PROUD OF ORGANIC GROWTHFrankenpost, 08/10/2015, Business
Oberkotzau – Oberkotzau-based GEALAN Formteile has developed into a very successful company. GEALAN products can be found worldwide in most premium cars and in the heating and hot water sector. The company generated revenues of 66.3 million euros during the past fiscal year – nearly tripling its sales since 2000. Customers have presented the specialist for injection moulded parts and assemblies with excellent supplier awards on numerous occasions. GEALAN has also been named one of “Bavaria’s Best 50” by the Ministry of Economics and one of “Europe’s 500 Top Growth Companies” – an award reserved especially for high-growth companies.
Managing Director Thomas Fickenscher looks back on the corporate group’s 30-year history with pride. “Despite strong growth, we have maintained a family-like atmosphere within the company,” he says in an interview with Frankenpost. His management colleague Gerhard Laubmann emphasizes the fact that GEALAN achieved its current size without having to resort to acquisitions: “We are proud of our organic growth.”
The management duo admits that expanding in a “healthy” way wasn’t easy. Fickenscher and Laubmann attribute this to the extreme dedication and commitment of their staff. The GEALAN Group currently employs 613 people.
In March of this year, the team from Oberkotzau opened a plant in the Hungarian city of Székesfehérvár, adding yet another chapter to the company’s rich history. GEALAN’s location here specializes in injection moulding, heating elements and vibration welding, sealing foams and assembly. Thomas Fickenscher stresses that one of the company’s key future tasks is to integrate the Hungarian plant into the group of companies as quickly as possible. The goal is to serve the strategically important Eastern European market from the Székesfehérvár site.
GEALAN Formteile GmbH’s roots stretch back to 1985. It was established at that time as a second business division of the company originally founded by Adam Fickenscher in 1921. The split from the GEALAN Fenster Systeme windows business in 1993 was a decisive event in the company’s 30-year history. According to Thomas Fickenscher, further milestones include establishing the subsidiaries GEALAN Cax Solutions in 2004 and GEALAN Czech in Aš in 2006.
Gerhard Laubmann calls GEALAN Cax Solutions, which is located at the Automobiltechnikum in Hof, Bavaria’s centre for innovation in the automotive industry, the “nucleus for our application innovations”. Concept and design, simulation and testing, measurement and scanning of plastic moulds and 3D printing, advanced development and technical innovation management – the subsidiary has a wide range of specialities.
However, the GEALAN Group has also faced some difficult times. In the wake of the global financial crisis, the Oberkotzau-based company also had to deal with falling revenues, even though it had just invested twelve million euros in a new production facility at its headquarters in 2008 and 2009, i.e. in the midst of the market turmoil caused by the Lehman bankruptcy.
GEALAN did not let go of any of its employees at the time, recalls Managing Director Fickenscher. He believes this was the right decision: “Once the crisis had subsided, we were able to pick up where we left off.”
GEALAN is highly committed to the Upper Franconian region. Both of the managing partners’ enthusiasm for sports is evident in the company’s sponsorship of numerous sporting events. For example, GEALAN supports the IfL Hof long-distance running association’s traditional triathlon at Lake Untreusee, the SpVgg Bayern Hof Football Club, the VER Selb regional league hockey team and the Oberkotzau archers.
Where will the GEALAN Group be in ten years? Fickenscher’s response: “Oberkotzau will continue to be the focal point.” By then it should also be clear who the successor to the company will be. Another worthwhile goal would be to hit the 100 million euro mark, says Laubmann.
Both managing directors, who have known each other since childhood, wish to continue the fruitful collaboration based on trust they have enjoyed to now. They both say they appreciate the fact that they can rely on each other. The culture of trust formed in the upper echelons of management has had a positive effect on staff and the entire corporate atmosphere, underscores Fickenscher.
Oberkotzau will continue to be the focal point.
Thomas Fickenscher, Managing Director, GEALAN Formteile
Cax Solutions is the nucleus for our application innovations.
Gerhard Laubmann, Managing Director, GEALAN Formteile
Author: By Matthias Will
Article: http://www.frankenpost.de/regional/wirtschaft/Stolz-auf-Wachstum-aus-eigener- Kraft;art2448,4387892
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