Hafele is a pioneer in the digitalisation and development of innovative room concepts
Balance 2022: 10 % growth – Going into 2023 with courage and optimism
New Delhi (India), March 29: 2022 has been shaped by persistent Corona restrictions in some markets, inflationary pressures with a resulting turnaround in interest rates, a cooling global economy and, above all, the war in Ukraine. In the midst of these global challenges, Hafele SE & Co KG, a leading global supplier of intelligent hardware and fitting systems, lighting and electronic access control systems, has demonstrated its innovative strength and seized opportunities for growth. When it comes to future topics such as digitalisation and the development of new types of room concept, the Hafele Group has acted as a driving force within the industry. The international Hafele Group, for example, with its subsidiaries in 38 countries and around 8000 employees, grew by 10 percent and increased its revenue to €1.87 billion. Particularly worth mentioning in this respect are the America and South-East Asia regions, which developed their significant potential as “growth locomotives” for Hafele in 2022.
“Courage and optimism” was therefore set as the motto for 2023 for Gregor Riekena, who has been CEO of the Hafele Group since January, the year in which the 100th anniversary of Hafele will also be celebrated. At the beginning of the year, no one could have imagined how soon and how profoundly this attitude would have to prove itself. But in coping with the cyber attack in February 2023, Hafele demonstrated how decisive, courageous action has now quickly succeeded in restoring the company’s ability to operate and led to renewed strength.
Many building blocks lead to success
Hafele’s strength lies in utilising its innovative potential, particularly during difficult times. The keywords for this positive development are digitalisation and the development of innovative room concepts for an evolving living and working world. The increased orientation towards socially and ecologically responsible, resource-conserving action is also forward-looking and, above all, promising in the long term. For example, sustainability issues continued to gain momentum at Hafele in 2022. Joining the WIN Charter and publishing the first sustainability report in the spring of 2023 are evidence of the company’s commitment.
The digital Hafele world
The period of the pandemic was also used sensibly to develop skills and capacities in the digital world. One milestone was the development of the virtual showroom “Discoveries” to ensure that Hafele has a consistent presence in all markets. The response to the digital platform, which initially replaced trade fairs which had been cancelled due to the pandemic, has been extremely positive: the distinct internationality with content in 16 different languages and the winning of thirteen top-class awards are an expression of the appreciation and considerable interest in experiencing the Hafele product world at any time and anywhere in the world. The Discoveries platform will also be undergoing further development for the interzum trade fair in May 2023. For example, the Plus services which were introduced in 2022 will be available there in the future. As far as Hafele customers are concerned, these mean time savings and noticeable simplifications along their entire work process. The idea behind it: Hafele integrates itself into the customer’s processes as a “team member” and makes it possible for the businesses of joiners/cabinet makers and interior design companies to focus even more intensively on their core business and core expertise, for example.
Connectivity pioneer – holistic lighting experiences
Years ago, Hafele set itself the target of becoming a trendsetter in the field of comprehensive networking solutions in furniture and rooms, and made lighting its core expertise. Strategic company acquisitions have also helped to expand the company’s know-how in innovative technologies in the past. At the beginning of 2022 and following several years of cooperation, Hafele acquired start-up company ThingOS, which was established out of the University of Stuttgart. With this step, not only the technical expertise but also the fresh impetus of the visionary entrepreneurial spirit was incorporated into the company’s own corporate culture: With ThingOS, Hafele is now fully capable of providing unique lighting and room experiences from a single source in conjunction with the Nimbus (light & acoustics) and Sphinx (electronic access control systems) business areas. The special expertise of controlling smartly networked furniture and room lighting is a unique selling point in the industry, and makes Hafele a pioneer.
Heavy investment – the growing “Hospitality” business segment
In order to provide a concrete insight into the topic of connectivity, Hafele has invested heavily and opened a new showroom known as the “Blackbox” in Stuttgart for its joiner/cabinet maker, industrial and project clientele. In this future laboratory for making diverse use of rooms, predominantly in the area of commercial living, it is possible to directly experience the meaning of digital networking – and how it is possible to use rooms as efficiently as possible using cordlessly connected devices that communicate with each other at lightning speed. One of the classic scenarios is the hotel room, which is usually empty during the day and can be converted into an office workstation or meeting room in no time at all. The key questions to which Hafele has answers ready are, among other things: How can a room have multiple uses? How can it be easily converted? How can it be emotionalised for different atmospheres with good room and furniture light? How do I organize individual offers in a guest and operator-friendly way? The efficient use of rooms is particularly interesting for investors and operators in order to achieve a higher return on investment: “Together with our customers, we want to optimise the use and value of rooms and improve everyday processes by making sensible use of technology,” emphasises Gregor Riekena.
Well equipped for the anniversary year: Hafele turns 100
Hafele is well prepared for its anniversary year: “Entrepreneurial excellence” is what publicist and entrepreneur Dr. Florian Langenscheidt attested to the Hafele group of companies in his recently published illustrated book “From the best family”, in which Hafele is portrayed as one of 100 family-run businesses. In troubled times, it is more important than ever to draw attention to the achievements of German family-run businesses. They represent continuity, sustainability, economic success and social responsibility, as can be read in the press release from the ZEIT publishing group.
It would be hard to formulate more succinctly that which constitutes Hafele’s corporate culture, and will also continue to characterise it for the next 100 years. The company has proven time and again that words are followed by deeds, and there are many things in the pipeline for the anniversary year: After the opening of the fourth high-bay warehouse at the logistics centre in Nagold, an investment project which has cost around 20 million Euros, construction of the new Dynamics Centre is going to begin in 2023. An amount in the high double-digit millions is being invested within this framework. The core ideas of the building complex on the Wolfsberg in Nagold, which looks out over the Black Forest, are openness and cooperation. The building is intended to be open to visitors on the viewing platform, for employees from other companies for co-working and catering, and also for events organised by other companies. By “cooperation”, Hafele is thinking of its partners, but also of exchanges with start-ups or research institutions. Gregor Riekena: “The Dynamics Centre is designed for very flexible use. We therefore speak of an investment with vision. We want to contribute to the further development of Nagold as a business location.”
With the first major challenge on the threshold of the company’s second century, Hafele proved its capability when dealing with the cyber attack at the beginning of February 2023. Just a few weeks after shutting down all of its systems worldwide, the company has re-established its ability to deliver and restored the majority of its business operations. Hafele has also made major investments in setting up a completely new IT security architecture. “A strong economic foundation, decisive action and global cohesion were the decisive factors for not only overcoming this challenge, but emerging stronger,” says Gregor Riekena. “After this challenging start to 2023, we are all the more pleased to be coming together for our special anniversary and saying thank you to the Hafele Family and all of our partners.”
Various anniversary-related activities are planned during the course of the year. The interzum, the world’s leading trade fair for furniture manufacturing and interior design, will be kicking off the anniversary celebrations in May
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Hafele India, Established as a wholly owned subsidiary of Hafele Global network, Hafele India has been operating in India since 2003. An authority in the field of architectural hardware, furniture and kitchen fittings and accessories, the company also has a strong presence in synergized product categories like Home Appliances, Interior and Furniture Lighting, Sanitary Solutions, and Surfaces positioning itself as a complete solution provider for interior solutions in India and South Asia.
Hafele India has a strong nation-wide presence through its offices and design showrooms spread across the country. The showrooms function as a one-stop-shop for all home interior and improvement needs – from providing in-depth technical advice to kitchen and wardrobe designing services through a team of experts.
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