Mueller Martini Marketing
VisitingLooking at the name Mueller Martini Marketing AG one
would think it's a marketing company. Nope, it's a manufacturing
concern with 4,000 employees, half of who are in Switzerland.
You know those newspapers and magazines you read? This company
makes those huge printing presses that prints em. Big conveyor
systems automatically route the freshly printed newspaper from
the presses to the loading docksguess who makes those too?
Mueller Martini also manufacturers bookbinding and print finishing
Founded in 1946, the head office for Mueller Martini is a drab,
five-story building on the outskirts of Zofingen. The red building
looks to have been built in the 1960's and sits next to one of
their factories. Though located in an industrial park area, directly
across the street stands a field of wheat. Zofingen, population
10,000, lies about a half-hour drive west of Zurich and contains
a beautiful old town in the city center.
You can't walk into the building but have to be buzzed in. I
buzz the buzzer and a man's voice says something in German. When
I start to speak the door buzzes so I open it and enter. The
lobby decor dates from the 1960's as I look around for a receptionist
or reception area. I find neither but spot a phone. I dial several
different numbers before someone answers. I explain to the woman
who I am and how I mailed a letter of introduction a month earlier
to CEO Rudolf Mueller. After briefly being put on hold the woman
comes back on the line and says CEO Mueller will be down shortly.
When Mueller appears I'm eyeing an oil painting hanging on a
wall dated 1968 and it's of a man wearing a suit. There's no
name underneath so I ask who it is. "It's my father",
Asking how many people work in the head office turns into a tricky
proposition as Mueller says there really isn't a head office
as Mueller Martini Marketing is a holding company with global
operations. After going back and forth I finally tell Mueller
that to me, wherever he hangs his hat--then that's the head office.
It's here that he hangs his hat the most and so how many people
does he say work in the head office? One. The accommodating Mueller
extends a friendly reception but I get the feeling that answering
questions about the company isn't the norm for this low-key,
Parking is plentiful, smoking in the workplace is possible, the
company cafeteria serves hot food and there's no onsite recreational
facilities. It's five minutes to the nearest freeway, 35 minutes
to Zurich's airport, no formal dress code, covered parking for
cyclists and employee perks include discounts at local merchants.
I count three plants (real), note the computer and the globe
in Mueller's corner office. On one wall hangs a framed drawing
of the town of Zofingen back in 1836 and on another is a framed
picture of Mueller's father. The view out his window? Rolling
hillsides of farmland.
Before leaving I ask for some background/history on the company.
We head down to the communications area where Mueller spends
at least 10 minutes going through various file cabinets looking
for literature in English. No luck. I mention this because later
I go to the company's website, do a Google search and can't find
a single reference to the company's annual revenues. Darn, I
should have asked him.
Company's website: www.mullermartini.com