Interview: Hans-Dieter Worch talks about CTA USA LLC

Could you give us an insight into the reasons and goals for opening the new CTA GmbH location in Baltimore?
Yes, with pleasure,
we see a large market for chemical-technical products in the USA.
On the one hand, we have a large market in DIY (Do It Yourself) – Americans love it and do a lot of repairs themselves at home.
On the other hand, we have large, internationally active companies that are very successful in the industrial sector.
Some of our customers are international global players, so we already have experience here. They have repeatedly requested our services for and in the US market.

Lastly we also see renewable energies as a rapidly and strongly growing market for us in the repair sector. Mention should be made here of the repair-/maintenance-products (masses) for wind turbines.
These represent new growth markets for us with local production in America for the US market. This means that almost no business is expected to be relocated from Germany to the USA, but in fact new business in and for the USA.
This is in line with our growth strategy for the “Production & Filling” business unit within the TUBEX Group.

What special skills and technologies will be used at the new production facility in Baltimore?
CTA’s long-term goal is to establish more or less the same production technology capabilities here. However, we are taking a prioritized approach and are starting with 2-component and tube filling. Expansion is planned in stages.

How has the opening of the Baltimore site affected CTA GmbH’s global presence and competitiveness?

That’s a good question, but it’s not so easy to answer and is partly based more on assessment than on customer feedback.

The global presence and therefore visibility of CTA has increased significantly. I see this as particularly advantageous for globally active companies, which are guaranteed a uniform quality standard in filling and packaging. It remains to be seen to what extent this will improve competitiveness.

How is the cooperation between the teams in Germany and the USA?

I have noticed a good and friendly working relationship. For example, when I look at the joint team performance in February with the installation, commissioning and initial filling of 2k products in the USA, it fills me with great pride and satisfaction. Here, two companies within one group are growing together to form a business unit bottling plant. This creates new potential for us internally in terms of synergies and the exchange of experience.

What are CTA GmbH’s long-term goals for the Baltimore site and how does the company plan to achieve them?

In the long term, we want to establish a CTA-USA based on the model (in terms of technology and sales) of CTA GmbH in Ludwigsburg. To achieve this, we first need to build up a healthy customer structure with a good mix of major international customers and local medium-sized US companies.

In the first step, we will expand our cooperation with major customers in America from Germany, primarily through the good contacts of our key account managers.

This will be followed in the second and subsequent steps by the establishment of a local sales team and a prudent and gradual expansion of the US organization.

What are the recruiting and development plans for CTA employees in the US?

This is a broad field of possibilities and opportunities for our existing workforce in the US as well as here in Ludwigsburg, as well as for local job seekers in the Maryland and Baltimore area. In other words, we are planning for healthy growth and will grow the organization with the employees in the US accordingly.

What industry trends and challenges does CTA GmbH see for the future? How is the company positioning itself to respond to them?

Thanks to our broad diversification in a wide range of industries and markets, CTA is little or not at all influenced by individual trends.

However, we also want to consistently exploit new opportunities as they arise. Today, I see these primarily in the area of sustainable energy, from wind power to batteries, which need to be maintained and repaired. As well as what I see as a growing after-sales market in the automotive and transportation sector.

The weakening economy, coupled with inflation, means that the decision to make a new investment is often made in favor of repairs.

I see a growing challenge in the development of wages in Germany. As an industrialized country, we lead the EU statistics here and, in conjunction with the next minimum wage increase, will climb to third place among all EU countries this year. This is a development that should not be underestimated, especially in the service sector of contract filling and packaging. Countries such as Poland and Hungary are more than half below our direct wage costs. A good concept for the CTA in Europe needs to be developed here, which combines a good and clever combination of a technological focus in Germany and low-cost production in Eastern Europe.

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