Bavarian State Minister of Economic Affairs visits BHS as part of Bavaria Investment Focus
In his last official visit before moving into the private sector, Bavaria’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Dr. Otto Wiesheu, visited BHS Getriebe GmbH in Sonthofen as part of the Bavaria Investment Focus initiative.
According to Minister Wiesheu, the German economy has come under pressure as a result of globalisation and the enlargement of the EU. His Bavaria Investment Focus initiative aims to improve conditions for local industry, so as to provide a boost to research and development and enable high-quality products and services from Bavaria to be marketed internationally. As Minister Wiesheu explained in his speech to the staff at BHS, however, downsizing and outsourcing of cost-intensive business sectors abroad constitute a “much too defensive” approach.
Far more potential for cost reduction and new opportunities on the global market is generated by improving both quality and material and energy efficiency, expanding capacity, and strengthening customer loyalty and customer orientation.
According to Dieter Groher, Managing Director of BHS Getriebe GmbH, the Sonthofen-based company has been highly successful in realising the aims of the initiative through the production of mature hi-tech products at a competitive cost and the use of innovative processes that bring the customer closer to the company. This has resulted in a 70% increase in new orders within four years, creating additional job positions and increasing productivity—which is based on the value added per employee—by 24%. Furthermore, approximately 12% of the company are trainees—more than double the average for Germany’s metal and electrical industry.
BHS Getriebe GmbH has an annual turnover of over €50 million and currently holds 25% of the turbo gearbox market worldwide. The company has 330 employees. During his visit, Minister Weisheu presented Managing Directors Lothar Hennauer and Dieter Groher with three certificates: a DIN EN ISO 14001:2005 certificate for environmental protection; an OHRIS (Occupational Health and Risk Management) certificate for occupational health and safety/plant safety in compliance with the ILO-OSH 2001 international guidelines; and a third document from Environment Minister Schnappauf confirming BHS Getriebe’s participation in the Environmental Pact of Bavaria.