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Flexibility as Guarantor of Success

Successful 2015 for customized machine builder

This content was written and submitted by the supplier. It has only been modified to comply with this publication’s space and style.

How is business going? Booming. Why? Flexibility.

If one word were to describe the development at groninger in 2015, it would be flexibility. It is vital to develop new products and actively involve employees in implementing change processes – both highly successful aspects of the past business year.

In 2015 groninger's 1,020 employees in Crailsheim, Schnelldorf and Charlotte (North Carolina, USA) generated revenue of 140 million euros. Up 8% from the previous year, this was an exceptional achievement, given that 2015 was a year of changes. Aside from extensive modernization of the order processing system according to the 'Critical Chain Project Management' method, various restructuring projects were also conducted at the Crailsheim site. As Managing Director Jens Groninger confirms: "We redefined more than 70 managerial posts to prime the organization of our growing company for the future, thus enhancing efficiency and speed of action." Making a success of change always calls for a trusting relationship between employees and management. "We are very proud that our employees are so supportive of the process and give their best, even when we have to do things in a roundabout way sometimes. We count on new leadership methods and the experience and creativity of our managers. That's why we also invest continuously in the development of our employees," adds Jens Groninger. Since 2014 two further members have joined the Management Board to ensure that the company's key core sectors are covered. As Jens Groninger explains: "Responsibility is spread over several shoulders, which is a very important aspect of our growth strategy."

Record beaters

One record after the other was broken in the year of the company's 35th anniversary. Following the highest revenue in the company's history, the highest distribution of profits totaling 2.6 million euros was paid out to employees. The family-run company also invested heavily: 5.5 million euros for a 40,000 m² site for future expansions. Already built is the impressive new staff restaurant. Opened in May 2015, it has seating for 200 people. It offers freshly cooked lunches daily in an attractive modern ambiance. The name says it all: Meet & Eat – the restaurant with adjoining conference hall is a popular meeting place. As Senior Head of the company Horst Groninger sums up: "We are equipped for tomorrow and our expansion and growth plans for the future are well underway". The latest investment currently focuses on Consumer Healthcare at the Schnelldorf site. It is driven by ambitious plans: most of the new 4,500 square meters for offices, assembly and warehouse, representing a total investment of around six million euros, are to be completed this year. Advanced technology is envisioned for energy supplying. Volker Groninger, Schnelldorf Managing Director explains: "Based on the heat exchanger principle, thanks to the changed aggregate condition of water - liquid or frozen - our ice storage heating system ensures heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. Investing in renewable energy is one of our top priorities." A fact also proven by the certification in April 2016 of the groninger energy management system to DIN EN ISO 50001.

Standardization creates flexibility in tomorrow's market

Even the conservative pharmaceuticals market is in the throes of change. The age of so-called 'blockbuster' high-volume products is over – we are poised on the threshold of personalized medicine and smaller production batches. This calls for different machine technologies and new concepts. So machine manufacturers need to rethink. In 2015 groninger opted for the standardization of selected machine models to offer customers a fast, modern and reasonably priced solution. The new FlexPro 50 machine concept proved to be the greatest success. Several orders were placed the year it was launched. Josef Veile, Technical Director and member of the Management Board at the Crailsheim site explains the success: "We design innovative machine concepts on a daily basis – but FlexPro 50 allows us to do so much faster, with reduced project planning, production and construction times, supplying customers with the systems they need for aseptic processing in small and medium-sized batches." By changing just a few size parts, nested syringes, cartridges and vials can be processed via FlexPro 50 in a single line configuration. "This degree of flexibility in processing small series is unique compared to existing machine concepts on the market and offers huge benefits for our customers" adds Jens Groninger. Aside from standardized coordinated line modules and integrated isolator technology and freeze drying, access at both sides to machine modules is a major benefit for operators. The concept saves up to 40% space compared to conventional systems.

"And of course groninger will continue to devise customized solutions to meet customer needs. Not much will change in this respect." comments Dieter Derr, Sales and Marketing Director at the Crailsheim site and also member of the Management Board. It is no coincidence that the company motto is 'We fill Visions with Life'. This philosophy is actively pursued in all business

International research and development

Full order books and an export quota of 90% are an indicator of groninger's successful corporate management. Safe in this knowledge, groninger is keenly committed to future issues in the industry. Here are just a few examples:
• Use of x-ray technology for syringe inspection
• Successful development and marketing of plasma decontamination as a unique worldwide alternative to existing e-beam technology
• Targeted elaboration of Industry 4.0 aspects and products for wireless communication between smart systems and sensors for the pharmaceutical or cosmetic industry

Traditionally, groninger reinvests around 10% of its profits in research and development.

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