Ennepetal/Düsseldorf. DORMA received a 2012 Axia Award yesterday (February 18) from audit and consultancy firm Deloitte. Bearing the slogan “The SME sector as a growth driver – Routes to success,” the prize is presented to firms that use mergers and acquisitions, internationalization and branding as essential growth components in order to strengthen and develop their market position. In all, Deloitte awarded four companies from North Rhine-Westphalia – besides DORMA the recipients were Beumer Group from Beckum, Gira Giersiepen from Radevormwald and Vorwerk from Wuppertal.
DORMA’s systematic internationalization strategy won particular admiration. The firm’s first sales company outside Germany, DORMA France, was set up in 1977. The first foreign production plant followed a year later in Singapore. DORMA now operates production facilities in Europe, Malaysia, China and North and South America as well as production and sales companies in over 50 countries.
“DORMA continues to implement a consistent internationalization strategy. The realignment of the DORMA Group into five global sales regions allows country-specific factors to be taken into account, while volatile markets can be served flexibly. For instance, the specialist for access solutions has founded research and development centers in India and Singapore in order to identify new trends and develop local products,” commented the jury panel, justifying its decision. The panel comprised Arndt G. Kirchhoff, Chair of the SME Committee of the Federation of German Industry (BDI) and the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA), Dr. Tom A. Rüsen from the Witten Institute for Family-owned Businesses at Witten/Herdecke University, Michael Prellberg from business journal publisher Gruner und Jahr and Lutz Meyer and Ulrich Harnacke from Deloitte.
“Our first plant in Asia in 1978 laid the foundations for our internationalization success. Our Managing Shareholder Karl-Rudolf Mankel demonstrated a forward-looking approach by deciding to locate the facility in Singapore, and not – as many other entrepreneurs of the time were doing – looking westwards. In this respect we owe this award to him,” explained DORMA CEO Thomas P. Wagner. He added: “Moreover, right from day one our sights were never set on an exporting approach, but on a policy of true internationalization – these days you’d say a globalization strategy. This principle of organic growth, coupled with a strong respect for the countries and their cultures and people, were and undoubtedly still are the key factors underpinning our international success.”
Alongside organic international growth, DORMA uses acquisitions to develop new sales markets. Recently, for example, it acquired firms in South Korea, Canada and Australia, as well as a 40-percent stake in ISEO, an Italian lock and lock cylinder specialist. DORMA’s goal is to double its sales to 2 billion euros by 2020.
Complex application process for the Axia Award
Deloitte assessed 144 applicant firms and subsequently select the best SMEs from the North Rhine-Westphalia region. The company directors had to complete an extensive questionnaire and were interviewed personally about their firm’s development. The jury panel then used these assessments to select the winners.
The award ceremony
The official presentation of the Axia Awards took place in Düsseldorf on February 18. The welcoming speech was given by Garrelt Duin, Minister of Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Ulrich Harnacke from Deloitte chaired the award ceremony. The guest speaker was Ulrich Grillo, Chairman of the Executive Board of Grillo-Werke AG and President of the BDI, who spoke about “The future of industry.” Jury panel member Tom A. Rüsen from the Witten Institute for Family-owned Businesses presented a study with the translated title “The SME sector as a growth driver – Routes to success.” “The award winners have succeeded extraordinarily well in consolidating their market position through the ongoing development of specific success factors,” he summarized, referring to this year’s recipients. Lutz Meyer from Deloitte added: “The four prize winners from North Rhine-Westphalia show that continuous further development and best practices in relation to key success factors enable small and medium-sized firms to strategically consolidate and strengthen their market position.”