The German material handling products vendor Beumer Group today named Markus Schmidt as president and CEO of its North American division, picking a longtime executive from fellow logistics product manufacturer Swisslog Logistics Inc.
Schmidt will now lead Beumer Corp., the Somerset, New Jersey-based firm that operates four U.S. business lines: minerals and mining, packaging & palletizing, sortation & distribution, and airport baggage handling.
Before joining Beumer, he had worked for 25 years at Switzerland-based Swisslog, holding the position of president of Swisslog Americas for the past 17 years. At Beumer, he replaces Joseph Dzierzawski, an executive from the metallurgical plant building sector who had run Beumer’s North American division since 2020.
His appointment is the latest turnover among the top ranks at Beumer, following the appointment last year of Rudolf Hausladen to replace the company’s 22-year veteran CEO Christoph Beumer. Shortly after that change, Beumer expanded its operations through the acquisition of the FAM Group, a German supplier of conveyor systems and loading technology with a specialty in the mining sector.
The company also launched two new solutions last year to boost the efficiency of DC operations, featuring a pouch sorter system and a stretch-wrapping machine. And in 2021, Beumer realigned its North American offices, retaining its New Jersey headquarters but merging its Kansas City and Dallas offices to a new location in Denver.
Schmidt takes the helm in a time of stormy economic conditions such as a turbulent pandemic recovery, high inflation, and rising interest rates. But in an interview, he said that Beumer was well positioned to sail through those troubled seas, having dodged the worst impacts of slumps in the air freight and e-commerce sectors, highlighted by a recent pullback on DC development by retail giant Amazon.
Likewise, Beumer is not likely to stumble over the supply chain problems affecting some of its North American rivals who are hindered by tariffs on steel and aluminum, since Beumer manufactures most of its products in German and Danish factories before shipping them to North American customers, he said.
However, one procurement challenge that may affect companies throughout the material handling sector equally is the supply of electronics such as microprocessors. Still, Schmidt said he was optimistic that Beumer could clear that hurdle through clever design principles. “We face the same electronics supply challenges as others. The question is how forgiving of alternative components your product designs are. If you’re stuck with a machine that can only operate with a specific sensor, then maybe you’ll be unlucky. But I think we’re in the former category,” he said.
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