The Harting Technology Group, headquartered in Espelkamp (Minden-Lübbecke district), has entered the new 2015/16 business year from a strong position (commencing on 1 October, 2015). Sales in the 2014/15 business year elapsed were up by 3.7 per cent to EUR567 million (previous year: EUR547 million), thereby marking the highest sales in the history of the company.
Philip Harting, chairman and personally liable partner, says: “We are pleased with these developments. The result is in line with the forecast stated at our last annual press conference. We have delivered.” At the beginning of December 2014, the Harting management board had forecasted lower single digit sales gains.
Business developments ran different courses in the individual regions in which Harting is active. In Europe (without Germany) and the Near East (EMEA), sales were up by 4.6 per cent to EUR183 million (previous year: EUR175 million). Business in the Americas region showed marked growth. The family-owned and managed company headquartered in Espelkamp generated gratifying gains of 17.3 per cent to EUR61 million (previous year: EUR52 million). Within two years Harting has been able to boost sales in the Americas by a sound one-third.
Philip Harting continues: “The reindustrialization of the USA is a growth driver, while the interest in our Industrie 4.0 solutions is also decidedly substantial. I am looking forward to the USA as our partner country at next year’s Hannover Messe.” Harting announced that the partner country USA will hold particular significance at the upcoming trade fair appearance.
In Asia, Harting sales were up by EUR3 million to EUR129 million (previous year: EUR126 million). In Germany, sales matched the previous year’s figure of EUR194 million. In the meantime, the Harting Technology Group is achieving two-thirds of total sales (66 per cent) abroad.
Philip Harting notes: “In view of the positive developments in the Americas region, we will be stepping up our activities there.” Production will soon be kicking off at the Silao location, in Mexico. The facility will produce small size switch cabinets, as well as moulded cables and wiring harnesses. The expansion activities in Romania are more or less concluded. Philip Harting adds: “We are expanding the worldwide Harting manufacturing network step by step.”
Philip Harting emphasised that the passing of the baton in October, when he assumed the chairman position from his father Dietmar Harting, set the course for the successful continuation of the company’s development. He says:“This change at the helm stands for continuity – and consequently for security and reliability for our suppliers, our customers and our employees.”
Very positive response to Industrie 4.0 products
In the past business year too, Harting succeeded in strengthening its market position as a researching and innovative company with a consistent customer focus. At the Hannover Messe and the SPS IPC Drives trade fair in Nuremberg, Harting presented product novelties that provide customers with rapid and reliable Industry 4.0-based production. Here, Harting has picked up on the key Integrated Industry trends (Customisation, Miniaturisation, Identification, Modularisation, Integration and Digitalisation) and developed concrete products.
Philip Harting says: “Our two trade fair presentations met with very positive response from the markets. Especially the feedback from the professional associations ZVEI and VDMA spurs us on to continue the course we are charting. I can already promise you that we will be showcasing some genuine highlights at next year’s Hannover Messe.”
Harting takes a cautiously optimistic view of the 2015/16 business year that has just begun. As current assessments of relevant associations and the Federal Ministry of Economics confirm, the global business outlook has clouded further. Chairman states: “In this context I would like to mention the weaker growth emanating from China, or the growth slowdown in the emerging nations. We should also consider the fact that the mechanical engineering sector is anticipating zero growth in the upcoming 2016 calendar year.”
Clear commitment to the region
Harting is firmly committed to the Espelkamp, Rahden and Minden locations in the Minden-Lübbecke district. Maresa Harting-Hertz, board member responsible for Finance & Procurement and personally liable partner, says: “In the business year elapsed we have invested some EUR48 million, the major share of which was committed to local activities and projects. In the ongoing business year the figure will even reach some EUR50 million. This reflects our clear commitment to the region – and it secures employment.”
In the elapsed business year 2014/15, the major share of the total investment volume was committed, among others, to the construction of a new hall at the Harting Systems subsidiary in Espelkamp, the expansion of the new Harting training centre NAZHA, the power supply of Plant 2, as well as the optimisation and digitalisation of machines and systems, as Maresa Harting-Hertz went on to explain.
In the current 2015/16 business year the investments will be committed, among others, to the European Distribution Centre (EDC) logistics facility, the reconstruction of the “Pianka” building (office building with 120 workplaces in Espelkamp), as well as production optimisation at Plant 1 and 2 (in the course of digitalisation and Industrie 4.0) and the expansion of production capabilities (USA / Mexico).
In the business year elapsed the personnel figures also developed positively. The number of employees (including trainees) stood at 4228 members of staff worldwide at the end of the business year (previous year: 4048). This represents an increase of 4.4 per cent, indicating that Harting has created 180 new positions within 12 months. Domestic activities accounted for 116 jobs (increase of 5.2 per cent), while foreign operations added some 64 (3.6 per cent) new positions. At the three locations in the Minden Lübbecke district (Espelkamp, Rahden und Minden) Harting is employing a total of 2367 members of staff as of 30 September 2015, including trainees (previous year: 2251).
Up-and-coming generations: new training vocations
For many years, training and further training, qualification and skilling have been accorded high priority at the Harting technology group. In 2008 at the new NAZHA training centre, commercial and technical-industrial trainees, as well as students enrolled in dual curriculums are provided with a sound foundation for embarking on their successful vocational future.
As of September 30, a total of 152 trainees were undergoing training in 21 different professions at the company’s NAZHA centre (previous year: 127 trainees). In the 2016 calendar year, a total of 166 dual curriculum students and trainees will be undergoing vocational training at Harting.
Dr Michael Pütz, Senior Vice President Human Resources, Facilities and Legal Affairs, says: “In view of demographic change we have invested in our junior staff at an early stage. After all, they are the skilled employees and the managers of the future.”
In the past business year, against the background of the dynamic development of the 4th industrial revolution (Industrie 4.0) Harting created additional and new training positions in the dual curriculum courses of business informatics and business engineering.
Dr Pütz notes: “In connection with the progressing digitalisation of our company we will also be consistently adapting our training and personnel development to the requirements and offer new vocational profiles, develop training measures and create the necessary general conditions for successful growth.”
Throughout the year, the Technology Group offers numerous information events at mainstream schools, in order to position itself as an innovative technology company. The family-owned and managed company enjoys an excellent reputation among young school students from the Minden-Lübbecke district who are looking for a training position, as Mr Pütz explains: “The very good finishing grades our trainees achieve reflect the superior quality of the training we offer.”
In this context, Dr Pütz underscored the fact that employees and their work take centre stage at Harting. He says: “The success of the company is due to our highly motivated and qualified employees, and this also holds true for the realisation of the future topics of Industry 4.0. Our employer brand PEOPLE POWER PARTNERSHIP is lived in everyday practice throughout our company. Therefore, I am also very optimistic in terms of the future topics revolving around Industrie 4.0.”
For more information about Harting products and activities, please go to www.harting.com.