Milling and Grain conducted an interview with mill brush manufacturers, Filip GmbH.

Recently the industry leading company has entered into its fourth generation of leaders from the same family. In this article we talk with Tatjana Filip and Mirko Filip, children of previous Director, Dieter Filip, Grandson of the founder Vinzenz Filip who spoke the now famous company motto, "It is always my aim to supply the best of the best."

Could you tell us about your company"s history - how long has it been in your family?

Tatjana explains, "Our great-grandfather Vincenz Filip founded the company in 1919 in Zeitz (former GDR). Already then, he specialised in the production and sale of brushes, cleaners and brooms for mill needs.

"After the founding of the former GDR, the company had to move to West Germany for political reasons. Here Martin Filip, our grandfather, took over the business. He in turn passed the line on to our father Dieter Filip. He has led the company very successfully over the past 20 years, developed our top sellers and built FILIP into a global player. Now he has handed over the management to me and to my brother."

"The aim of the company founder was already "to always deliver the best of the best". This is what it says in its product catalog from 1923, which can be found in our company archive. We have maintained this claim over the years to this day," she finishes.

Is your father Dieter Filip still regularly involved in business operations?

Mirko smiles and says, "Our father now enjoys his life as a pensioner, but he comes to visit us regularly in the office.

"He has largely withdrawn from the operational business, but is still available to my sister and me as a consultant and advises us in terms of product development and management. Dieter is well-connected in the mill industry and has an incredible know-how with regard to sieve cleaning. He likes to pass on his extensive knowledge to us."

He explains, "My sister and I are very proud that we can now continue the company in its fourth generation - competent, cooperative and always customer-oriented."

How are the responsibilities shared?

"Tatjana handles order processing, purchasing and human resources. I am responsible for marketing, production, business development and product development," Mirko starts.

He says, "Tatjana has been with the company for 25 years. I joined last year, having previously been responsible for marketing and business development in external companies."

You have a new warehouse, what does this mean for FILIP?

Tatjana takes the floor explaining, "We will move into our new company building in Gütersloh in the near future, which we are very proud of. Fortunately, our company has grown strongly in recent years."

She goes on, "We were able to win large mill groups as new customers, convince new distribution partners of our high quality products and significantly increase sales in the process. So we needed a lot more space. Now we develop, produce and distribute our cleaners on a total of 2,000 square meters: sieve cleaning brushes, sieve cleaners with studs and pan cleaners. The new building symbolises our plans for the future: Growth!"

What makes your products really stand out?

"At FILIP, the topic of security is very important. For example, our sieve cleaning brush housings are made of polyurethane containing only substances that are considered safe and that are intended to come into direct contact with food. With our products we fulfill the corresponding FDA requirements and EU regulations. As our customers also attach great importance to safety, this product feature is extremely important to them," Tatjana divulges.

"The materials processed by us are resistant even under extreme temperature and humidity conditions and protect the sieves from sticking. In addition, they are resistant to fats and enzymes,"she continues.

"FILIP takes into consideration the operational environment of the cleaners in the plansifters: the shape of our cleaners (typically triangular), the way the brushing material is arranged and the weight of the cleaner are aligned so that they clean the sieve cloth and base of the sieve to an optimum – while treating the frame of the sieve and the sieve cloth with care."

What are you proud of creating in the time that you"ve managed FILIP?

Mirko, "In the recent past, the planning and execution of our new building took a lot of time. In addition, we are currently investing in international brand building. We revise our website, refresh our company logo and our claim and significantly expand our online presence."

He continues, "We want to make even greater use of the Internet as a communication and sales channel. In addition, we are adapting our internal business processes even more closely to the digital age. All these things will bear fruit in the near future.

"In addition, we constantly develop our products and adapt them to the current requirements in the mills. Here we will soon be able to communicate exciting news."

How important is exporting to your business model?

Tatjana, "Even though we are based in Germany, we generate a large part of our sales abroad. We sell our sieve cleaners worldwide - both directly at mill groups and at individual mills as well as through a very well-developed network of foreign representatives."

She summarised, "In addition, we supply globally renowned mill construction companies as well as large manufacturers of sieve cloths and frames."

What do you focus on to ensure you remain leaders in this sector?

"In communication, we rely heavily on the topic of "High Quality - Made in Germany". In our case, "quality" means very precisely: perfect workmanship, which leads to a long service life with efficient sieve cleaning - including the cleaning of the corners of the sieve. In the course of this, it is our goal to further expand our quality market leadership," Mirko explains.

"We sensitise our target group to the fact that high quality sieve cleaners really pay off: Among other things, a high yield in the mill is only possible if excellent sieve cleaning prevails and no unnecessary machine downtimes result from repeated replacement of inferior cleaners."

He points out, "For what use are cheap, but inferior cleaners that often need to be replaced or cleaners that break early and contaminate the sieved product?"

Your Germany location is important to your identity as a company – is this linked to the sense of family and tradition you hold in your company values?

"Indeed. With "Made in Germany" many of our customers associate a high standard of quality, reliability, tradition, safety and continuity. And these are exactly the values our family business stands for. Our customers can always rely on FILIP. And that for almost 100 years," they agreed.

What does the Filip brand stand for?

The name FILIP stands for a very efficient sieve cleaning, long service life of the products and an outstanding service worldwide.

We have focused on making cleaners for all standard types of plansifters - we do not do anything else and are therefore a proven specialist in this field. Our portfolio can be roughly divided into two areas: sieve cleaners for plansifters with and without back wire.

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