It has been ten months since Muller Martini and Kolbus set their joint course for the future. The cultures of the two companies have quickly merged – after all, we have the same DNA.
To be honest, I was also completely surprised when I found out at the end of January that Muller Martini was taking over the perfect binder and bookline business from Kolbus. But following the initial brief shock, it quickly became clear to me: When two renowned companies at the same level and with a similar corporate culture merge, then something good is bound to come of it. And that is apparently how my colleagues here in Rahden view things as well. Of the 250 Kolbus employees that were to join Muller Martini as part of the takeover, every single one of them, without exception, signed a new employment contract back in January. (And since then, only a few, in the course of normal headcount fluctuations, have given notice).
Of course, friends and sometimes even customers ask me how long we’ll be able to continue building perfect binders and booklines here. I can understand why there are concerns about the future in Rahden, where one in four people work at Kolbus. But my reassuring answers are always the same: First, Muller Martini’s senior management has always said that it intends to continuing producing machines in Rahden. Second, since the acquisition, Muller Martini Bookbinding Systems GmbH, as our new company is officially known, has increased its headcount from 250 to 265 and created new departments. Third, we are currently renovating and modernizing our offices. And fourth, as Kolbus has its own IT systems, we are currently in the process of implementing SAP. We would hardly be making all of these investments if we were not convinced that there is a successful future for the Rahden location.