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PP Electrical Systems’ MD Tony Hague has reinforced his company’s commitment to expansion in Germany after returning from a recent ‘Meet the Mittelstand’ tour.
The two-day visit to four companies across Baden-Württemburg and was designed to provide UK businesses with an insight into a region that has contributed more than £380bn to the national GDP in 2012.
Bosses heard how manufacturers, such as STIHL, Festo, Balluff and EWS Tool Technologies, have implemented long-term export plans and shown a strong commitment to R&D and lean methodology.
All four firms are typical Mittelstand companies, who are privately or family owned/managed and been heralded as the blueprint of success for UK counterparts to follow.
Tony Hague explained: “This was a great opportunity to see first-hand how these manufacturers operate and I’ve certainly taken away elements of what we’ve witnessed over the last two days.
“There’s definitely something we can learn from their longer-term approach towards managing growth and investment, not to mention the development of their people in order to attract and retain talent in a competitive market. Something we’re probably five or ten years behind over here.”
He continued: “Encouragingly, I actually think we do many processes as well, some even better than our German counterparts. The challenge will be to ensure we continuously improve and stay ahead of the competition.”
PP Electrical Systems, which was joined on the tour by Jaguar Land Rover, Portakabin and Unipart, exports 10% of its £18m turnover to Germany, with the intention to double this over the next two years.