Despite its group structures and sites all over Germany, R+S Group AG sees itself as a medium-sized company. CEO Ralph Burkhardt stressed this in a conversation with the board of the SME & Business Association (MIT) in the Fulda district. “It is important for us as a major employer to be regionally anchored. We get involved locally and are interested in a good network”.

The manual trades sector is facing great challenges and not everything is going well. “To position R+S for the future, we have initiated various measures. This also includes our strategy of becoming an employer brand,” says Burkhardt, who puts the focus on the human factor. Two major problems that challenge R+S: obstacles in the company’s way when it comes to tenders and personnel. “As in many trades, we have a lack of specialists and managers. One route that we have chosen and in which we are investing heavily is the recruitment of staff from abroad. But the authorities are making integration more difficult for us, for example by requiring fitters to prove that they have a permanent place of residence during installation. This is bureaucratic nonsense.”

Jürgen Diener, chairman of the 575-member SME Association, recognises the issue and says quite clearly: “Politicians are making a big mistake, especially with laws that are increasingly regulating our companies. If things go on like this, there will soon be no more small companies and it will be expensive for the big ones”. Concluding, the MIT district chief praised the commitment of the R+S Group and emphasised: “We are glad that there are companies like R+S in our region”.

The board of the SME & Business Association (MIT) in the Fulda district led by Jürgen Diener (4th from left) in discussion with R+S CEO Ralph Burkhardt (3rd from right).

Photo: R+S Group AG