Entrepreneurism, grit, leadership, innovation… these are all traits of the family-owned businesses that are the backbone of economies around the world. For the over 140 years since Leitz was founded by Albert Leitz in Oberkochen, Germany, Leitz is proud to have remained a family-owned company. In 1876, taking advantage of his proximity to the state-owned steelworks of Swabia, Germany, Albert Leitz began producing drills, saw blades, and axes from the high-grade steel of the region. Today, Leitz manufactures one of the largest catalogs of woodworking and advanced material cutting tools and employs about 4,000 employees worldwide in it’s 14 production locations in Europe, Asia, and America. Leitz also holds 250 patents.
Leitz owns much of their success as a family-owned business to the leadership of Dr. Dieter Brucklacher. From 1974 to 2016, Dr. Brucklacher set the company’s strategic vision, promoting growth and internationalization through innovation, pioneering technology, and quality. He also felt it incredibly important that Leitz customers continue to receive face-to-face consultative service from their Leitz representatives. Even in this age of emerging technologies that forced many organizations to choose convenience over personalization, he worked to expand Leitz’ network of sales and service companies around the world to ensure the individual, one-on-one service and expertise Leitz customers’ have come to know and respect.
After Dr. Brucklacher’s passing in 2016, his daughter Dr. Cornelia Brucklacker took the lead of the organization and relies on her father’s values to shape her vision. Dr. Cornelia Brucklacker is the is the great-great-granddaughter of Albert Leitz and the fifth generation of the family to manage Leitz. “Ensuring the satisfaction of our customers and their economic success, from small-scale producers to global industrial companies, has been, and remains, at the core of our business of over 140 years of tradition,” she said.
Leitz is honored to have their story featured in the book From a Good Family (Aus Bester Familie), by Dr. Florian Langenscheidt, which highlights over 100 exemplary German family-owned businesses. From a Good Family is published by the Zeit Publishing Group and is in its third edition. Dr. Langenscheidt notes the power of family-owned businesses in the introduction of the book by saying, “Family enterprises are flexible and innovative. They think in terms of generations, not quarterly earnings. They make quick decisions that are also sustainable. They do business with no small measure of social responsibility and do not look at their trusted business partners as mere cash cows. What is more, family-owned businesses find a way to connect the rational business world with the emotional world of the family.”
Leitz has been a pioneer in the industry since it’s foundation. Developing the application of carbide as a cutting material, developing the first polycrystalline diamond cutting material for wood processing, and introducing the first tool with an electronic memory chip are among many of Leitz’ achievements. There is no doubt that this ability to innovate and evolve is directly related to the values that come with being a family-owned business.
“The culture and values of Leitz, a family-owned business, are the result of long-term vision and sustainable action. In this regard, we are conscious of our responsibilities to our employees, our clients, and wider society. We consider ourselves one part of a community with a common purpose, and act with the awareness that the company’s success ultimately depends on the performance of the people working within it,” comments Dr. Cornelia Brucklacker, Chair of the Advisory Board and Group Shareholder for Leitz.
To learn more about the history of Leitz Tooling, visit www.leitz.org/history.