Ursula Ida Lapp`s life and work
An entrepreneur through and through, Ursula Ida Lapp has made German business history. Together with her husband Oskar Lapp (1921-1987), she channeled her passion, energy and understanding of the industry’s requirements into founding a company of international renown. Today, the Lapp Group employs approximately 3,440 people around the world and has 17 production sites and 40 distribution companies. The company also works in cooperation with around 100 foreign representatives.
The first chapter of our Lapp Group's success story was written at the end of the 1950s. Ursula Ida Lapp's husband Oskar Lapp was a gifted inventor and innovator. When the company started out, single cores and strands had to be inserted into cables by hand, a time-consuming task. Oskar Lapp set to work developing the first industrially produced oil-resistant and flexible control cables that used different colors to distinguish cable cores. Another innovation followed: the ÖLFLEX® brand name for the invention. Coined by the Lapps, the name became synonymous with extremely oil-resistant and flexible cables.
U.I. Lapp KG was founded in 1959 with initial capital of DM 50,000. The fledgling company was based in the couple's garage in the Vaihingen suburb of Stuttgart. Oskar Lapp took on the role of a sales representative and visited customers, while Ursula Ida Lapp remained in the home as the couple's three sons were still young. In the evenings, she wrote advertising letters and took care of the bookkeeping. She often drove to the freight depot with a cart to pick up the ordered cables (which were delivered in bundles), label them and then send them off on their onward journey straight away.
ÖLFLEX® delivered the right product at the right time. The Lapps set quality standards that are still applicable around the world today in the field of cable production. Our product range even offered ready-made cables containing up to 130 colored cables. Demand was huge. In 1963, the company opened the first factory of its own to produce ÖLFLEX® cables. Two years later, in 1965, it moved to Schulze-Delitzsch-Straße in Vaihingen, where the headquarters of our group remain to this day.
Following Oskar Lapp's death in 1987 after a long battle with a heart condition, Ursula Ida Lapp took over leadership of the company together with her sons Siegbert and Andreas. Under her aegis, the firm continued with its expansion outside of Germany. Today, our Lapp Group is the global market leader for integrated solutions in the field of cable and connection technology.
Ursula Ida Lapp played a key part in shaping our company's philosophy. We are practicing our corporate culture and are living according to our values customer-oriented, success-oriented, family-oriented and innovative. Ursula Ida Lapp thoroughly prepared everything for the successful integration of the 3rd generation of the family.
Ursula Ida Lapp upholds the principles of corporate social responsibility, an ethos born out of conviction. She and her sons founded the Oskar Lapp Foundation in 1992 in memory of Oskar Lapp to support research into heart disease.
Ursula Ida Lapp herself remains Honorary Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board at Lapp Holding AG and U.I. Lapp GmbH.
Quotes of Ursula Ida Lapp
"You have to be flexible like our cables. Life demands to do so.“
"Always remember: The family is the most important thing in life.“
"Enjoyment of work is needed to succeed.“