Successful, medium-sized companies
- Schlafteam GmbH -
In the interview:
Schlafteam GmbH conjures up high-quality solid wood beds and matching solid wood furniture for the bedroom, true to the motto "Design meets nature". The woods come from sustainably managed forests, are manufactured by hand in our own carpentry workshop in Upper Franconia and that since 1887.
What makes your company unique?
We are a family business, and we are particularly proud of that. For five generations our company has been in the hands of the Holhut family. To be precise - since 1887. Since then we have been producing furniture of the highest quality on the edge of the Frankenwald nature reserve in northern Bavaria.
Today father and daughter manage the company with 28 employees. Peter Holhut designs, develops and constructs all Schlafteam furniture. His goal: naturally biological and timeless furniture. His passion for wood and design is in every piece of furniture.
His daughter Yvonne Holhut is the managing director and always strives to develop the company for the benefit of her customers. She is responsible for sales, marketing and business development. Her company should be customer-oriented and strong for the future. For her this includes sustainability and biological quality.
Competition in the market for beds and mattresses is fierce. What makes your beds so special? What innovations are actually possible with such a classic product?
Our workshops are located on more than 7,000 square metres in Kupferberg/Northern Bavaria. Here all pieces of furniture are manufactured by Schlafteam. From design to complete production, everything is Made in Germany.
We have also set up a showroom for our customers on our premises. Here you can test, inspect and try out all our furniture live on over 250 square metres.
An ecological and sustainable corporate culture is very important to you. How far does this affect the structures and processes in the company?
We love wood -
- We only process pure raw materials that can be returned to the natural cycle at any time.
- We mainly use renewable or recyclable raw materials in consideration of the circular economy and sustainability.
- For our goods we use exclusively natural products, which we select according to our own particularly strict specifications.
- We process only certified wood. Our Swiss stone pine comes from Austria. We only cooperate with sawmills that guarantee sustainable forestry. This is controlled randomly. Already during the design of the furniture we pay attention to the most efficient use of materials.
- Before the wood is used in production, it is also tested for radioactivity.
- We attach great importance to the fact that the woods are free of pesticides and harmful substances. In our own factory in Kupferberg/Northern Bavaria they are processed without formaldehyde into low-warpage, stable panels. They are only refined with our own natural oil according to the Schlafteam purity law.
- Without varnishes, stains or other chemical ingredients, the wood remains free of toxins and retains its excellent properties: it absorbs moisture, releases it slowly and thus ensures a pleasant and healthy indoor climate.
- We mainly choose natural materials, as long as the functionality is guaranteed.
- We use auxiliary materials that are produced on a natural basis and do not contain any problematic substances.
- We handle these valuable resources very consciously and carefully.
- Schlafteam itself strives for a "pure production". In other words, to optimise the use of energy in the company and minimise water consumption and waste. We use the wood shavings from production to generate heat and generate solar power on our large roof areas.
We love wood, so only natural care oil is used for our solid wood furniture. This protects the wood of our furniture and gives it an elegant, matt shine. Because we do not want to hide wood under a layer of varnish, but openly show its traces of life.
Consistently of course until the end: We treat the surface of our wooden furniture with care oil, which we developed ourselves with a manufacturer from our region: the Marienölmühle from Marktleugast. The oil consists of natural linseed oil from northern Bavaria and mineral pigments. Our wood care oil therefore smells pleasantly, is solvent-free and does not release any toxic vapours. It is mixed and bottled by ourselves.
Which milestones in the development of Schlafteam GmbH were particularly decisive on the way to today's very successful company?
We used to be a supplier to the bed retail trade. Since 2017 we have our own internet shop (www.schlafteam.de) which gives us much more possibilities and is growing from year to year, this has been the most important milestone in our company so far.
What challenges did you have to face and what tips and lessons did you learn from them?
The biggest challenge so far has been rethinking and creating the Internet shop.
This went so far that we even bought our own photo studio with a photographer to be able to act better and faster.
In addition to the standards, they also manufacture individually made to measure. To what extent are digitalised or automated processes possible? And where will the development here go in the future?
By using 5-axis CNC milling machines we make it possible: your dream bed according to your wishes. Show us your ideas, your sketches or inspirational photos.
In close cooperation with you we manufacture your dream bed. In doing so, we are also happy to consider special colours or individual stain tones. Of course, we also manufacture beds in oversize - for example as a family bed - or according to Feng Shui measurements. You can also get metal-free wardrobes and chests of drawers from us, just tell us your wishes and we will take care of it.
Within the last few years you have created a well functioning e-commerce. Which steps were decisive for this?
The decisive factor was our Internet shop, as everything here must be perfectly coordinated in order to provide optimum customer service.
How has your entrafin purchase financing affected your growth?
entrafin purchase financing helps us to get lower prices from our suppliers, which means that we can put more money into advertising, which in turn increases our order intake and is therefore the right way to go.
Quick & uncomplicated purchase financing
- Fast working capital
- Free financing offer
- No real collateral
- Without bureaucratic burden
- With personal advice