May 2018
Great importance is attached to quality and precision at CJ-Optik. (Photos: Ralf A. Niggemann)

Spot the Difference

The two initials in CJ-Optik stand for Carsten Jung. As owner of the comparatively young enterprise he embodies competence in optics paired with an unerring instinct for subtle differences. That’s what his worldwide customers appreciate in him and his products.

At first glance, it may appear presumptuous that Carsten Jung decorated his office with a back-lit map of the world on which a blue dot marks his company in Asslar-Werdorf. But only at first glance. For sure enough, the owner of CJ-Optik is constantly traveling around the globe: visiting customers, dealers, exhibitions. Yet, he likes being home – especially in his new company building which he moved into nine months ago.

Global sales markets, regional value creation

The meeting with Carsten Jung was actually scheduled to take place before Christmas but then he was called away on short notice to deliver twenty microscopes and set them up at a university, a four-hour car drive away from Cairo. Then, in January, he had to provide product training in Iran. In February, it finally worked out – a few days, after he had returned from an exhibition in Dubai. Carsten Jung’s competence is in demand everywhere. His products anyway. Why this is the case, he’ll best explain himself: “The market for dental and surgical microscopes is booming. New sales markets are continually opening up because in many countries, medicine increasingly counts on the highest standards in treatment. We benefit from this in the same ways as our customers – and above all, their patients.”

This sounds a lot as if Carsten Jung just backed the right horse at the right time. But in truth there is much more behind it. Jung who learned his trade in 1985 made his way from technician to graduate in business management. In 2007, he became an independent businessman, counselling customers and developing optical systems and accessories for them. Until he realized that he could utilize the knowledge, which others incorporated in their products, to create something on his own. Since then he has developed products for his company and put them on the market. Everything is “Made in Germany” – or more precisely: in the region around Wetzlar. Development is done completely in-house. Lathed and milled parts come from AKM Metallverarbeitung in Asslar and from Übelacker in Wetzlar. Meuser Optik and Befort Wetzlar – among others – supply the optics. The surfaces of the mechanical components are anodized by Süss. “Our value creation is firmly rooted in the region because this is where we find the best of everything,” Carsten Jung points out. “We won’t lower our sights in this respect.”

Potent mixture of knowledge and pioneering spirit

And because the best is also well received by his customers, his company has grown considerably in the last years. Soon, the original facilities located near Spilburg in Wetzlar became too small. Jung found a site for his new company building in Asslar-Werdorf. In June 2017, CJ-Optik moved with a good 20 employees, and by now, they have settled in. The boss may be proud but he is no megalomaniac: “We could already use more space but I find healthy growth more important than any performance curve, however steep.”

In fact, it is the potent mixture of knowledge and pioneering spirit, of proven technology and its intelligent integration which distinguishes CJ-Optik and its owner. Their customers know what they will get from the successful medium-sized business: innovative technology at the highest stage. This reputation precedes the company – and by now, it has also come to the attention of the big OEMs of the industry: Hoffmann Group and ATMOS, the biggest unit manufacturer in the field of ENT, and of late Panasonic Medical rank among CJ-Optik’s partners.

Award-winning dental microscope with intelligent accessory

Last year, CJ-Optik’s dental microscope “Flexion” was even awarded with a “Special Mention” at the German Design Award 2017. The “high-tech product which looks altogether very progressive and modern” appealed to the jury. The developers at CJ-Optik intended to combine clever design and handling: ergonomically perfect adjustment by means of a ball system, and equipped with integrated LED lighting which supplies 5,700 K in daylight quality. The system is completed by an iPad connection and a medical monitor with power supply directly from the microscope.

And as if this was not enough, the “Flexion” is the only surgical microscope with an adapter for commercial cameras. “There are people who think: no-one needs that. But a growing number of surgeons or dentists want to have exactly such a device to document and record their surgical operations.” In the end, says Carsten Jung, it is up to the customer to decide which system he wants and what kind of technological standards he must have or finds just nice to have. CJ-Optik gives customers a choice because every microscope can be supplied with intelligent accessory and for every system there is an upgrade.

Customers trust in good ideas and the highest quality

Yet, at the same time, CJ-Optik sells its products only in very rare cases directly to the customer. Transactions are almost exclusively done through a continuously expanding dealer network. “Medical engineering requires intensive servicing, and as a medium-sized company from Asslar we wouldn’t be able to provide that.” In addition, there are country-specific requirements which have to be considered, for example for particularly hot or damp climates in the Emirates, in Malaysia, Singapore, or Indonesia.

There it is again, in our mind’s eye, the map of the world, and in its center Carsten Jung who then tells us something which we can hardly believe: “About 20 percent of my turnover and customer acquisition is done via Facebook,” he relates wide-eyed and looks into puzzled faces. “Yes, sure,” he answers. “The other day, I posted an adapter, 15 minutes later, the first one was sold. Of course, this only works because our customers trust us to sell them good ideas and the highest quality. This is something they can rely on unconditionally.”

Still, the Social Media Platform will not render his many business trips unnecessary. Even 5,000 followers won’t be able to change this. Because customers might buy products from CJ-Optik but first and foremost they trust and rely on Carsten Jung’s competence in optics paired with his unerring instinct for subtle differences.

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