Discounting the crisis year of 2009, incoming orders and turnover at Pallmann Maschinenfabrik, the heart of the international business group, have grown constantly over the last five years, while employment levels have remained more or less constant. Regular and substantial investments in product development, production, and logistics have ensured the competitiveness of a family-run business characterized by depth of production capability.
Hartmut Pallmann is committed to opening up global markets while keeping development and production in Zweibrücken. “Part of our successful strategy is to react very quickly and very specifically to individual customer needs,” he says. “We can do this because we have invested in a highly qualified and motivated workforce and in the most modern production technology. This enables us to produce single machines very quickly and just as cost-effectively as series equipment, here in Germany.
“In addition, having the largest test center for size reduction technology in the world co-located with our own production has enabled us to establish an exchange of experience and ideas that would otherwise be almost impossible to realize. This has brought us to a technological peak.” The numbers back him up: Pallmann currently holds about 180 patents, 12 of which were obtained in 2010 alone.
As an illustration of the importance that Pallmann attaches to skill levels, the company retained its staff levels of around 450 in Zweibrücken throughout the economic crisis of 2009. “Only in this way were we able to handle the increased level of incoming orders in 2010,” says Pallmann.
And now the company is investing in its future experts: this year, it is extending its training center, where trainees obtain high-level, hands-on preparation for their future professions. This will enable it to further increase its number of trainees, which has already risen by 50% over the last four years to its current level of 30 - equivalent to just under seven percent of the total workforce.
The strategic development of Pallmann’s internal organization and international presence made strong progress last year. The group has established the conditions for a systematic and strategic handling of markets by putting a special focus on the wood, plastics, process industries and recycling business areas, and with the appointment of business managers. Pallmann is also participating in the growing trend towards development and delivery of extensive and complete systems by taking particular care of its turn-key customers.
Pallmann machines already operate in more than 80 countries. Subsidiaries, service centers, and representative offices maintain contact with customers in all industrial areas of the world. This network has been continually strengthened over the years, and 2010 was no exception: the group opened sales and service centers in Beijing, in Shanghai, and also opened a subsidiary in Moscow to share support for CIS countries with its Minsk office. International activities were extended with a further liaison office with Pallmann employees in Spain and a joint venture in India. Branches and subsidiaries in the U.S. and Brazil already cover the North and South American markets.
For the current year, Hartmut Pallmann once again expects results to reach record levels. “We are reaping the benefits of the international business expansion we have carried out in recent years, complemented by the concentration on high efficiency production in Zweibrücken and consistent attention to quality,” he says.
For more information, visit www.pallmann.eu.