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Friday, August 12, 2022

Building on a family legacy for a sustainable future

Marharens used quality materials to create the sign of the lime and coconut on board the Sea Odyssey of Royal Caribbean International

Founded by Heinrich Marrhens in his parents’ living room in Germany in 1949, Marharens has grown from its humble beginnings as a manufacturer of small, engraved signs for international signage businesses. Since 1982 it has been managed by Marahren’s daughter, Jenina Marahrenes-Hasgan, which has successfully expanded into new markets. Now, her son Jan-Christian Hagen has taken the helm.

“It’s a great honor to build on my mother’s and my grandfather’s legacy,” says Hagen. “For more than 70 years, Marahrens has been committed to constantly supporting our customers and providing quality and innovative products that will meet their needs and exceed their expectations. This remains my top priority.”

Hagen believes the family ethos is the biggest motivator for Marahren’s success.

“My family has always been directly involved in running the company and we are personally invested in providing the best products and services,” he explains. “Many of our team members have been with us for decades, so they have high knowledge and skill, and they have built strong long-standing relationships with customers. Our customers can trust us to offer the same quality service every time, as well as continuous support throughout the tool life cycle. Their voyage. ”

Customers also rely on Marahrens desire to innovate. “We are always questioning the status quo, hiring new employees with innovative ideas, and we are not afraid to take calculated risks when it comes to experimenting with new materials and production methods, or entering new markets,” says Hagen. “This entrepreneurial spirit enables us to overcome challenges and deliver exceptional products that meet the evolving needs of our customers.”

Since March 2020, the Marahrens have been tested by the Covid-19 epidemic. “We have never experienced so much uncertainty with projects, and like everyone else, we have struggled with all the health and safety guidelines and constantly changing travel restrictions,” says Hagen. “However, we planned as much as possible, stayed agile and flexible and worked hard to ensure we could complete a large number of projects while maintaining the safety of our staff and customers.”

Marahrens has digitized many of its existing manual processes. “We’ve already done some pre-epidemic digitization, but with most employees and clients working remotely and some still working on site, we needed to quickly find new ways to share information and collaborate effectively,” Hagen explains. “For example, we created three-dimensional virtual models of our signs so our customers could see them from any angle. We also launched a project to digitize the project delivery process and used video calls to assist customers remotely.”

While Hashagen recognizes that some digital processes have increased Marahrens’ productivity and efficiency, he plans to take a hybrid approach to operation in the future. “Digital technologies are great for certain things, but sometimes it’s better to do things the traditional way,” he says.

Reorganizing the business into the post-epidemic world is a top priority. “We want to offer the types of products, processes and services that will meet our customers’ needs and ensure we operate in different locations around the world so we can provide local support easily,” says Hagen. “We already have teams in Asia, Germany, Finland and the US, but we want to expand our network around the world.”

Sustainability is also at the top of Hasgan’s agenda. “Protecting the environment should be an immediate concern for everyone and we are making a lot of small improvements to reduce our carbon footprint wherever we can,” he says. “For example, we are reducing the use of paper, making our car fleet greener, and most of our packaging is now made of happy wood. Every little change makes the difference and together these cumulative improvements will help us operate in a sustainable way.”

Hashagen’s long-term goal is to make Marahrens products, production methods and installation processes greener.

“Until recently, we had to make a distinction between environmental sustainability and durability when designing and manufacturing products, but now we can use different recycled or natural materials,” says Hagen. “Our safety signage, for example, can be printed on fully recycled acrylic and we are working on signage made from bio-plastic derived from fermented vegetable starch. In addition, we are exploring the possibilities of PVC-free vinyl and other durable materials.

“Despite the stormy sea we are in now, I’m sure we’re looking forward to a much greener and brighter future.”

This article was first published in the Fall / Winter issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may have changed since then.

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