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Poland has been a partner country to Jäger Gummi und Kunststoff for a long time. This Hannover-based company has been manufacturing in Poland for years – and is expanding its capacities there again at the start of 2017. Jäger Gummi und Kunststoff customers value the firm's expertise in developing, producing and sourcing technical parts made of rubber, plastic and composite materials. This key supplier is showcasing its expertise and products again next April at the Industrial Supply trade show at HANNOVER MESSE. Jäger Gummi und Kunststoff belongs to the international Jäger Group. Here Hans-Ulrich von Tippelskirch, CEO of Jäger Gummi und Kunststoff, discusses his company's close ties to Poland.

Jäger Gummi und Kunststoff has been present in Poland with its Gryfino site since 2012, and you are now expanding your production there once again. Why?

Our total of more than 20 years of experience in Poland has shown that we have the ideal conditions there for manufacturing qualitatively sophisticated technical products. This success is due in large part to the many friendly and loyal people there with a high level of craftsmanship. Our Polish workers are extremely dedicated and proud to be a part of a successful family-run company.

What was your capacity in Poland until now, and what additional capacity is offered by the new site?

Up until now there were 100 people working at our Gryfino site. The new premises are designed for growth with new product introductions. Many of these – some protected by our own patents – are already in the sampling phase. With a focus on large projects, the Gryfino site will become an expertise center for the manufacture of innovative products and modules made of rubber and plastic. Jäger will create more jobs as this program advances. In its final phase, the plant is designed for a workforce of 300.

What do you like most about Poland as a location for industry?

One obvious advantage is that Poland is an EU member country and located near Germany. But our proximity is not just geographic; we also share values. An advantageous cost-performance ratio and sympathetic municipal authorities also play a role.

What are some of your experiences here as a foreign investor?

The local authorities are very supportive of foreign investors, although the bureaucratic hurdles were pretty daunting in the early days. But once trust has been established, then discussions take place much more as equals at the table. People are always looking for solutions, and after decisions have been made they're quickly implemented.

What kind of local presence does your company cultivate?

Jäger is locally engaged in social projects. For example, we regularly support the local preschool, where many children of Jäger employees are enrolled. This helps our team members find an easier work-life balance for themselves and their families. And our company benefits. We also actively participate in local apprenticeship programs, to improve and promote training for the workers we need. A dual study apprenticeship model is also being planned.

How strong are the connections between the parent company and the individual locations?

All our sites express our corporate culture, with its balance between performance and a human approach. This is what the Jäger family stands for. Because other Jäger subsidiaries also carry out manufacturing, there is intensive exchange of expertise. This skills exchange is valued by all, and often also gives rise to personal friendships, that are anchored in shared cross-border activities such as our soccer tournament. Sometimes the great distances between sites hinder personal contacts, but our employee magazine publishes news about all our subsidiaries worldwide, reporting on what is new and interesting in our group.