Lectron - Manfred Walter Era
The LECTRON, GmbH Management Team Circa 1973
The following document was unique amongst the many that I examined during my trip to Germany in 2013. This was an internal only memo written by Manfred Walter to inform the LECTRON organization of an impending price increase for the entire LECTRON product line, and to announce his three week vacation from May 1st to May 21st. We get an interesting view of numerous internal goings on within LECTRON, GmbH during their second year of doing business and how that business was conducted, the discount structure, and we also have are only known delineation of the LECTRON, GmbH management team by name and a listing of other LECTRON employees and their roles.
The masthead is of particular interest because it shows that the newly formed LECTRON, GmbH was still at the Braun Rüsselheimer Strasse 22 address. It also lists the roles of LECTRON, GmbH: Entwicklungs (development), Produktions- (production), and Vertrieb (distribution). The first two roles had been performed by Deutsche Lectron, GmbH after the demise of Egger. Was Deutsche Lectron shuttered shortly after the formation of LECTRON, GmbH? It would seem so.
The LECTRON, GmbH team was organized as follows in 1973. During Mr. Walter's three week vacation, two team members (marked with an asterisk) were given temporary responsibilities during his absence. Mr. Garling and Mr. Stegmeyer likely had similar day to day roles when Mr. Walter was in the office.
- There were four LECTRON model designers and authors: Mr. (Edzard) Timmer - Kybernetik I and II models, Mr. (Heinz) Saucke - the author of the What is Electronics book that was in the world famous Buchlabor model released in 1969, and the Physik Experimentell manual which would published by Diesterweg in 1975, Mr. (Hartmut) Birett - the author of the Funktionsmodelle book which would be published by Diesterweg in 1974, and Mr. (Maximillian) Gürth - a prolific LECTRON circuit designer who worked with both Mr. Georg Greger and Mr. Manfred Walter.
- Mr. Geyer - the road show expert who set a 65 minute record of breaking down the LECTRON show display including packaging at an unspecified venue.
- * Mr. Jürgen Garling - All marketing and sales matters.
- * Mr. Jürgen Stegmeyer - Production and shipping affairs.
- Ms. Waltraud Tiede - Personnel and administrative matters.
- Ms. Barbara Seib - Order processing.
- Ms. Ingrid Maurer - Marketing and export.
We are given an understanding of the huge discount available for VEDES ( a professional trade organization focused on the play and leisure business sector) members - 46%! The maximum discount was 47%.
The MNU (German Association for the Advancement of Mathematics and Science teaching eV) meeting in Karlsruhe was a great success and the new systems for elementary school physics and biology were very well received.
We learn that the Buchlabor, Grundsystem S, Ausbausystem 1S, Ausbausystem 2M, Ausbausystem 3S, and the Labor Special SK were all kept on hand in the inventory for immediate delivery. All the other models required an assembly preparation window of time.
I am indebted to both Günther Stabe for the initial translation that I used for the above notes and to Dr. Gabriele Decker-O'Gara for providing me with a complete English translation of this critical document which follows below.
Price increase for Lectron products as of 1.5.73
Via attached circular we pointed out to our depot dealers that our company has moved and mentioned our upcoming price increases starting 5.1.73. VEDES and HKS were informed as well and received our new price listings. We are attaching copies of the VEDES and HKS offers. After consultation with VEDES we altered our discount to the effect that VEDES members generally will get a 46% discount, and by disbursal beginning at 12,000 DM, they will receive 47%. After that they are free to work for a staggered discount. Please consider that we have to pay 5% Delcredere-commission to these organizations for every delivery to VEDES and HKS members. Because of that fact, we are unable to give discounts above 47%. Should a major order fail due to the conditions, we are asking for a prompt phone call.
The new price lists will be available as of the beginning of May 1973 and will be sent to you. A special circular to all toy dealers will not be carried out, because most of the toy dealers are organized by VEDES- HKS respectively, and will be notified through them. However, please point out the possibility of a shopping discount in your personal visits. All orders which have been received by 5.15.73 based on low prices will be tacitly acceptance. Valuto orders are exempt from discount prices. We will only accept orders with old prices which can be delivered and invoiced immediately. Focus specifically on those orders which can be delivered immediately, that means from Buchlabor, Grundsystem S, Ausbausystem 1S, Ausbausystem 2M, Ausbausystem 3S & Labor Special SK. All other devices entail delivery time and should not be included in orders with old prices.
The MNU-conference in Karlsruhe was a big success. The new systems for elementary physics (Physik Experimentell by Mr. Saucke) and biology (Funktionsmodelle model by Mr. Birett) was particularly well received. You will receive more information at our next meeting. The earliest that these systems can be delivered is the beginning of next year. Mr. Timmer, Mr. Saucke, Mr. Birett and Mr. Gürth, four of our authors, were very busy to inform upcoming teachers. It is necessary that two men from the Lectron sales force will be present at the next MNU-conference in order to manage the information continuity. Mr. Geyer has the building and dismantling of the booth under control, and a new record was set (65 minutes including packing). I would like to thank him for his active support.
I will take a three week vacation starting 5.1.1973 to gather new strength for the upcoming season and to rethink many developmental proposals. Mr. Jürgen Garling will represent all marketing and sales affairs during my absence. Mr. Jürgen Stegmeyer will represent all marketing and shipping affairs. All other functions remain as known: Waltraud Tiede will be in charge of personal and administrative affairs; Barbara Seib of order-processing and invoicing; and Ingrid Maurer of marketing and export.
Please submit your vacation requests as soon as possible so we can coordinate in a timely fashion. We will consider a three week annual closure in August should too many vacation requests overlap. Therefore, we need your plans as quickly as possible. We are expecting to hold our next workshop in Frankfurt in the week following Pentecost. At that point in time, the first results of the VEDES-sales meeting will be present and up for discussion. Please inform us prior about your suggestions which need to be discussed. And please offer your customers the opportunity to shop and receive discounts (last date for orders to be taken in by sales force is 15-MAY-1973). Mr. Stegmeyer promised that the distribution will no longer embarrass him as of May,1973.
I wish you success with your activities and I am saying goodbye until 21-MAY-1973.