Hohe Qualität im Kühltransport.
Das Familienunternehmen Winter Fahrzeugtechnik GmbH aus Hessen im Portrait.
Ideally equipped for any type of use.With vehicle fit-outs from the experts.
It all began with a case. Herbert Dischinger, the company's founder, was confronted with a problem in his tool shop: as soon as it began to rain at building sites, the cardboard boxes containing screws, dowels and nails gradually fell apart. This was obviously not a very practical or sustainable solution. And so, in 1973 Herbert Dischinger developed the KM 321 – a metal case with perfectly fitting plastic inset boxes allowing all the required small items to be stored in a systematic manner. The case soon became a standard piece of equipment in the industry.
Sortimo has evolved into a supplier of fully modular, customisable systems which are tailored to the needs of individual vehicles and customers.
Today, Sortimo is a producer of vehicle fit-outs, load-securing systems, mobile transport solutions and an all-round provider of solutions for commercial vehicles.As an internationally operative company, Sortimo has a workforce of 1300 and is represented in 35 countries around the world. Production remains rooted in Germany to this day. Sortimo's overriding aimis to offer tailor-made solutions for its customers. To make everyday work more efficient, more flexible and more pleasant. It is all based on a modular principle – "Almost like Lego for grown-ups - just bigger," says Reinhold Braun.
The partnership between Sortimo and Mercedes-Benz arose in the company's early years. The two companies can now look back on more than 40 years of working together. "It's much like any long relationship. Each of us knows their strengths and weaknesses. Over time, we've come to complement each other in ideal fashion," says Reinhold Braun. "We combine quality with innovation, without losing sight of our traditions and origins. This forges very close links between us and Mercedes-Benz."
The cooperation has given rise to a joint Mercedes-Benz VanSolution. "A customer buying a VanSolution knows that the solution has been produced to the highest standard of quality. The systems are fully integrated, they harmonise and are synchronised with the vehicle." This takes the hard work out of finding the right vehicle and the customer is provided with the ideal system tailored to their needs in the highest quality and backed up by the best service – delivered and ready to use in next to no time. The current Mercedes-Benz VanSolution – the Vito with the Globelyst shelving system – meets customers' requirements, whatever their specific applications. The unique combination of materials results in a very low weight for the shelving. The design is also robust and resistant to soiling. All in the service of an orderly load compartment.
Reinhold Braun, managing director at Sortimo with 25 years' service to his name, looks back on a colourful past at the company. On his first day at work in 1993, Sortimo was a container village. This was due to the expansion of the headquarters in the wake of the company's fast-paced development. "Some of us had no heating in the winter. There are various phases in a company's history when you learn to work more closely together. These experiences forged a true team spirit," observes the present-day managing director. Today's challenges focus on the areas of digitisation and automation: "We are in the process of evolving a new approach to the modern age," explains Reinhold Braun, referring to the latest product and service development from Sortimo.
We are currently working on developing the next generation of our modular system by way of an evolutionary or revolutionary process.
SR5 is the brand-new shelving system in the new Sprinter, which was unveiled to the public at IAA 2018. It is fully integrated into the vehicle's body, making optimum use of the entire available space. What makes this system special is that it is fully customisable. The customer can put their personal configuration together online and coordinate it with their desired vehicle. "The combination of vehicle and interior fit-out results in complete solutions tailored to the needs of today's customers - and in particular of tomorrow's customers, too," says Reinhold Braun.
One thing that makes the combination of the new Sprinter and the SR5 so unique is the fact that both components - the vehicle and the new shelving system - have been developed in parallel. This results in a thoroughly integrated solution which is ideal all-round. "This is the true meaning of partnership: together, we provide a solution for our customers – that is, both Mercedes-Benz and Sortimo customers – that benefits everyone."
Consummate lightweight design: The vans from Mercedes-Benz and the fit-out from Sortimo add up to a unique combination.
What makes a Bavarian business a successful international company? For Sortimo, the answer is simple. Everything revolves around the customer. "We strive to develop new ideas and solutions in very close consultation with our customers. That is why we have maintained very close ties with the trades as well as with major industrial enterprises over the past 45 years," explains Reinhold Braun. The focus here is not on maximising profit, but rather on customer benefits and high quality. "Our system must offer value for money. With the emphasis on "value". We need to offer our customers substantial added value that will prompt them to invest in our solution."
For Sortimo, mobility is an exciting topic for the future. Its major projects include an innovative electric recharging station with fast-charging function and a purpose-built e-cargo bike for use in traffic-calmed or otherwise inaccessible areas. Sortimo is first and foremost an expert in fitting out vehicles, however, and aims to further expand this expertise in future. "Starting from a sheet steel case, we have evolved into a one-stop vehicle outfitter," says Reinhold Braun, "and we aim to continuing growing in the future. We will be offering complete solutions for brands and mobile services via digital platforms." Sortimo is flexible, enabling it to respond to future developments and to develop along with customers' requirements. "We have established the essential foundations to enable us to evolve and optimise the new system in the coming years and to produce solutions which will be without parallel in the way they meet customers' needs." The ideal recipe for continued success of the company's Mercedes-Benz VanSolution partnership.