Editor’s Note: As the winner of the 2021 Ultimate Wood Floor Guy contest, Anthony Magaro, won a trip to Lägler’s headquarters in Germany for the company’s popular Fly & Sand experience Oct. 22–27. He recounts his experiences on the trip below.
You can speak about the beautiful wine country and food, the amazing small towns and villages, as well as a history that speaks volumes about this rich land of amazing people—but nestled outside a small village in a little farm area is the Lägler Company, a true phenom in the wood floor sanding industry. Of course, I found the manufacturing to be cutting-edge technology. What interested me about Lägler was its specific focus on creating equipment to produce a process with consistent results. There are no shortcuts, and everything is rigorously tested and strictly controlled in-house to maintain precise continuity.
What I take most from this journey, aside from the many accomplishments of Mr. Karl Lägler, is the employment strategy that spreads generations. It was no surprise to me that Mr. Lägler sat in on every single demonstration, sitting quietly in the corner, observing, but ready to answer any questions thrown his way. Anyone in that factory, whether it be a janitor, sales rep or owner, can run every piece of equipment and answer any questions in regards to them. What’s beautiful is everybody is treated as equals, the way work life should be. No one single job is any more important than another, and true teamwork that makes the dream work!
From an early age in Germany, students are learning about factories and manufacturing, such as Lägler, to then be ready participants to engage in a career post-graduation with the opportunity to continue their education with college. It’s this jumpstart of early training with tradesmen that creates a succession for the next generation. Whereas in the U.S. many large companies can only forecast three months to six months ahead, German companies like Lägler forecast generations ahead. It’s a lesson and also a model to follow if we wish to spark a fire for the next generation of wood floor professionals, and all tradesmen alike.
Lägler’s Marc Shultz and Austin Kreie, who trained us during the trip, set the bar very high for those wood floor professionals who are willing to hone in on their skills and be on top of their game. They each possess a set of skills, unique and offer up their expertise in a very personable way. Great job, guys!
As far as the PST training goes, kudos to the Lägler team for such an innovative way to market their specialized equipment and meet such outstanding people. This is truly a must for any wood floor professional seeking to up their game.
It was both a privilege and honor to meet with all of the other professional colleagues whom I now refer to as my new friends!