50 years as head of the company and always at 100 percent

Manfred Kerschgens celebrates his "golden" anniversary at Kerschgens

(Stolberg.) Stolberg entrepreneur Manfred Kerschgens has cause to celebrate this year: July 1 marks the 74-year-old businessman's 50th year in the company. 50 years, half a century. A span of time that saw many changes and new developments and in which the Kerschgens family business grew from a small specialist steel supplier into an internationally known company – not least thanks to Manfred Kerschgens himself.

"If I do something, I give it 100%. Otherwise I might as well leave it be", is how Managing Partner Manfred Kerschgens describes his motivation in the past 50 years. The Stolberg native began his business management studies in 1960 and joined the family company in 1965. In 1966 he was given leave of absence to complete a one-year internship in the U.S., where he also worked in the steel trade. After his return to Germany, he became a field representative for Kerschgens in the Stolberg/Düren area. 

In 1970 he joined the company management and in 1985 became partner and managing partner of Kerschgens Stahlhandel GmbH. And he has certainly put his mark on the company. 

Founded in 1876, Kerschgens has always focused on its core business in the steel trade, but also constantly extended its competences. Today the company serves customers in the entire Rhineland region, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and beyond German borders into Alsace, eastern Belgium and Luxembourg – with some product lines also sold throughout Germany and into neighboring EU countries. But that's not all. "We see ourselves as a service provider in all matters regarding steel, stainless steel, non-ferrous metals, construction steel and perforated plates", says Kerschgens. "Our portfolio of materials, processing and services is one of the largest in the entire industry and goes far beyond the product range of a traditional wholesaler. We always aim at designing our products and services with our customers' needs in mind – whether these customers work in steel and metal processing, construction or another sector of industry. That is our idea of 100% commitment."

With a staff of just under 230, Kerschgens maintains four company sites in Stolberg, Bitburg, Trier and Würselen. After five different construction periods over the years, the headquarters in Stolberg reached their current size in 2009. That year, Kerschgens erected a new high-bay warehouse in Stolberg and invested in new, modern crane equipment. In 2012 the company opened the most advanced Section Steel Center in Europe, which covers a surface area of approx. 10,000 square meters. A look at the company's sales figures confirms the success story.

All in all, Manfred Kerschgens might just lean back and enjoy the fruits of his labors. His achievements as managing partner speak for themselves, and in his time as volunteer tester for the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and regional manager of the German steel trade association, he contributed greatly to the development of the industry and the trade. "Oh no," he says "being idle really isn't for me. The company is still part of my life. Not as large a part as it used to be, but whenever I'm needed, I'm always glad to give advice and support." And the next memorable event is just around the corner: In 2016 the family celebrates the company's 140th anniversary.


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