The outlook for 2016
If you want to know how 2016 will turn out, we have little to go on. Who could have predicted – just one year ago – the plummeting price of oil and other commodities, the scale of the current refugee … Continue reading
If you want to know how 2016 will turn out, we have little to go on. Who could have predicted – just one year ago – the plummeting price of oil and other commodities, the scale of the current refugee crisis, or the new threat of terrorism right on Europe’s doorstep? It is highly likely that what we can most expect in 2016 is even more unpredictability.
Germany’s mechanical engineering sector (i.e. our customers) is set to report zero growth again in 2016, for the sixth year running. The initial boom in equipment sales to Turkey, China and East Asia in general has been a huge success for German industry, but it is now over. Most ongoing investment is local, and based mainly on home suppliers with an attitude that can be summed up as “good enough”. As Russia looks set to slide even more deeply into an economic crisis of its own making, and the United States appears to move on regardless, though the industry is traditionally under-represented here against the dominance of IT and the entire service sector.
The outlook is therefore not good. As a family business based in Radevormwald (Germany), we are currently more used to seeing storm clouds than sunny skies.
So does this all mean that we can no longer make plans for the future?
On the contrary! A look back at 2015 clearly shows, and makes us deeply thankful for, the successes that our employees and their expertise have managed to deliver, despite the adverse conditions of the market.
Yet another year has passed in which we have been able to win both market shares and new customers for our high-spec components in particular. We have successfully managed to put our performance to the test in the face of tough global competition; with our customers likewise confirming what is objectively reflected in the figures. The objectives and measures applied with a view to increasing further the quality of our products have delivered the goods – all at competitive prices.
Last year saw us set up a Norwegian joint venture with a highly trustworthy partner in that country’s marine and offshore industry – a long-established family firm similar to our own – and it has got off to a very successful start. Levels of interest clearly exceed our expectations in times of oil crisis. Our ready-to-fit components based on centrifugal stainless-steel castings obviously allow us to offer a highly reliable and at the same time more efficient alternative to the costly forged equivalent, thereby leaving us well-positioned to break into yet another new market. This is all made possible by a combination of our knowledge of materials in general, our specialist expertise in centrifugal stainless-steel casting and the precise and efficient machining of the ready-to-install results that goes with them.
Reliable, flexible and yet cost-efficient solutions – offered to customers on fair terms and subject to further joint development – are the keys to our success, which we will continue to work on single-mindedly over the coming year. The vital factors in this respect are – as always – our staff and workforce, and it is for this reason that we are so pleased to have recruited so many committed and competent people into our organisation. This is also what gives us the confidence to continue offering our customers service that can hold its own against any competitor, no matter what.
Photo: © rea_molko – stock.adobe.com