Our longest serving warehouseman, Horst Baumgärtner, is retiring.

Horst Baumgärtner

The 43-year success story of a real Knoll institution.

As an employee from the beginning, Horst Baumgärtner is one of our longest serving employees. In February of this year at the age of 63, this hobby farmer from Mistelgau is ending his career and taking a well earned retirement. We say “all the best Horst!” and look back together with him to his very personal success story.

From desk to deliveries!

The trained warehouseman and logistician entered our company in 1973. After completing the final exam as an office management assistant, he quickly sought out a new challenge and found it in logistics and warehousing:

“I was initially used as a driver within the city then later trained for the two bigger delivery routes outside the city. At the time, our customers were supplied once a week with household appliances, vehicle spare parts and power tools. With the enlargement of the territory at the time, the number of routes increased quickly. In order to also stay ahead of the competition here, we delivered daily on a total of seven routes.”

How did it continue for you?

“In 1998, the vehicle pool was outsourced and the logistical separation of vehicle parts and household appliances completed. In the same year I started at Knoll Elektro wholesale. Here, my main duties were in the dispatch of white goods and brown goods to the electrical retailers. In 2011 I moved to warehousing in the newly founded Knoll Hydraulik GmbH at the Bindlach location, where I worked until leaving in February 2017.”

What was unthinkable at the time works now with a mouse click. What particularly changed in your career?

“During my training period as office management assistant, all warehouse movements were still recorded manually on an index card for each part. The administrative effort was correspondingly high. The transparency in the goods flow was, let us say, manageable. Simply something so obvious today as a pocket calculator was solved in those days with a mechanical calculator or in the head. Today the customer and our internal logistics profit from the advantages of a modern ERP system.”

Is there anything you can recommend to the young logistician for their future career?

“Work should be fun! That was always the most important thing for me and my personal motivation! It has also always been worthwhile to be open for anything new.”

Has it ever been boring for you in those 43 years?

“Definitely not (grinning). There were always new changes and challenges. Our IT and the hydraulics warehouse were a kind of perpetual vocational training. There was always something new to learn and a new way to make complex matters simpler to solve.”

What will you never forget?

“For sure the opening of the border (with East Germany) in 1989. The wholesale branch was in total chaos (grinning). Many retailers from the East came with their Trabants and Wartburgs with luggage racks and trailers to fetch household appliances and televisions. The whole yard was full of ordered appliances: in the evening all corridors in the warehouse were full to make space. Goods incoming and outgoing were no longer manageable. New routes had to be introduced, and external transport companies delivered the goods in the new federal states.”

What will you particularly miss?

“The many nice colleagues, companions and customers, some of whom have been loyal to us for over 40 years. It was a great time that I will always be happy to look back on!“

Here as well the whole Knoll team would like to thank him for his honest, open manner, his commitment and his decades of loyalty. We are happy that you remain available for occasional holiday cover.

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