DESIGNA receives “TOP 100” award
“Top 100” honours the most innovative companies in Germany. This year, DESIGNA Verkehrsleittechnik GmbH is on the list.
DESIGNA's managing director Dr Thomas Waibel explains the key to the company’s success: “We are open to solutions from unrelated sectors which, cleverly integrated, can produce unique results.” This clear visionary approach helps the Kiel company and its 250 staff develop and produce fully automatic technologies for multi-storey car parks and install them all round the world.
The driving force for an entire sector, DESIGNA comes up with not just technological equipment and the software to match but also something only very few can offer: innovative ideas. The latest in-novation from the far north of Germany, for example, has already found a firm foothold in other sectors: “Application Service Providing” (ASP), meaning outsourcing whole administrative areas and work processes to a single service provider. DESIGNA recently began providing this service to its customers to run multi-storey car parks. With ASP, all an operator’s car parks are connected via the Internet and run from a central server, cutting costs for staff, software updates, servicing and server downtime. Thus, every single multi-storey and underground car park around the world can be monitored simultaneously, and manipulation of the server is no longer possible. The Kiel company’s creativity pays off: a full 85% of its current turnover comes from innovations made over the past three years.
For several months the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Wien) tested the level of innovation at a total of 248 medium-sized companies in Germany. The 100 best, among which was DESIGNA, are to bear this seal of quality for one year. “Good ideas do not arrive on the market all on their own. We work hard on them day in, day out. Of course, we are delighted that our commit-ment is now being rewarded, and it shows us that we are on the right path. In some ways it also shows that we are not going to run out of good ideas in future, either”, Waibel said.
Altogether, 32,500 people work for top innovators across Germany. They are always tinkering around and are not afraid of change, as their employers use stringent innovation management to create the perfect conditions for creativity, getting the best from their staff. It also makes them a significant driving force for the German economy: in 2009 they netted an overall turnover of EUR 11.1 bn. Of the 100 medium-sized companies which bear the seal of quality in 2010, 42 are the na-tional number one in their sector and 10 are world market leaders. The 60 family-run businesses in this year’s "Top 100” show that an awareness of tradition and a willingness to change are not mutu-ally exclusive. Of the 100 companies, 86 have grown faster than the average for their sector over the past three years.
For further information on DESIGNA, the other 99 award-winners and the “Top 100” project go to www.top100.de.
The mentor of the project is Lothar Späth, retired premier of Baden-Württemberg.
Since 2002 Dr Nikolaus Franke has been in charge of the scientific aspect. He is a professor for en-trepreneurship and innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Wien). His research focuses on entrepreneurship, innovation management and marketing. He is one of the world’s leading experts on user innovation.
Organiser: compamedia GmbH
Compamedia organises benchmarking projects for medium-sized companies. With its German corpo-rate comparisons TOP 100, TOP JOB, TOP CONSULTANT and ETHICS IN BUSINESS, it pays tribute to and supports companies producing excellent results in the fields of innovation, personnel manage-ment, consultancy and ethics management.
The project partners are Bayern Innovativ mbH (Bavaria’s corporation for innovation and knowledge transfer), Fraunhofer Gesellschaft e. V. (Organisation for applied research), RKW e. V. (the German Centre for Productivity and Innovation), VDE (the Association for Electrical, Electronic and Informa-tion Technologies) and VDI (the Association of German Engineers). The media partner is the Sued-deutsche Zeitung newspaper.