Issue 116 May 2015
The provision of high quality kitchens from the family owned company Rotpunkt, Rabe & Meyer Küchen GmbH & Co KG, helps to turn peoples’ dreams into reality.
Established in 1930 by Heinrich Rabe and Wilhelm Meyer in Bünde-Ahle, the company began manufacturing cigar boxes, building upon the history that Bünde holds as the cigar-making centre of Germany. Later branching into wooden toys and sewing boxes, the business eventually, following the Second World War, digressed and cemented its position within kitchen manufacturing, and since that time has not looked back. “With the latest manufacturing technology at our main factory/headquarters and at our subsidiary plants in Löhne and Preußisch Oldendorf, we continue the tradition of specialised manufacturing processes, producing an extensive product range with reliability of quality and logistics,” says Andreas Wagner, one of two, joint managing directors.
The colourful history of the business is of no surprise to others in the region, with 80 per cent of kitchen production in the area extending from a history of similar cigar and sewing box production lines. “We are a family business, which is very important, especially for the size of the company, and the short lines of communication ensure that any decision-making can be quickly implemented, deciding together with our sales department and business team. One big advantage is that no long discussions regarding investments in fleet of vehicles, machines, new markets or other investments need take place,” points out Andreas.
“We don’t manufacture just set ranges of kitchens, instead build on commission/order, designing the kitchen to whatever the customer wants. Typical delivery can be achieved within four weeks after the order date, and 80 per cent of our kitchens are delivered in this time, whilst special surface patterns and finishes can take longer,” he adds. Producing design-orientated kitchens, often comes at a premium to the end user, but by using Rotpunkt’s services, professional designs are achieved without paying the extra for the company brand. “We actually have a designer in the UK that worked with us for many years, designing kitchens for Rotpunkt Küchen,” says Andreas, highlighting the quality design.
Following a very successful period of trading, the company is in the process of making substantial investment into a 6000sqm hall, divided into two parts: pre-production section with a 4800sqm extension, and a main hall extension of between 1200 to 1500sqm. The 4800sqm extension of the warehouse and sawing technique area incorporates a classic surface layer with board cutter and a direct connection to edge bending machines for LOS 1 size production. With construction due to commence in the summer of 2015, Andreas highlights how ongoing investment helps to shape the future: “For the production of our own kitchen fronts, we have invested in an edge bending machine using a new laser technique. This new technique produces a seamless edge, with the laser melting the edge and welding the plate. This was one of the major investments we made last year at our plant in Preußisch Oldendorf.”
Automatic improvements are also scheduled to be made allowing for standard boards to be taken out of storage much faster than with conventional on-floor storage methods, greatly increasing the inventory turnover rate. “All sawing, edge cutting and drilling is order specific, and the extension in the assembly station will promote opportunities for lean manufacturing, instead of having a reserve warehouse further off the main production area. This will ensure work can be undertaken faster, more securely, and with a higher rate of productivity. In comparison, the main warehouse extension does not have many technical extensions, acting mainly as a replenishment of storage,” explains Andreas.
By ensuring that customer service remains a priority, the business has successfully achieved the delivery of numerous complex kitchens, utilising a fleet of mobile designers throughout Europe. Focusing on its operations across the Channel, Andreas adds: “We have been very successful in the UK, particularly with the exclusive agreements that we share with these designers. In our strategy to complete the service, we want to further build up studios that are exclusive stockists of our kitchens. It is very rare that we deliver directly to the customer. The further development of our business in UK will see us becoming more prominent in the north of England, the Midlands and Ireland.”
Whilst the company continues to enjoy strong market growth in the UK, it is through the focus on service, and the motivated and experienced field workers that it continues to build upon valuable relationships. Concluding, Andreas explains: “Our partnership agreements are very important to our success, and providing the best value for them is equally as important, ensuring our stockists can achieve the highest level of profit, and this plays a huge role in encouraging and stabilising the friendship-like relationships. Over the next 12 months we are expecting a major sales growth, with our large construction project representing a major milestone for the company, and further investment of ten million to 12 million euros over the next three years will be a pioneering phase for the company.”
Products: Kitchen Design