Reinhold Wenig has dedicated his career to SORG, including positions as commercial director for SORG Feuerungsbau (SFB), Managing Director of SFB and Glasofenbau Leipzig, CEO of SKS, and Managing Director of EME. After taking the decision to retire, Wenig shares his thoughts on the Group, best working practices, and the future of the glass industry.
Question 1) What drew you to start working in the glass industry?
I came in contact with SORG by chance and was fascinated by the physical calculations connected to building a furnace.
Question 2) What is your favourite thing about working for the SORG Group?
The open cooperation with all the colleagues and also the shareholders.
Question 3) How the SORG Group has supported your development?
The shareholders always trusted my knowledge, which was allied to a pleasing degree of independence.
Question 4) Could you please describe your role?
It was always my mindset that as a Managing Director, you have to take care of everything. The most important task is managing people. The basis should always be a healthy combination of “encouraging” and “setting standards”.
Question 5) Do you have any mentors in your professional life?
I believe it was Adolf Knauer, the technical director of SFB at that time, who recommended me for the position of commercial director. And, of course, the shareholders, as a result.
Question 6) How has the company changed over the course of your career?
The empiricism was proven by reproducible technical facts. Today’s furnace building is based on these facts.
Question 7) How do you see the glass industry developing in the next 20 years?
Glass is a healthy material, especially in the food industry sector. For this reason, I see a stable future for glass despite the problems regarding energy procurement. Ecological problems will not lead the glass industry to shrink – SORG’s further development of furnace technology will help avoid this.
Question 8) What has been your favourite project?
The complete furnace breakdown in Achern because SFB succeeded in completely reinstalling the 120 m² furnace within 64 days with a highly engaged team and refractory material from its in-house storage.
Question 9) What is your greatest accomplishment?
There is no single person’s greatest success. Everything is based on the success of a team and therefore the whole company.
Question 10) What is the most exciting part of your job?
To analyse processes and associated numbers, to react to them organisationally, and to act. To be a good boss to my employees, allowing for their individual characteristics.
Question 11) What motivated you at work?
The positive feedback of customers, colleagues, and shareholders.
Question 12) What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it?
To combine work and family. Only thanks to the immense support of my wife was I able to invest the required time into my profession.
Question 13) What do you think is going to be the SORG Group’s biggest challenge in the years ahead?
In addition to the lack of skilled workers, it’s important to create internal structures with a view to efficiency for further growth
Question 14) What advice do you have for anyone starting their career in the SORG Group?
Express your opinion in an appropriate manner, and it will be heard at SORG. Always keep in mind that only a team (e.g., Basketball World Championship) in which everyone stands up for everyone can be successful. A team is not only your own department, and there is no most important department!
Question 15) What are your plans now that you are retiring?
First of all, to improve my fitness, then reactivate my mostly dormant hobbies like mathematics, books, musical instruments, and most importantly, spending time with my family.
Question 16) What will you miss the most?
It might be an unrealistic wish, but hopefully nothing!