The company celebrates its 100th year with a glimpse into the future of the business.
Reaching 100 years is not a customary feat for any company, but Hoffmann, the headquarters of the Hoffmann Group is ready to brave another centennial if it means serving its 135,000 customers and counting. In 1919, not too long after Germany announced a new republic, Josef Hoffmann started selling and trading technical equipment in Munich, carefully observing the market and augmenting the product line according to customers’ needs.
When Josef’s son, Franz Hoffmann, joined the business in 1936, he made the most simple, focussed and useful tool for any tradesman of that time, an in-house catalogue of product listings from different manufacturers which would become the inspiration for the Hoffmann catalogue.
Now, the company assists its customers with almost 38,000 tools under the GARANT brand which started in 1973. GARANT, as the company puts it, reflects Hoffmann Group’s manufacturing competence in machining technology, clamping technology, metrology, grinding and cutting, hand tools, as well as workstations and storage equipment. Apart from this mainstay in the company’s product portfolio, the company also carries its HOLEX brand and 500 other industrial quality brands. “We just find the right product to adapt to our local customer needs,” Borries Schüler, chief product management & engineering officer at Hoffmann, said to Singapore Business Review.
Hoffmann Group has three hubs in Asia, not to mention the other subsidiaries scattered across Europe and the Americas. For Southeast Asia, Hoffmann Group has its headquarters in Singapore, Shanghai for its Chinese market and Pune for its India operations.
One of the reasons why the company has grown in Asia can be attributed to its customers. “In Asia, we figure out what products or services can help our customer get better,” Schüler noted.
This personal attention to customers is complemented by Hoffmann Group’s motto “ever better,” which explains the importance it gives to high quality. “We are never happy about the situation, we improve the situation, every market in Europe and also in Asia,” said Martin Reichenecker, chief sales and marketing officer and spokesman of the board at Hoffmann, describing a typical European behaviour.
As part of its end-to-end service, the company also focuses on providing expert and technical advice to its customers. “As long as something is produced with metals or is maintained in the company, we can give added value and we help our customers to improve the situation all in the tools and to become even more successful,” Reichenecker added.
Meanwhile, Schüler explained that the Singapore headquarters is serving as an incubator for other ASEAN markets and may very well serve as a blueprint for its European counterparts which are still in the nascent stages of a digital shift. “It’s good to be forced stronger into digitalisation here, then take what we learn and take it back to Europe or America as well,” he added.
As part of its commitment to provide fast delivery of products, Hoffmann Group recently revealed its newest 21.5-hectare facility building project in Nuremberg, named LogisticCity, which is currently under construction and set to be launched in 2021. “Best delivery performance ensures our customers that they don’t have to put so many tools on stock. We are able to deliver worldwide very fast and therefore we need a new logistic hub,” Reichenecker commented.
Putting the customer first in any decision, and complementing this with precise attention to high quality, is what makes Hoffmann Group a step ahead, a quality tool master and expert partner in the 4.0 era, and maybe the next 100 years.
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