MEDI History


medi's 65th anniversary

One night back in 1951, Wolfgang Weihermüller bravely put all his eggs in one basket: he crossed the so-called "green border" at Rudolphstein, carrying with him parts of a valuable knitting machine in his rucksack. On his arrival in Bayreuth with this knitting machine – the other individual parts of which had followed later one by one by post – he laid the foundation stone for today's internationally successful company medi. Today, there are 2,400 employees worldwide working daily at medi, so that people all over the world can say "I feel better". For the 65th anniversary, medi is first and foremost celebrating the founding member and setting the course for the future.

Wolfgang Weihermüller’s courage in leaving the then GDR, taking the production machines with him, could have cost him his liberty. But his entrepreneurial urge to start anew was stronger. So he brought to the West the know-how that he had acquired in the production of hosiery and corsets at his parents' firm in Pausa in Saxony. Together with his cousin, Günter Voigtmann, he founded the company WeCo. The startup capital was meagre: three knitting machines and expertise in knitting rubber. Driven by this start-up spirit, they began producing medical "rubber stockings" in a former dance hall in Bayreuth.

Inventive spirit as a success factor

Challenging the already established was and still is the guiding principle. This is how the company WeCo were able to revolutionise compression treatment with the first seamless, highly elastic mediven stocking and launch the first compression stocking with a sheer look on the market as early as 1975. This combination of an aesthetic style and health formed the foundations of the globally successful products from the Franconian healthcare pioneers. When Wolfgang Weihermüller's sons, Dr Michael Weihermüller and Stefan Weihermüller, joined the company, they focussed on the international market. The international breakthrough was made when they inaugurated the USA subsidiary in 1982 under their leadership. Today, the follow-up generation is already successfully pulling the strings: Miriam Weihermüller, with her esprit and new ideas, heads up the Sports and Fashion divisions, while Philipp Schatz is keeping the medical division Phlebology on its successful course.

From traditional craftsmanship to intelligent high-tech products

Whether back pain, a ligament torn during sport, "thick legs", "flat foot" or poorly healing wounds – medi's products and treatment concepts can help with many conditions and symptoms. The wide range of products can be found at almost every medical retailer in Germany and in over 90 countries all over the world. This passion for continuously improving the products further within a holistic context has opened up new business areas: almost 10 years ago, medi became aware of the performance-enhancing effect of compression – and founded the sports brand CEP as the absolute pioneer in this field. These days, medi's sportswear is represented at every marathon or city run. The world of fashion also welcomes the positive effects of compression on healthy people. The high-quality hosiery and shapewear collections of the ITEM m6 brand bear witness to medi's dedication to the areas of beauty and wellness. Thanks to cooperation with renowned designers, these products, which mould silhouettes, lift derrieres and ensure fit and slender legs, have found their way onto the catwalks of the fashion capitals of the world.

The company’s stages of “feeling good”

Philosophy

This is what sets us apart.

medi is a company operating at global level and a leading manufacturer in the field of medical aids.

Our competence is demonstrated in terms of market share and in our competitive edge, both in know-how and in the development of new technologies and products.

We see ourselves as pioneers and trendsetters. This is also evident from our extensive and qualitatively impressive product and services portfolios. medi today is a partner who is always reliable, fair and empathetic to all its customers and in all business relations, and it will continue to be so in the future too.

Leadership is also responsibility. We always fulfil our social responsibilities:

  • Better quality of life for users of medi products.

  • Significant benefits for customers and partners.

  • Secure future for the company and its employees

We are committed to this.

People are always centre-stage in our day-to-day business.

We are committed to ensuring that our users, customers and partners of medi have confidence in and are extremely satisfied with medi. We achieve this with products and services that offer maximum benefits.

We set high standards in quality and safety. Here we understand quality to be product quality and quality of our relationships.

The company stands for employees with commitment. Driving innovations forward, shaping the market, finding individual solutions. This is what the work culture at medi is based on.

At medi, a medium-sized family-run company, great importance is attached to personal commitment and the abilities of each individual. This is why, on all levels and in all areas, we create a working environment in which:

  • clear goals and responsibilities are defined and everyone involved is supported in their implementation,

  • responsibility for tasks, processes and results is of primary importance,

  • results are evaluated, services and achievement is recognised and abilities promoted.

This working environment is characterised by a high degree of trust and should mean an equally high degree of job satisfaction and quality of life for each employee.

These are our values.

Our whole approach, internally and externally, is based on values. They form the basis of our actions and the guiding principles of the company.

medi’s key value pairs are:

Competence & Progress In order to make good the promise “I feel better”, medi transforms its experience and specialist knowledge into innovations.

Function & Design medi satisfies the highest demands with products and services of exceptional quality, which offer the customer added value.

Empathy & Responsibility Giving people back their zest for life can only succeed if the relationship with them is sympathetic, trusting collegial.

Putting better quality of life on the map

medi stands for quality and know-how, aiming to give people in Germany and the world over an improved quality of life.

The facts:

2,400 employees worldwide

1,400 employees in Bayreuth

Social Projects

Being there when it matters: medi for help

The charitable organisation medi for help gives some quality of life back to earthquake victims whose legs have been amputated. With the objective of helping them to help themselves, medi for help gives these people hope for the future.

Background In January 2010, one of the worst earthquakes in Haiti’s history wreaked destruction and suffering on an unimaginable scale. Haiti is regarded to be the poorest country in the western hemisphere, with a disastrous healthcare system.

This is where medi for help comes in: In February 2010, shortly after the earthquake, a prosthetic rehabilitation centre was established in Deschapelles, where Haitian leg amputees are treated free of charge. medi for help works very closely with the local Albert Schweitzer Hospital and the Hanger Ivan R. Sabel Foundation.

To date, well in excess of 1,000 Haitians have been provided with leg prostheses and for the dedicated team on site, there can be no greater reward than to see the smile on the faces of the people who are venturing to take their first steps again. medi initially set up the aid project using start-up capital. In the long term, however, the plan is to finance the initiative through donations.

Together with the Hanger Ivan R. Sabel Foundation, medi for help is recruiting volunteers specialising in orthotics to work unpaid in Haiti for a period of two to four weeks. During this time, the volunteers will make plaster casts and construct or optimise prostheses. The orthopaedic technicians also help the patients to take their first steps with their prosthesis and prepare them for a new chapter in their lives.

Pro-active self-help also includes the education and specific training of Haitian staff in Deschapelles to become orthopaedic technicians. This creates new jobs and means patients can also be given follow-up care in the long term. There is more information – also for anyone wanting to help as a volunteer in Haiti – on the website www.medi-for-help.com.

Sport and health

Health There are many non-profit organisations that give people a better quality of life. They all deserve great respect and admiration, as they make an important contribution to our society. We are happy to support some of these organisations, but we cannot support them all as there is so much demand. We hope you can appreciate this. However, we promise to look at all the requests carefully.

Sport medi, or rather the brand CEP and Sport, form a single unit. 60 years experience in the research and development of compression products provide a technology to meet the highest demands in sport. So it is only logical for us to work with a great many top athletes. This includes teams such as medi bayreuth in the national basketball league or associations such as the German Ski Association (DSV). Well-known athletes such as the professional alpinist Stephan Siegrist are fitted out with functional medi and CEP products.


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