Now, on its 80th anniversary and many years on from that pivotal decision, SEW-EURODRIVE has become a global company, with over 14,000 employees in 44 countries and a turnover of over 2 billion euros. But the ethos however, remains the same and still drives the management and its employees.
SEW-EURODRIVE Managing Partner, Jürgen Blickle was in Australia recently to celebrate the company’s 80th anniversary with the Australian team.
“Everything we do is for our customers,” Blickle states. “Our world-wide policy is that if we have parts in that country, all customers can have their product delivered within 24 hours, which is so valuable to organisations with mission-critical operations or massive production volumes.”
Hindrance to servicing end users became a thing of the past. The unique needs of different markets and applications could be quickly satisfied by local SEW-EURODRIVE operations that could assemble various modules with its modular designs. The positive market reaction resulted in a surge in demand that saw SEW-EURODRIVE grow dramatically. The modular concept also enabled common products to be manufactured in large quantities, making the concept cost-effective for end users, all the while ensuring the same degree of quality at every plant, globally.
“The revenues of each operation around the world go back into that country,” explains Blickle. “We require all of our operations to be financially self-sufficient.
“Our company has no debt – we practice good fiscal discipline; and that certainly helped us through the GFC. With our primary goal of servicing end users well, our growth is in response to market demand.”
SEW-EURODRIVE turned its attention to China in 1994. SEW-EURODRIVE set up operations in the growing super-power solely to service the emerging domestic Chinese market.
“Our strategy was completely different – our operation was set up purely to service the growing local demand for motors and drives. Our first plant was staffed and run entirely by local Chinese employees, who were conscious of what it took to service their own market. Now we have five plants in China, and hope that number can continue to grow.”
Passionate about his company’s service ethos, Blickle states emphatically: “We get a great deal of self-satisfaction by doing things very well and delighting our customers – that’s what drives us. We’re a private company, so we’re not driven by dividends to shareholders like public companies are. We’re a fifth-generation family business that loves to solve problems for end users.”