Teckentrup is bridging the gap between function and form, with hopes to take its innovative entryways to the global market 

About 90 years ago, Teckentrup began its journey to becoming a leader in manufactured door solutions. After finding its niche in the industry over nearly a century, the business has evolved from humble beginnings to become a renowned manufacturer of doors and door solutions. 

We hear from Christian Hanke, Managing Director of Teckentrup, who shares the company’s journey, milestones, and its future aspirations. Although the business had garnered great success in its early days, it wasn’t until the 1960s that the company made a significant leap by pioneering the production of fireproof sliding doors – an endeavor that marked the start of Teckentrup’s specialization in doors with unique functionalities. “We added different apparel products regarding fireproof doors and normal hinge doors, as well as smokeproof and soundproof versions; every aspect needed to preserve life. The next step was then to add on normal garage doors, that was in the 90s.” This strategic diversification transformed Teckentrup into a versatile entity capable of addressing diverse customer needs while maintaining its commitment to quality.

What sets Teckentrup apart from its competitors, according to Christian, is its strategic positioning as neither the largest nor the smallest player in the market. “We have one main slogan: customer centricity. We ask our customers what they really want to achieve, and then we develop our products and our service together with the customer. Most of our competitors can produce fireproof doors or garage doors, the difference is the way we work with our clients.” 

To facilitate its bespoke capabilities, Teckentrup incorporates a dual approach that combines high levels of automation for standardized products with manual craftsmanship for specialized door solutions. According to Christian, the company is actively optimizing its production processes, leveraging artificial intelligence to enhance efficiency and meet the demands of new markets. He iterates: “We produce the standardized products very quickly with a high level of automation. Then we use the more manual work to produce very special doors, perhaps jail doors or trailers. We’re looking at the international markets where we see that these products are more standard. So, we are continually optimizing our production lines, looking for good processes and ways to use artificial intelligence within our processes as well.” 

Streamlining workflows 

On that note, Christian acknowledges that automation and AI have provided a dependable solution to the challenges posed by a shortage of skilled labor. By automating repetitive tasks and streamlining workflows, the company ensures competitiveness while maintaining commitment to its craft. “Automation is important for two reasons. Firstly, it keeps costs down when it comes to the more standardized products. Secondly, at the moment we’re struggling to bring in talented workers who can do this work. So, optimization is a win-win because we can have good prices with more production and adapt to the decline in talent intake in the industry,” he shares. 

In addition to the company’s internal investment, Teckentrup’s recent merger with ABC, a UK-based company specializing in project-centric door solutions, demonstrates the company’s focus to grow its wider abilities as well. The partnership will enable Teckentrup to bolster its presence in the UK market and enhance its capabilities in project management, installation, and maintenance. 

Sleek and practical solutions 

Christian is also keen to highlight Teckentrup’s collaborative ethos and shares numerous projects where the company worked closely with clients to develop tailored solutions. For example, the business was awarded the installation of the doors for the new Crossrail station project in London. Here, Teckentrup was able to offer appropriate door solutions with corresponding conformity that complied with the revised version of LPS 1175. This tipped the scales in favor of the German manufacturer and meant Teckentrup was a crucial player in the successful collaboration on Whitechapel and Liverpool Street stations. 

Another example includes Tate Modern. As part of the extension to the Tate Modern, door sets with unusual characteristics were requested. The RC4 security-rated doors were quite large which, combined with the need to clad the doors in the same material as the building, created potential certification issues. Teckentrup was part of the team for the project and worked with the test houses through the design process to achieve a sleek and practical solution. 

Moving away from the technical side of the company, Teckentrup prides itself on fostering a vibrant company culture characterized by a sense of family and a shared passion for tackling challenges head-on. Employees are valued as integral contributors to the company’s success, which has established long-term relationships and a sense of camaraderie across the organization. Moreover, Teckentrup’s relationships with suppliers mirror its approach to customer engagement. According to Christian, these are built on principles of mutual respect, transparency, and collaboration. In times of market volatility, these partnerships ensure continuity and resilience, and have enabled Teckentrup to navigate challenges and deliver on its commitments consistently. 

Craftmanship and collaboration 

Although the last couple of years have posed problems for the industry, and subsequently impacted Teckentrup, Christian looks to the future with optimism. He is adamant the business will continue to grow and serve its customers with the quality and experience upon which they have come to depend. “We have a good product, and we have great services, so now our goal is to grow internationally. Today, most of the turnover is in Germany. But we have started to have subsidiaries in the UK, Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden, and France, so I am excited to see growth in those locations,” he concludes. 

From what we’ve heard from Christian, Teckentrup’s success is not measured in terms of products sold or markets conquered but in the enduring relationships it cultivates, with customers, employees, and partners alike. In an industry where trust and reliability are paramount, Teckentrup continues to build itself on excellence, embodying the values of craftsmanship, integrity, and collaboration at every turn.