“We must utilise our developments across the entire group”
Since the beginning of 2020, Dr David Frink has been CEO of the Krone Group while shouldering simultaneous responsibility for overseeing the agricultural machinery division in Bernard Krone Holding SE & Co. KG. In an interview with trailerforum, he talks about what is important to him in his work and what goals he sets for himself.
You succeeded Alfons Veer as CEO on 1 January 2020 – how did you experience the transition to this new position? I was very fortunate to have undergone an introductory process to the tasks at hand since April 2018, and to have been closely accompanied by Alfons Veer during this transitional phase. So I wasn’t thrown in at the deep end, which was, of course, pleasant. I have also known many staff members for a long time and am in a position to build on a strong team. As CFO, I had already established effective contact with almost all departments in the company, I was familiar with many topics and understood various decision-making processes. The experiences gained during this time are very useful – as is of course, my knowledge of numbers.
What values are important to you in your work? I see not just myself, but also Krone Holding, as a service provider for the entire Krone Commercial Vehicle Group – and naturally, for the Krone family too. In keeping with the parlance of the Emsland region, I would say: That works quite well! Alfons Veer had done an excellent job over previous years. I now see the primary task of the holding company – and of me, in particular – as ensuring that the Krone Group can always enjoy smooth, successful sailing. Unexpected twists and challenges such as the current pandemic can always happen. When such events take hold, it is important to stay calm and adopt the necessary measures to have enough water under the keel in the long-term. Personally, I want to give people at all levels in the company the freedom to make decisions for the good of the company and to help it advance.
ABOUT DAVID FRINK
Dr David Frink, born in 1972, who, after completing an apprenticeship as a bank clerk and studying business administration at RWTH Aachen University, was, among other things, the board member responsible for Finance, Production, Logistics, IT and Human Resources at Gerry Weber International AG. In 2018, Frink, who is from Germany’s Rhineland region, took over the company’s strategic and conceptual development as CFO at Krone, along with responsibility for operational areas such as Controlling and IT/Organisation.
What do you think makes Krone strong? On the one hand, its excellent products: They boast unique selling points in many respects. For example, we are investing heavily in digitisation and, as a medium-sized family business, we are also able to hold our own in this respect against the larger corporations out there. Furthermore, the family behind the company has demonstrated 100 per cent commitment to it for decades. And those people who work for Krone and who truly embrace the company’s philosophy are also a real asset.
What goals are you setting for the next few years and what prospects do you see for Krone? Fortunately, we enjoy a very solid financial base – we need to preserve that and to remain financially stable. In the agricultural machinery division, which is my main area of responsibility, we compete against large corporations on the world market and have to broadcast the advantages we have to offer. That is why we are investing intensively in digitisation, including in autonomous driving for agriculture. For me, one important goal is to utilise our developments and innovations throughout the Group and to transfer these to the other divisions for this purpose. Smart Capacity Management from our Commercial Vehicles division, for example – where we network the trailer with freight exchanges and haulage companies, can thus use the available loading space more efficiently. This has its origins in the camera technology and associated telematics that we developed for agricultural machinery. Dovetailing such technologies harbours significant potential.
What do you like about your job? I like going to work because it’s just thoroughly enjoyable. For decades, the Krone family has embodied virtues such as diligence, honesty, openness and transparency – and you can really feel that every day. While many companies only pay lip service to such notions, here it underpins everything we do.