A global leader in metal recycling and
Please introduce yourself
Klaus: I'm Dr Klaus Hauschulte, Chief Executive Officer of Scholz Recycling GmbH
Why did you join Scholz?
Klaus: For me it's very simple. I really want to do something good for the environment. When I worked for Benteler, we utilized light weight for the fuel consumption of cars thus helped with CO2 reduction and at Siemens, we build wind turbines. Last year, I was building trains which had less fuel consumption and helped create urbanization by connecting the railway system. In my career, I am always dealing with metals because I wrote my PhD on recycling, cost optimization and early design phases. After a couple of weeks at Scholz, I find that we have many issues with the design for recycling example hybrid and carbon materials and not thinking about recycling. Here, I can do something different. In addition, to run a global company, I enjoy working in a multicultural environment and work with people abroad with different cultural background. I had supply chain responsibility and run plants in China for Siemens and Benteler and a joint venture with Shanghai electric. I think with this experience it can help me better understand and listen to ideas from our CEG shareholders.
How long have you been working at Scholz?
Klaus: I spent the first two months traveling around the world visiting all the most important sites such as in Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovenia, Denmark, and the U.S. This is also a clear signal into the operation. This is important that people are seeing the new face behind Scholz and you can also see that, so far, the feedbacks from the people are positive because I am an operational person. This helped me to see the different yards, our challenges and how to support them in the future.
From my perspective, one of the biggest challenges I have to face is to create a high performing leadership team and a "One Scholz Spirit" from my perspective. There is room for improvements. One of my positive experiences is meeting great people that are motivated and dedicated to Scholz even during challenging times for 2 to 3 years, they stuck with the company. Furthermore the global presence and variety of Services from Ferrous, Non-Ferrous, Plastics, Wood and Paper up to value adding services like disassembly, logistics, demolition, etc.
My task is not to teach them something about recycling; it is more to professionalize & streamline the processes and the business and bring the one company culture into Scholz and in order to improve our competitiveness. Here, I see lots of challenges because in comparison with some of our competitors we have old equipment and need to invest further. Also, in some areas of Liberty the basic foundation is missing. They are waiting for new cranes and containers that are necessary to run the business more efficiently. I think one of my current tasks is to work on our business strategy and open the doors to new suppliers and customers of scrap.
In the future, not only should we be in the commodity business but evaluating services, improve our value creation and logistics as well as developing a close relationship with our suppliers and customers. From my background, I worked in the automotive industry and on the "other side" from running shops, plants, optimize processing of steel mills to product creation and production processes. I still know most of the biggest suppliers to contact in order to find new business opportunities.
From my perspective, it is a good to have regular meetings with managers in CEG. It is Scholz connection with CEG and again, in the end we are one group relying on each other. We need to find opportunities, how to work together and optimize our global businesses.
Due to the import restrictions right now, we optimize the supply chain from Europe to China, maybe not only China but to all Asia. What are the greatest synergies you foresee?
Klaus: One of the answers is technology. I would say that in Europe, especially in Germany, Espenhain, we are a little bit far ahead compare to our competitors and I think we have to transfer some of those technologies also into other regions, including China and CEG. It is good that there are some projects already on the way.
What types of technology?
Klaus: It could be the motor shredding or downstream optimization. We need to have some technology to get the copper out from scraps without any human labour automatically. We have to think about how to transfer those technologies. We cannot copy it but we have to do it in an intelligent way.
So far has the company failed your expectations?
Klaus: I would say it's a clear no. It is very positive due to the knowledge and motivation of our people. The only hesitation I see is really the competition, market regulation, import restrictions, etc. so we have to do something now to be successful in the future. Right now, the market situation hurts a little bit and that was also the good result in 2017 which was also helpful to motivate the people and create stabilization. The first quarter in 2018 also look very promising. We could reach or overachieve in some areas our budget figures but we have to be careful what will be the development during the year. Therefore we have to use the good times right now in order to stabilize, to improve our processes and be ready for the times which are coming in the future.
I heard that you had an idea and wanted to use solar panels?
Klaus: Yeah. There's right now a discussion we have in the board meeting. That's a return investment. For internal use, we can in some cases up to 80% out of the energy consumption and save some money. More important, we can do something good for the environment which can help us create our brand in the recycling business.
Has any of our major competitors gotten into vehicle recycling or especially electric cars?
Klaus: Yes of course. There are many competitors already working on that. Sometimes there are smaller companies that are involved as well under our radar screen. The problem in Europe is clear. We are pushing in a political environment because right now there is a grey zone in Europe. It's kind of illegal that cars are going to South Africa or wherever, so we are pushing the politicians like in Norway and Denmark to come up with a regulation. In Norway and Sweden, they are the pre-runner for this kind of regulation that if you are the last owner of the car, you cannot right away sell it but have to make sure it is properly recycled by a certified recycling hub. You pay a fee up front and you have to do it in a right way.
If I ask you to list three things that you wish to bring to China? What would they be?
Klaus: The first one is technology because China is a growing market and there are many opportunities. On the other hand, I see there are many competitors that also want to enter the Chinese market with technologies. Technology will help make us more competitive and improve our efficiency. Also, we have to think about intelligent investment. The second one is trading activities. We must work together and bring the best to the company that means we are running the import and export and see where we can benefit. The third one is job opportunities and cultural experiences. Some people from China can join Scholz and the other way is to have our colleagues go to China.