Former Minister President Lothar Späth presents the award to Betek HR Director Gerold Klausmann, who shows his delight with fellow Betek employees at belonging to one of the most innovative companies in the German SME sector.
The staff and management at Betek in Aichhalden are overjoyed: BETEK Bergbau- und Hartmetalltechnik Karl-Heinz Simon GmbH & Co. KG is one of the 100 most innovative companies in the German SME sector. That was the finding of the latest study conducted as part of the nationwide, cross-industry ‘Top 100’ business comparison survey. In this 17th running of the prestigious business initiative, it was Betek’s made-to-measure innovation management that truly impressed. Lothar Späth, retired former Minister President of Baden-Württemberg, presented the cherished ‘Top 100’ award to Betek HR Director Gerold Klausmann.
In so doing the mentor of this SME initiative was honouring Betek’s achievements in the areas of ‘Pro-Innovation Top Management’, Innovation Climate’, ‘Innovative Processes and Organisation’, ‘Innovation Marketing’ and ‘Innovation Success’.
As an SME business, Betek, which has 162 employees, received the award in particular for its success through innovation. At Betek shaping innovative processes means working closely with partners, suppliers and clients. Just how successful the industrious Swabians are is shown by the fact that the company now has over 50 active patents, as well as by the fact that the technologies concerned frequently get copied in Asia. The Aichhalden-based business expends 4.5 million on the development of new products. One of its greatest innovative successes of recent years has been the round shank cutter bit based on the so-called R-system. It rotates permanently about its own axis and keeps automatically sharpening itself as it penetrates into the asphalt. Equally successful is a system that was jointly developed with Munich Technical University and has now been in use for over a year and a half. It utilises optical recognition technologies in order to better shape the collaboration of man and robot. “Whenever we’ve developed something new, we don’t sit on laurels, but consider instead how we can make it even better,” says Karl Kammerer, Betek’s managing director.
In order to gain this honour Betek had to come through a strict, two-stage procedure run by the University of Economics and Business in Vienna. “Our findings show that the 100 top innovators approach challenges with great vigour and thus, for example, are well equipped for the current economic situation. At most of these companies innovation has boardroom-level priority,” remarks Professor Nikolaus Franke, the study’s academic director, commenting on the analysis. The award-winning companies consequently generated two thirds of their turnover with innovations and innovative improvements of the past three years – while in a comparative group of German SME businesses the figure was no more than 30%. Furthermore, through process innovations the top 100 companies were able to save a full 12% of their costs, while ‘average SMEs’ saved just 4%. As a result this year’s ‘Top 100’ include 54 national market leaders, 22 of which are even number one worldwide in their field of business. Karl Kammerer is delighted by the company’s success: “Our innovative process is now proven to be amongst the best that the German SME sector has to offer. That enhances our credibility and generates confidence amongst staff, partners and, of course, clients. There can scarcely be a better way to face tough economic times.” In total 319 companies took part this year in the ‘Top 100’ initiative.