It's official: RRC power solutions GmbH is one of the 100 most innovative medium-sized companies in Germany. So say the results of this year's "Top 100" corporate benchmarking competition - a cross-sectoral business initiative covering the entire country. One key element of the firm's success in this, the 17th year of the renowned contest, was its finely-tuned innovations management. Lothar Späth, former state premier of Baden-Württemberg, will present the prestigious "Top 100" seal of approval to RRC at an official ceremony in Königswinter's "Gästehaus Petersberg" this Friday evening.
As patron of the initiative, he will be recognising RRC's achievements in the five key categories of "Innovation-friendly Senior Management", "Climate of Innovation", "Innovative Processes and Organisation", "Innovations Marketing" and "Successful Innovations".
The company, which was established in 1989, is based in the west of Germany and specialises in power supplies and battery charger technology. It scored particularly high marks for its innovation-friendly senior management in the "Top 100" competition. The company's three directors are particularly eager to learn new things so they and their staff attend numerous training courses every year to keep themselves up to speed on the innovation process. One of the senior managers, the corporate technology director, is exclusively responsible for research and preliminary development, which is where innovative solutions are thought up at RRC. The management, in conjunction with teams of project management and development management specialists and external consultants, have devised a comprehensive innovation strategy. Staff are informed about it at project meetings, department heads' meetings and at the quarterly information day. Technological developments are made in a three-stage process: firstly the research department carries out basic research. This then forms the foundation on which the development teams create models which are in turn used by the development departments as the starting point for new products. Balanced scorecards ensure that the objective is kept firmly in view.
To qualify for the award, RRC had to undergo a stringent, two-stage process devised by the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. "Our results show that the 100 top innovators generally tackle challenges head on and are thus well-equipped to deal with the current economic situation, for example. Innovation is a matter of priority at management level for most of these companies" commented Professor Nikolaus Franke, head of the research team, on the analysis. In the past three years, these award-winners generated two thirds of their revenue from innovations and innovative improvements, compared with 30 per cent in a sample of similarly-structured German medium-sized enterprises. In addition, Top 100 firms were able to shave some 12 per cent off their costs through process innovations, compared with a paltry 4 per cent on the part of "average medium-sized enterprises". As a result, this year's "Top 100" contains 54 German market leaders, 22 of which are global leaders in their field. Director Gerhard Ruffing is jubilant about the firm's success: "We are now officially classed among the most formidable innovators in the German medium-sized enterprise sector. This is a great boost to our credibility and will inspire our employees, partners and, of course, customers with confidence. We could scarcely have hoped for better news in these times of crisis."
(Photo from the award ceremony with Lothar Späth, former state premier of Baden-Württemberg and patron of the initiative, Gerhard Ruffing, COO RRC and Michael Grossklos, director of marketing RRC (from right to left))