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Quality paradox

The ambition to constantly improve quality is what drives Deutsche Werkstätten. In order to do something better you have to dedicate more time and effort, which in turn pushes up the costs. Not all clients are prepared to pay these costs. On the one hand you have the paradoxical situation that by improving quality you reduce the number of potential clients. On the other hand, the new standards achieved present different possibilities and access to new clients. Fritz Straub talks about a ‘re-interpretation of craftsmanship’, that is to say craftsmanship combined with high-tech and permanent innovation. To work in this environment employees must have the confidence and freedom to take responsibility for their own work. Developing this kind of work ethic is just as much a permanent process as quality development.

The will to experiment, to try something new without knowing what the outcome might be, is another inherent quality of Deutsche Werkstätten. This ‘risk culture’, having the courage to experiment and make mistakes, is something Fritz Straub encourages.  However, he himself is quick to point out, “If I think we are going in the wrong direction I am the first to say ‘Stop!’” Being able to react and take decisions quickly is just as important and a vital element in Deutsche Werkstätten’s successful approach.

Surface finishing in the workshop © Photo: Jürgen Jeibmann