David versus Goliath

In competition, it is the size of the vision that is decisive, not the number of employees

With professional product management and specific innovations, people like Markus Gadringer make Fill one of the world's leading machine builders.

Sportunion Taiskirchen is a feared opponent on the center courts of regional league Landesliga West. Time and again, the little club surprises with outstanding achievements. A fluke? A fortunate collection of exceptional sporting talent? Or is there more to it than that?

Markus Gadringer is the club chairman. He is usually the most emotional spectator at his athletes' matches. He also holds the position of Product Manager at Fill, where he is responsible for the further development of the successful SYNCROMILL machine series.

He is actually a qualified dairyman and cheese maker, who retrained to become a radio and television repairman, electrician, and PLC programmer, which is what eventually led him to Fill. Someone with so many special talents does not go unnoticed in Gurten. For a while, he carried out electrical installations and PLC programming for different machines and soon became a software programmer.

"Above all, I was always interested in machine tools with NC control. Each project was unique and built especially for the customer, which required a considerable amount of effort and brainpower from all departments."

//Markus Gadringer, Product Manager

The flat hierarchy and open communication within the company allowed the team to draw upon experiences, setbacks, and insights in the respective follow-up project. The results were a continuous improvement in machine performance and, consequently, more success in the market.

In 2011, the management team led by Andreas Fill made the decision to utilize the insights gained and focus on standardization. An unusual step for a specialist machine builder. Markus was offered the position of Product Manager. Although he was well aware of the enormous challenge, he did not hesitate for long before seizing this professional opportunity. With his team, he continued to press ahead with the standardization processes, until the SYNCROMILL machine tools were finally presented to an amazed audience at the EMO trade fair in Hannover in 2013.

"The task of our team was to standardize metalworking machine tools. Back then, this goal appeared unachievable for a special machine builder. But, over time, the machines became more and more standardized in terms of design and execution, which also made installation and commissioning more effective."

//Markus Gadringer, Product Manager

The SYNCROMILL machine family is one of the greatest successes in the company's history. Its elegant design constantly allows new variants and options. In accordance with the traditions of the specialist machine engineer, adaptations to particular customer requirements form part of the success of the series production machines from Gurten.

The story with Sportunion Taiskirchen can probably also be explained in this way. If a club chairman is accustomed to thinking outside the box, identifying and acknowledging qualities and ideas, forming teams, and inspiring them, then this is a decisive competitive advantage. An advantage that allows a club to succeed – just like a company – and punch well above its weight.

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