German CEO Excellence Awards 2024

5. Automation Solutions CEO of the Year 2024: Ralf Matthews Leveraging his experiences for ultimate impact, Ralf Matthews has successfully spearheaded ELCO throughout its expansions of the past few years, with the company enjoying a strong presence in its home country and an ever-greater reputation for success. When it comes to the team acquiring new customers, they do so through a balance of trade fairs and cold calls, but once contact is established, lasting relationships are often formed, with this being true of suppliers and customers alike. Ralf shines further light on this, telling us, “our close collaboration with customers ensures that we understand their products from their perspective and develop them optimally with their interests in mind.” Similar care is taken when it comes to new projects, which, as Ralf explains, are “always assign[ed] a project manager to oversee the project from start to finish, both nationally and internationally.” This serves as a key example of Ralf utilising his prior position as a project manager for success across his CEO duties, recognising the importance of having a person on hand to ensure that things run smoothly in the early days of a new project, enabling the business to continually fortify its position as a frontrunner in the sector. An approach such as this is integral in a business environment that is undergoing continuous shifts, with Ralf leading from the front as ELCO effortlessly navigates such changes. Ralf explains that managing such rapid changes are not just unique to his industry, and rather, is something shared by companies across the country. He tells us, “all sectors in Germany are currently facing pressure and undergoing major changes due to political and economic factors. Companies are being forced to adapt their processes and constantly re-evaluate themselves.” Optimism and drive are thus two necessary qualities in traversing this landscape, and Ralf is confident in the ability of his team to embody both, stating, “new problems also present new opportunities.” New opportunities are available in abundance if a person knows where to look, and Ralf prides the ability of the team at ELCO to be able to open up new markets, develop fresh products, and venture into unexplored territory. By viewing every new opportunity as a chance to grow, the future of the company looks incredibly bright, and a