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"We may not be the musketeers. But we stand together just the same."

IndustryArena on May 7, 2024 at 11:30 AM

Interview with Christian Kimmich, Head of Marketing at ARNO Werkzeuge, one of the hottest developers of tool systems and a reliable partner to the machining industry worldwide.

IndustryArena: Mr Kimmich, ARNO has been developing tool systems for 4 generations. According to you, 2023 was the year with the highest turnover in your company's history. And that despite the generally difficult global economic situation. How do you explain your success and what makes ARNO different?

Christian Kimmich:  The increase in sales of around four per cent compared to the previous year is primarily due to growth in Germany. We have around 30 application consultants here and are always close to our customers. Simon Storf, one of our Managing Directors, sees customer proximity through competent on-site consulting as the decisive factor: "This pleasing record confirms previous decisions and our focus on being close to customers and users with a great deal of consulting expertise." In terms of products, there has been an above-average increase in the number of tools manufactured in-house and always available for consultation-intensive processes.

With CELLARNO, you also run your own very successful online shop. What is the recipe for success here and how do you ensure a high level of customer satisfaction?

The recipe for success of our online shop is that we put the customer at the centre and try to understand the requirements and needs of our customers and develop digital functions accordingly. We regularly ask our customers about their requirements and needs and carry out usability tests with them. The aim is not to increase sales by X per cent every year, but to guide customers quickly to the product they need.

You also 'translate' your company slogan "WE LIVE QUALITY TOOLING" on your homepage as "we leave nothing to chance". Can you briefly describe what exactly this means?

We actively look at what is needed in the market and how good products can be made even better. At the same time, we listen very carefully to our customers and understand their challenges. This also enables us to develop customised solutions. This is possible because we have development and production under one roof at ARNO and can quickly recognise what is possible thanks to our close cooperation.

The best solution for our customers is therefore not found by chance, but through detailed analyses of the initial situation by our experienced application engineers on site, test runs and optimisations, as well as through the development of specially adapted custom solutions;

Your company history now spans an impressive 80 years, during which you have certainly had to overcome many challenges. What challenges are you currently facing in particular?

Today's challenges include the well-known shortage of skilled labour, but also the increasing importance of brand management. We want to make our employer brand more attractive to the outside world and increase awareness among future employees. But we also need to explain ourselves as ARNO Werkzeuge to potential customers in Germany and, above all, abroad.

And are there any events that you would describe as milestones in the company's history?

In 1967, we started selling indexable carbide inserts for turning and milling, which is still one of our core areas today. Our entry into grinding technology in 1989 also represents an important point in our company history. Since then, we have utilised the expertise we have built up in this field in the turning and sliding headstock turning sector and grind over 2.5 million indexable inserts every year. Another milestone was the establishment of several subsidiaries in the 2000s, which also enabled us to grow abroad. Most recently, the merger of the two companies Emil Arnold and Karl-Heinz Arnold in 2021 and the entry of the 4th generation into the management team should be mentioned.

Your company is rated above average by employees in your industry on 'Kununu', the well-known online platform for employee reviews in Germany. 
What do you do specifically and why to ensure that employees feel comfortable at ARNO?

There is no one specific measure here. At ARNO, the most important thing is our employees. They are the key to our success. We may not be the musketeers. But we stand together just the same. We utilise synergies and expertise, we bring different experts together and work on extraordinary solutions. In flat hierarchies, always at eye level, it's the cause, the idea and its feasibility and realisation that count. Respect, equality and appreciation are exemplified at ARNO from the highest to the lowest level. This is in our DNA.

Do you have plans to expand further and open up additional countries, e.g. through additional branches or co-operations with sales partners abroad?

No expansion is planned at the moment. We would currently like to expand our existing co-operations and thus penetrate further into the markets.

Can you name one or two outstanding goals that drive ARNO Werkzeuge and that you would like to achieve in the short or long term?

The overriding goal is to improve the customer experience. We want to be our customers' first point of contact for sophisticated machining solutions. That's what drives us. We also want to offer customers customised digital solutions and services in the future. We are working flat out on this.

Mr Kimmich, many thanks for your time and the exciting interview.

For more information about ARNO Werkzeuge click here.

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