts continue. This cushioned the situation for us.

Wirtschaftsforum: Your industry is very labor-intensive. Currently, you employ over 1,000 workers. How do you deal with the shortage of skilled labor?

Dieter Lenuweit: This issue naturally concerns us as well – we have more inquiries than we can handle. Therefore, we are urgently looking for skilled professionals in all areas. Our corporate culture speaks for us because we live diversity: People from 51 nations work with us. Everyone is welcome here!

Wirtschaftsforum: How should the Schultz Group continue to develop in the future?

Dieter Lenuweit: We want to continue to grow, both through organic growth and possibly through acquisition. In the future, we also want to utilize the synergies between the various companies in our group more effectively. A very important future topic for us is to become increasingly sustainable and to work with recycled and recyclable materials.