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View as HTML version PSI Journal 2/2016 ing range beyond terry products to include promotional textiles for outerwear,” says Ulrich Mehl. During the expansion of the company, Jura also benefited from quality and reliability, the traditional values that have always characterised the company since it was founded in 1928. “Openness and honesty when dealing with our customers has always been the key to mutual trust,” emphasizes Mehl when explaining the reasons for a continual further development of his company based on continuous consolidation. “ULI FROM JURA” Especially in the 1990s and 2000s, Ulrich Mehl was one of the first persons to create an additional centre of attraction beyond the mere presentation of products with his embroidery machine at countless PSI and in-house trade shows. He managed to gradually increase his level of recognition within the promotional product industry. His first appearance with Jura Textilgesellschaft mbH at the PSI in 1989 remains unforgettable: He made a virtue of necessity by covering the otherwise empty partition walls of his stand with terry towels, a spontaneous idea with great public appeal. “That caught on and enabled many new customer contacts to be made,” recalls Ulrich Mehl. Meanwhile, he has worked for almost all major promotional product distributors in Germany and is also very well known to most of them. Many refer to him as “Uli from Jura”. And Jura expanded. What began in the founding years with “trading with terry products in the garage”, gradually developed into a powerful competence centre for textiles and finishing with an international format. In 1999, the company erected a spacious building at the site in Ofterdingen which is conveniently located near Stuttgart. EXCLUSIVE COLLECTIONS Here is where the challenges of the future were tackled with determination. “We were constantly trying to expand our brand and product portfolio. To this day, we have managed to constantly integrate new renowned textile manufacturers and a new trademark into our portfolio,” says Ulrich Mehl. “Cus- tomers’ wishes are becoming increasingly specific. This requires a wider range of products,” he adds. This was one of the reasons to also introduce a proprietary brand. Under the “Ammonite” label (also derived from the local geology), Jura Textil now offers the promotional product market customised products produced in Europe under fair and ecologically sustainable conditions. “The products are manufactured in Turkey, thus ensuring much faster delivery compared to products conventionally imported from the Far East. We also carry out the final inspection here our- selves. As part of the Jura brand strategy, we also strive to launch small yet more flexible labels in the market. An example of this is the decidedly sporty collection of the Swedish brand Matterhorn, which we distribute exclusively in Germany,” explains Philipp Mehl, who in the course of the generation change is gradually taking over the company from his father after having taken over the management at the beginning of 2015. JOINT DECISIONS Philipp Mehl joined his parents’ company in 2008. He studied business administration at the University of Stuttgart, specialising in industrial management. Although he did his traineeship at a Reutlingen-based manufacturer of commercial kitchens and had the opportunity to take over a managerial position there, the challenge to run his own business ultimately appealed to him. So he decided to take over the company from his father. “The basic idea in the continuation of the company was to work alongside my father for some time in order to familiarise myself with all the peculiarities and processes,” says Philipp Mehl, emphasising how important the support of his father Ulrich was and is. Plans and decisions are made, discussed and adopted jointly. Initially the aim was to overcome the difficult phase of the economic crisis in 2008 which Jura Textil also experienced. “Despite short-time work, we did not have to dismiss any of our long-serving employees,” says Ulrich Mehl. WISE INVESTMENTS Jura emerged from the crisis stronger than before and managed to continuously de- velop thanks to wise investments in work area, storage, machinery and sales. In 2013, the capacity of the premises was increased to include a modern high-bay warehouse with 432 pallet spaces, and thus also the logistics and services sector in order to be able to respond more flexibly to customer requests for the full-service business. Jura Textil has thus redefined itself in the past three years and evolved from a “sticker” to a diversified enterprise that covers all aspects of the textile business: distribution of promotional textiles, corporate fashion, work clothes, bags and terry cloth – finishing by means of embroidery, screen printing , transfer printing and digital printing – design and production of private label models and collections – fulfilment services and shop solutions. In addition, the business area was expanded beyond Germa- 65

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