R+T 2024 Interview with Christian Steinberg, Chief Sales Officer, WAREMA Renkhoff SE

R+T 2024 in the starting blocks. Your preparations for the trade fair are certainly already in full swing. What are you particularly looking forward to?

Christian Steinberg: Yes, it's right – preparations are in full swing. All colleagues at WAREMA who are involved in the R+T preparations have been committed to a successful trade fair appearance for months and are already in the R+T fever.

Most of all, I am looking forward to presenting our new products to our partners, customers and interested parties and also to receiving direct feedback at the fair. In almost no other environment can you go into the exchange as directly and as closely and have an ear on the market. And of course we are also very pleased that the SecuKit for external venetian blinds, our solution for the second rescue route, has been nominated for the R+T Innovation Award. The nomination shows us what has already become apparent by the great interest: We have developed exactly the right solution for the increasing requirements of emergency routes. The SecuKit security feature is really intuitive and simple: In an emergency, the external venetian blinds are simply lifted manually. The end rail locks into the guide rails on the side and the escape route is free. With the SecuKit line – now for all facade products – roller shutters, window awnings and venetian blinds, WAREMA provides reliable and fast solutions for the second rescue route.

In 2024, the guiding theme of R+T will be "Create. Sustainable. Future. TogetheR+T". What does this mean from your point of view? And what role does sustainability play at WAREMA?

Christian Steinberg: In my opinion, the motto sums it up perfectly! Only together can we create a future that preserves and secures the environment and the resources in the long term. As the world's leading trade fair for sun protection, R+T is not only a crowd puller for the industry, but also an important driving force.

Sustainability and environmental protection are central to us at WAREMA. We therefore see it as our duty, in the role of the leading sun protection manufacturer, to show effective levers here. The external sun protection is a simple and very effective measure for more protection against summer heat – thus it is an elementary building block for climate-resilient building. We will be increasingly concerned about this issue in the future, because with progressive climate change, we will also increasingly be dealing with hot periods in Germany. We must therefore ask ourselves how we can maintain the quality of stay in our buildings in the long term – without relying exclusively on the use of air conditioning. External sun protection plays a central role here.

At our stand, we will show the full sun protection expertise of WAREMA live and tangibly with innovative and long-lasting solutions from the fields of Outdoor Living, Window Systems and Smart Building Solutions. The focus will be on our intelligently controlled products and solutions that not only increase comfort but also protect the environment. We are convinced that quality and sustainability are two sides of the same coin.

Renovation or new construction – how do you see the future?

Christian Steinberg: In a market situation characterised by the decline in building permits and the restraint of end users, energy-efficient renovations in particular are gaining in importance. With a view to the climate goals of the EU and Germany, this impression intensifies. Especially considering that around 80 percent of the building stock of 2050 has been built already. So we have a very big lever here and with the sun protection as a central component, especially when it comes to summer heat protection. This is because comfort, a feel-good climate in the living rooms, the health of the users and thus the sustainability of our building stock are important considerations. Here we see a great opportunity. Nevertheless, we must be so honest as to concede that we are more cautious in the expected demand than in previous years.

WAREMA also stands for "everything from a single source". What is the benefit for your customers?

Christian Steinberg: Starting with awnings and terrace roofs, through external blinds and roller shutters, right to the controls developed in our company and also manufactured by us: We are broadly positioned – as broad as perhaps hardly any other competitor in the market. In addition, we have our own nationwide service network. "Everything from a single source" is particularly attractive for our trading partners, because they do not have to deal with different ordering systems or contact persons, but rather get a substantial answer to every question at WAREMA. Homeowners, on the other hand, benefit from the convenience of a uniform operating logic, which works exactly the same way in the living room as on the terrace, and a high quality level across all areas that guarantees the longevity of the products.

We also offer a broad range of services tailored to our customers in the areas of customer acquisition and retention, showroom design, active market development and the digitalization of processes. Our partner programme in particular has an excellent portfolio here. And – not to forget – our Sun Academy with its very good training programme is also an important building block.

In these challenging times, our wide range of products particularly  helps to react with flexibility to the changing market. We have the ability to channel resources to the segments that are currently in demand. Here I think especially of our sun protection products for the facade and their important role in the energy-efficient renovation in the years to come as a tractor for WAREMA.

What trends do you see emerging over the next few years?

Christian Steinberg:  The focus is on reducing CO2 emissions and energy costs – throughout the entire product life cycle, from the production through the use phase to the end of life. Against this background, builders are more and more investing in energy-saving solutions.

At product level, we see that smart sun protection systems are increasingly in demand, especially for facade products such as external venetian blinds. It is the controls that make our products intelligent: They maximise the comfort and help to increase the energy efficiency of a building. In the outdoor living sector, the trend is clearly moving toward weatherproof solutions that allow the outdoor space to be used almost all year round. Lamella roofs, in particular, are still highly popular here. In general, services are playing an increasingly important role for builders and also for architects and specialist planners. Therefore, we at WAREMA have recently expanded our service portfolio in this area significantly.

Thank you very much for taking the time to talk today!


Caption: Source: Warema

Interview with Christian Steinberg, Chief Sales Officer, WAREMA Renkhoff SE