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Stubai KSHB is part of a cooperative comprising 24 separate companies, each of which is a specialist in a specific product category. “We form the competence center for forging activities,” describes Managing Director Ernst Dummer. “Our sister company Stubai ZMV is responsible for the sales and marketing of a range of hand tools for which we supply the blanks.”

The cooperative is known for its wide range of pliers, sockets and spanners, woodworking, construction, forestry and roofing tools, cutlery, and anchoring bolts.

In addition, Stubai KSHB specializes in the die forging of complex components for a range of industries. These include motorcycle frame components, sling hooks and fixing bolts.

“We have relatively few key accounts and work for a highly diverse customer base,” says Mr. Dummer. “This is a strategic decision that ensures we are not dependent on any one client or industry for orders.”

In return, Stubai KSHB provides its clients with a turnkey product. It specializes in small and medium series production and aims to supply the parts directly to the client for fitting into their products without the need for further processing.

“We carry out the forging, pressing, stamping heat treatment, machining and assembly of the parts we supply right through to delivering them in saleable packaging,” says Mr. Dummer. “All of our customers are leaders in their fields, and we are among their key suppliers. Their success is our success.”

This strategy has brought the company steady growth since it was established in this form in 2000. “In 2007, our turnover was 17.7 million EUR with a staff of 127,” says Mr. Dummer. “Last year we had sales of 28.5 million EUR with 150 employees. We have a much leaner management structure than many of our competitors and can react extremely quickly to our customers’ requirements. We also use our manufacturing expertise to advise our clients at the design stage of new components and point out any potential problems before the part goes into production.”

Stubai KSHB is bucking a trend that has seen much of Europe’s heavy industry relocate to Asia. Instead it has found a specialist niche in which it can flourish with the strength of an established cooperative behind it.

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