Bearing manufacturer NKE Austria GmbH has a new Managing Director: Matthias Ortner has been carrying out the duties of Deputy Managing Director in Steyr since October 2020. Following the departure of Managing Director Thomas Witzler the year before, Carlos Oehling, CEO of the Spanish parent company Fersa Bearings took over the function of Managing Director in Steyr. In Matthias Ortner, Oehling now has a deputy on site. There has also been a change in sales management: Stefan Weidmann is now responsible for bearing sales worldwide.
Ortner joined NKE in 2018 as Director of Finance and gained further experience as HR Director and Head of Supply Chain Management. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Business & Management from the Management Center Innsbruck, a Master’s degree in Controlling, Accounting and Finance from the FH Oberösterreich and completed an advanced course in Digital Transformation at Stanford University in the USA. After his studies, he worked as a business consultant for Ernst & Young. Regarding his plans and the challenges of the Managing Director position for the bearings manufacturer, Ortner says:
“Despite the prevailing uncertainty in the market, I want to align the company to ensure we are ideally prepared for the future and can grow sustainably. I intend to turn NKE into a pioneer in the industrial bearing market, which is also actively committed to socio-political issues such as climate change or sustainability. We already deliver a substantial proportion of our products and services to the renewable energy sectors, that is to say, wind power, and environmentally friendly transportation, such as rail transport. We will increase our efforts further in these areas.“ Within the company, Ortner sees potential for “automating processes further, structuring the organization for greater flexibility and promoting the digitalization of products and services.“ Ortner wants to offer employees a “fantastic workplace where everyone is challenged, but also encouraged. I am convinced that motivated, committed employees are the decisive factor in today’s fast-paced world.” Regarding his vision for the company, he says: “I want to change the way we compete in the market through innovative approaches. NKE stands for speed, agility, quality. NKE stands for a globally acting bearing manufacturer in the heart of Europe which offers supreme flexibility through customized solutions.”
Weidmann began working for NKE in 2006 after graduating from the Business Academy in Steyr. He worked in internal and external sales for ten years, and in this capacity, he was primarily responsible for the OEM business in Germany. From 2016 until 2019 he led the sales team for Europe, continued the development of OEM business in the strategic industries, and expanded the aftermarket business through a network of trade partners. Regarding his plans as Sales Director, Weidmann says:
“As a member of the Fersa Group, we consider ourselves to be an expert partner in the development and manufacture of premium bearings. I want to further raise the recognition level of NKE as a high-end manufacturer, expand existing customer relationships and develop new ones. Because of our proximity to our customers, we are a problem solver, responding rapidly to the needs of the market and simplifying our customers’ lives with customized bearing solutions. With the expansion of our production facilities in Steyr and China, we have met the necessary requirements for satisfying the needs of globally active businesses locally and being able to respond to the growing demands in industries such as wind energy. In just the last year, we have achieved the corresponding turnover in this segment, and we also see great potential for the future. Moreover, we also want to continue to grow in other applications, such as rail vehicles or agricultural machinery. And we intend to further consolidate our presence in the aftermarket. We now offer a standard product portfolio of more than 6,000 items which is distributed in over 80 countries through our worldwide network of trade partners.”
NKE offers both standard and special bearings for all industrial applications. A wide range of standard bearings is available from stock or at short production lead-times. NKE also provides customized products and solutions. Engineering, product development, production and final processing of components, assembly, quality assurance, logistics, and sales and marketing are centralized at its Steyr headquarters. In addition to product development and application engineering, NKE provides a full range of technical services, consulting, documentation and training.