When you are reading this blog (provided you are using a flat screen), you are reading this through Merck’s liquid crystal technology. If you are eating a gold shimmering ice-cream treat (called a Magnum Gold) you are also experiencing The Merck Way.
From the Moon landing, makeup and makeup containers, soccer world cup balls and Audi paint to vitamin C, MS drugs and oncology drugs, research and development is done at the Merck Darmstadt facilities.
Sustain. Change. Grow. These three words published in Merck KGaA 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report sum up the focus of this dynamic family’s corporate strategy.
The Merck Way http://www.merck.de/en/company/merckway/the_merck_way.html brings to life the Merck Values: courage, achievement, responsibility, respect, integrity and transparency.
Our gracious host, Ms. Gudrun Pressler-Rickert, facilitated our visit to the Merck location in Darmstadt, Germany. We had a chance to have an overview of their product lines that include pharmaceuticals and chemicals.
For the chemical business line of Merck we had the opportunity to walk through the manufacturing area for litmus rolls.
We transitioned to the other business unit of Merck’s focused on pharmaceutical innovation. We also had a chance to walk through the laboratory technicians utilized gas chromatographs to determine the chemical composition of materials.
The team was very fortunate to attend a presentation and Q&A session with Dr. Jon Baumhauer who is the head of the family board of Merck. We were honoured to have the opportunity for discussing the family history, evolution and current Merck strategy with Dr. Baumhauer.
A few quick facts:
1/3 of family business makes it to the second generation and 1/10 make it to the third generation – Merck is already in there 12th active generation (the 13th generation is up and coming) and have 133 active family partners in the business. The governance structure is established as the Merck family owning 100% interest in Merck KGaA. The family maintains 70% ownership in Merck KGaA with 30% ownership by shareholders.
The Merck family is very interesting, it applies a very solid governance structure to not only their business but also to their family. This governance structure really embodies the Merck principals of courage, achievement, responsibility, respect, integrity and transparency.
The staff that we met at Merck appeared to really love being a part of the Merck family business; in fact, our gracious hostess recently received a 25 year service award.
For the more technical students a draw was the Merck warehouse. 6 aisles wide and 19 storage ports high, this fully automated warehouse was like the machine k-nex toys that we played with, but on steroids. Wait… Steroids aren’t enough for this technological marvel. It was like a storage site worthy of Star Trek. We were mezmerized….