“We believe that our activities in Germany will surpass our Danish business activities within a couple of years, because the potential is so great,” states Lars Jagd, Partner in Valcon. Valcon offers consulting services in improvement of development processes, and their first step on the export adventure has gotten the seal of approval from a client in the car industry in Southern Germany.
“Dr. Schneider is our first client in Southern Germany. As a result of our Six Theta training programme with them, we are now in dialogue about training programmes with a large number of companies in the car industry. Obviously, we will not be initiating programmes in all of these companies, but even with only a few, we will still have work for a lot of years to come,” says Lars Jagd. Valcon trained 200 engineers and managers from Dr. Schneider in the Six Theta design toolbox.
Dr. Schneider has around 3600 employees and is one of many sub-suppliers to the German car industry. The company provides plastic components to brands as Audi, BMW and Mercedes. Valcon sees the car industry as an obvious industry to focus on.
“The development pace and innovation demands are high and there is significant volume. This is why it makes great sense for them to invest in new methods to strengthen their innovative skills and competitive advantage. When you talk about the car industry in Europe, it is natural to think of Germany. And many of our potential clients are in Southern Germany,” explains Lars Jagd.
The dialogue with Dr. Schneider was facilitated by The Technical University of Denmark. And Torsten Förtsch, Head of Development in Dr. Schneider, explains that it was Valcon’s expertise that was attractive, not necessarily their Danish background.
“It did not play a role that Valcon is Danish as we are an international organisation that seek services where the right know-how and price is available. Valcon offered a product that we couldn’t get elsewhere,” he explains.
Billions waiting to be realised in Southern Germany
Southern Germany is often highlighted as the most important export region for Danish companies. And the possibilities seem even better now thanks to a German recovery that is most significant in Bayern and Baden-Württemberg.
“Companies should focus on Southern Germany simply because it is the richest region of Germany. The region has the strongest markets and prospects, but the competition is hard,” says CEO Reiner Perau from the Danish-German chamber of commerce.
A new market analysis of 27,000 German companies from the German professional body DIHK shows that hopes are high. Even if the expectations for the future are subdued, Southern Germany keeps the flag flying with an index 13 whereas Northern German companies are in minus.
A consultant report from The University of Aarhus in Denmark predicts great possibilities in the region too with sales potential estimated at EUR 1.8 billion. Among the most prominent industries are the car industry and the machine industry.
Lars Jagd will not reveal which other clients Valcon is in dialogue with. But several of them have +30,000 employees, meaning bigger development departments that could potentially benefit from a training programme with Valcon as was the case with Dr. Schneider.