Keyvisual PFLITSCH Hückeswagen

PFLITSCH is actively involved in the ZVEI

Carsten Wohlrath,
Head of Sales
Josef Bauer,
Head of Exports

The ZVEI is one of Germany’s most important industry associations. It represents the electrical industry and therefore the interests of around 900,000 employees in Germany alone. Among its members are global players as well as medium-sized and family businesses. The association itself employs some 160 people, who are eagerly supported by a further 5,000+ volunteers from its member companies. These include two managers from PFLITSCH: Head of Sales Carsten Wohlrath and Head of Exports Josef Bauer.

Congratulations Mr Wohlrath, you have been re-elected to the board as a delegate of ZVEI’s regional office for North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). You have held this post since 2011. Why?

Carsten Wohlrath: ZVEI’s regional association for NRW represents the interests of the electrical industry vis-à-vis politics, associations, government authorities and other institutions. We believe that it’s important we play an active role in shaping this process and highlight our own corporate concerns through this medium. The ZVEI is our strongest lobby here in NRW, the country’s most highly populated state.

Mr Bauer, you have been a member of the ZVEI Foreign Trade Committee since 2010 and concern yourself with all issues relating to trade and development policy, foreign trade and the economic policy concerns of the electrical engineering and electronics industry. How do you evaluate the work of the association?

Josef Bauer: As one of its leading suppliers, it goes without saying that we are committed to the industry. Apart from that, we also benefit from the contact we have with industry rivals and partners and secure a valuable knowledge lead for ourselves through our activities in the association.

What exactly does the association do? What issues does the ZVEI cover?

Josef Bauer: The ZVEI and its members see themselves as pacesetters of technical progress. Accordingly, digitalisation, Industry 4.0, energy, mobility, cyber security and education & research rank among the key topics of interest to the association. Innovative approaches meet with in-depth industry knowledge at ZVEI – that’s what makes the diversity of information, newsletters, industry barometers and workshops so exciting in our eyes.

What issues is the association currently dealing with?

Carsten Wohlrath: The NRW regional office, with its 280 or so member companies, is currently pursuing the following key issues: energy efficiency, grid expansion, smart building services, medical engineering and electromobility. Furthermore, the regional office is actively bringing the know-how of the ZVEI to the process of the NRW Climate Protection Plan.

What opportunities for participation do you have through the association?

Josef Bauer: We conduct an intensive transfer of knowledge, we help define new standards and provide practice-oriented support to the committees and policymakers in new fields of technology – all through the ZVEI.

Carsten Wohlrath: We also exert influence on far-reaching decisions, such as technical standards or the development of new fields of training. It’s precisely in these areas that we bring matters and situations actually experienced by PFLITSCH to the table and present practical solutions for complex stories. Our customers also benefit from our work for the association, because it allows us to keep in step with the times and know what lies in store for the industry.

Mr Bauer, as an exports expert, how do you assess current developments?

Josef Bauer: The subject of foreign trade law has become increasingly complex and complicated over the last 20 years. European and national regulations restrict the freedom of movement of companies. The risk of being unconsciously and unexpectedly confronted with restrictions or prohibitions has increased. We are trying, through the association, to pave the way for the future.

Carsten Wohlrath: To an ever greater extent we find ourselves having to deal with the effects of global politics, be it Brexit or working together with non-EU countries and the major industrial nations such as the USA and China. Here, too, our work on behalf of the association is of real benefit to us, because we, as a global player, get to know how markets are developing very early on.

To what extent do your customers benefit from your association activities?

Carsten Wohlrath: Our involvement in ZVEI complements our work in various other committees. It’s important to us to implement new technologies and developments at an early stage to the benefit of our customers. Our goal is always to meet the requirements of tomorrow today. This is of particular benefit to our customers if we succeed.