"Want customers to feel well taken care of!"

Interview with Daniel Kunze, Executive Management of sta Schalltechnische Anlagen GmbH

STA Soundproofing - Soundproofing for a conveyor system
Large dimensions: Soundproofing for a conveyor system

Noise makes you sick. That's why it is also important at the workplace to protect against noise. sta Schalltechnische Anlagen GmbH from Hamm/Sieg specializes in this and offers individual solutions to protect people at work from noise. We spoke with Daniel Kunze from the executive management about small and large solutions for customers, digitalization, and sustainability.

Wirtschaftsforum: Mr. Kunze, why do your customers choose solutions from sta Schalltechnische Anlagen GmbH?

Daniel Kunze: First, there is the consultation, which is very important to us. Here, we are very solution-oriented and do not offer the most expensive option. With sound insulation, we have various possibilities that are functionally identical but differ in terms of appearance and therefore price. In addition, quality is also central to us. We fundamentally want our customers to feel well taken care of with us.

Wirtschaftsforum: What does your portfolio look like? What can customers expect from sta?

Daniel Kunze: We have two safety-technical products: sound protection and laser protection. With sound protection, it's about reducing noise from machines. It's important to protect the employees who work directly in the vicinity of such a machine.

Daniel Kunze, Management of sta Schalltechnische Anlagen GmbH
Daniel Kunze, Management of sta Schalltechnische Anlagen GmbH

Hearing damage is indeed one of the main causes of occupational disability in Germany. To prevent this, we encase such machines. The range extends from small facilities measuring 2 x 1.5 meters to complex solutions for the automotive industry, where metal sheets are formed. Such facilities can be up to 160 meters long, 40 meters wide, and 20 meters high. Since 2012, we have also included laser protection in our portfolio. Our systems protect against injuries caused by laser beams in production processes. In 2015, we also added flexible room systems as a supplement to our range. These are simpler room-within-a-room solutions, for example, for break rooms or master offices in large halls.

sta Acoustic Systems - Company Headquarters
A thriving company: Corporate building of sta Acoustic Systems in Hamm/Sieg, Rhineland-Palatinate
sta Acoustic Systems - Joint Venture between Schuler and Porsche in Halle
Joint Venture between Schuler and Porsche in Halle: Soundproofing in the Smart Press Shop

Wirtschaftsforum: sta is a family business. Please tell us something about its history.

Daniel Kunze: In 2003, my father Roger Kunze and Josef Theis took over the company just before insolvency, revived it, and developed it successfully. In 2007, we moved to a new property and expanded from 3,000 to 20,000 m2. Today, we employ 90 people and generate a revenue of nearly twelve million EUR. My father and Josef Theis each hold 50% of the shares.

Wirtschaftsforum: What is your geographical coverage?

Daniel Kunze: Most of our customers are in Germany, but with a share of 10 to 20%, we also operate worldwide. We have already supplied systems to South Africa, China, India, and the USA.

Wirtschaftsforum: How is sales organized at sta?

Daniel Kunze: The Theis family is very active here. Michael Theis, Josef Theis's son, is now managing director taking care of it. Additionally, his sister Sandra is the sales manager. Also, our customers are supported by an internal service and an external service.

Wirtschaftsforum: How do you draw potential new customers' attention to yourself?

Daniel Kunze: We have significantly intensified our marketing efforts in recent years. Thus, we are present on the internet and on common social media – not only for self-promotion but also for recruiting new employees. We use search engine optimization to be quickly found under the keyword 'soundproofing'. Together with a partner company, we also exhibit at Euroblech in Hannover.

sta Soundproofing Systems - Room-in-Room Solution
Room-in-Room Solution: Flexible systems can be used as break rooms or as foreman's offices in large halls

Wirtschaftsforum: Is digitalization a major issue at your company?

Daniel Kunze: Inspired by my bachelor's thesis in 2018, manufacturing planning and control at our company are now digitally organized. With our new ERP system, we are at about 95%. Everything is largely interconnected. For example, there is an interface between ERP and CAD. Also, our invoices are generated digitally, and within the next two to three years, we want to work completely paper-free.

Wirtschaftsforum: No company can ignore sustainability today. How are you doing in that regard?

Daniel Kunze: For 2023 and 2024, we are certified as a carbon-neutral company. Starting May 2024, we will generate more electricity through solar energy than we consume, plant around 1,500 trees annually, and source our materials from partner companies nearby.

Wirtschaftsforum: Impressive. And what are the plans for the coming years?

Daniel Kunze: At the beginning of 2025, there will be a generational change, and Michael Theis and I will take over the company shares from our fathers. We plan to open a first sales office outside Germany in France and later in the USA. We are intensely exploring the opportunities presented by artificial intelligence and want to further expand digital manufacturing. Here, moderate growth is our general goal.