2023 – an eventful year full of unique experiences, but also some challenges, is drawing to a close. Once again, it has been shown that committed collaboration and a spirit of partnership make many things simpler and easier.
As a result of supply chains that remain sensitive and a tense business climate in the German electrical and digital industry, particularly in the second half of the year, we are operating in a difficult market environment that is likely to continue to characterise the first few months of the new year. This makes it all the more significant that we were able to make numerous advances in 2023, drive projects forward and expand our product portfolio.
Increasing our delivery performance was and is particularly important in order to meet our customers' desired deadlines as best as possible. Thanks to comprehensive efforts in procurement, production and logistics, we were once again able to achieve over 90 per cent on-time deliveries. In addition, the integration of the third high-bay warehouse and the use of new, autonomous transport vehicles in production operations will have a positive impact on our production and delivery performance in the new year.
Trade fairs are one of the most suitable platforms for presenting our products to customers and interested parties and finding out in direct dialogue what their needs are and how we can provide the best possible support for their challenges with our solutions. We are convinced of this. It is therefore all the more pleasing that, even after the pandemic, trade fairs are once again a popular place to find out all about the latest industry trends and developments.
Our personal highlight this year was the Hanover trade fair with the visit of Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz to the Wöhner booth as part of his opening tour. But our trade fair appearances in Brazil and Finland, at automatica in Munich and at SPS in Nuremberg also provided good opportunities to present our new products and innovations. The trade fair calendar for the coming year is already well filled – on the one hand with fixed events such as the Hanover trade fair or the SPS in Nuremberg and on the other hand with regional trade fairs to get in touch with our customers in specific sectors.
In addition to numerous improvements to existing components, the focus of our product exhibitions at this year’s trade fairs was primarily on new products that contribute to energy efficiency, resource conservation and the digitisation of the control cabinet, such as CrossMT and MIEZ, our measurement technology modules. As an expert in the intelligent and efficient distribution of electrical energy, we see it as our task to provide decisive impetus for a rethought energy supply in Germany and worldwide with the pioneering technologies that Wöhner stands for, and to play our part in the energy transition.
For 2024, we have groundbreaking innovations in our product pipeline to build power distribution systems that enable the energy transition. Firstly, the 185Power system will be expanded with additional components and secondly, we will present our first products for DC applications to set new standards in direct current distribution for renewable energies.
Our close-knit customer and partner network is particularly important for the development of such pioneering technologies. We bring together ideas and new technologies in constructive discussions and close dialogue in order to develop the solutions of tomorrow. My role as a member of the Board of the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI) since May of this year has given me further opportunities to help shape the development of the industry and drive forward dialogue between business, politics and science.
Various awards that emphasise the innovative technology and pioneering design of our products are both recognition and an incentive to continue developing sustainable solutions for our customers with passion, courage and a spirit of innovation. Two innovation awards made us particularly proud this year: we received the ‘Schaltschrankbau Innovation Award’ from the specialist magazine ‘Schaltschrankbau’ published by Tedo Verlag for the electronic measurement technology module CrossMT. It was also honoured with the German Innovation Award in Gold from the German Design Council.
The new year already holds a number of exciting projects in store. I am looking forward to tackling these together with my team and you.
I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas, peaceful and relaxing holidays and a good start to a happy and above all healthy New Year.