As in the previous elections, the Schwäbisch Hall-based Optima group of companies held a virtual exchange of views with the candidates for the 2021 state parliamentary elections from Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (Alliance 90/The Greens), CDU, SPD and FDP on key issues for the future at the beginning of February. The talks with Jutta Niemann (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), Isabell Rathgeb (CDU), Nikolaos Sakellariou (SPD) and Stephen Brauer (FDP) focused on the topics of opportunities and challenges posed by the pandemic, sustainability, digitization, reducing bureaucracy, infrastructure and the shortage of skilled workers, always with an emphasis on rural areas.
"Particularly at the current time, when totalitarian tendencies are emerging worldwide and also in Germany, we want to offer candidates a platform for mutual exchange and support democratic discourse, even during the Corona pandemic," says Hans Bühler, Managing Partner of the Optima Group of Companies. Companies like Optima, which operate successfully on a global scale, are dependent on functioning democratic processes and a vital civil society, he adds.Optima works with partners from trade and industry on sustainable packaging solutions
In addition to Hans Bühler and Jan Glass (CFO, Optima), Martin Buchwitz (Managing Director, Packaging Valley Germany e.V.) and Sabine Gauger (Chairman of the Board, Packaging Valley Germany e.V.) took part in the discussions. Buchwitz introduced the state parliament candidates to important institutions and networks in the region: the Schwäbisch Hall Technology Center, Hohenlohe Plus and the Packaging Valley cluster. It networks around 80 companies with a total of more than 20,000 employees. From Hans Bühler, the candidates learned in which market segments Optima is active and what the current challenges of the corporate group are. He particularly highlighted the company's sustainability strategy, which has recently included a cooperation with the Voith Group. The aim is to develop sustainable paper packaging solutions.Strengthening competitiveness by reducing bureaucracy
There were intensive discussions about the further reduction of bureaucratic hurdles, transparent funding opportunities, and the need for fast administrative and approval processes. The corona pandemic is creating opportunities for growth and further digitization for Optima, but also major challenges. A high order backlog has to be processed in the shortest possible time. In addition to low bureaucratic hurdles, the digital infrastructure is therefore particularly important to the company: Internet bandwidth is limiting the company's ability to implement mobile working during the pandemic.Pandemic: boost for digitization and new-work concepts
Optima agrees with all the candidates that the pandemic has given a positive boost to digitization and new-work concepts, but the assumption at Optima is that normalization can be expected after the pandemic and that the office will remain an important meeting place for a significant proportion of the workforce. Another topic on the agenda was the shortage of skilled workers. The search for qualified specialists remains a major challenge for companies like Optima and the creation of a family-friendly infrastructure an important task for politicians.
Optima wishes all candidates good luck for the upcoming state elections and cordially invites them to a personal exchange at its headquarters in Schwäbisch Hall as soon as the pandemic allows.