Spotlight the Site: Suzhou, China

Did you know that Stahl’s specialty coatings and treatments are produced in 17 manufacturing sites worldwide? In this article, we talk to colleague Karin Lee at our one of our locations in China about their work, team culture and how they contribute to Stahl’s purpose.

Can you tell us where your site is located and what it specialises in? 
Our site is located in the Xuguan township of Suzhou, a large city west of Shanghai. We have a capacity of approx. 10kMts per year, most of which is used to develop water-based products. We are currently undertaking a cap expansion project, which will increase our capacity to 30KTA. 

How does the work done at your site contribute to Stahl’s overall operations and objectives?
Suzhou contributes to 5% of our global production volume and 25% of our global sales. We sell mostly to local customers within China. Our team is dedicated to contributing to Stahl’s global operations objectives with regards to safety, environment, and quality performance. In the last year we have made great strides in implementing OPEX-MDI, reducing our energy consumption, and managing our inventory in a sustainable manner. 

Time for some figures. How many Stahl colleagues work at your site? When did Stahl open the site? Any fun facts? 
The Stahl Suzhou plant officially opened in 2006. Currently, we have 225 employees in China, of which 120 work at Suzhou. The rest of our colleagues are spread across the country. Despite working in different departments, we’re all driven by the same mission – Touching lives, for a better world. We see each other regularly in team meetings, and of course at bigger events such as our annual party. 

What are the strengths of your site’s culture and atmosphere? What do you do to develop team spirit and a sense of community across the site? 
Our culture is shaped by the belief that diversity of thought contributes to creativity, innovation, and an inclusive atmosphere where everyone feels valued. This is why we encourage everyone to express their opinion. For example, we regularly organise workshops on topics such as safety. Everyone from employees to line managers and operators are encouraged to contribute their thoughts and suggestions. 

In 2023, Stahl launched its new purpose, Touching lives, for a better world. How does your site demonstrate the purpose in its work and culture? 
We have taken time at the site to embed the new purpose into our day-to-day work. For example, in 2023 our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) representatives, trade union and HR team teamed up to organise activities to help our people understand and integrate the new purpose.   

Keep up the great work, team! We hope you enjoyed these insights into Stahl Suzhou as much as we did. Our global presence enables us to provide local service, staying up to date with developments in your market region and segment.