Actually, 2020 was supposed to be the year of our 25th anniversary. However, with Covid-19, everything turned out quite differently: First, of course, our anniversary celebration in April was cancelled. This was followed by a drop in order volume due to the lockdown and extensive measures to improve hygiene in everyday operations.
Fortunately, a number of our customers increased their orders significantly as a result of the trend towards online shopping - mainly in the food and personal care sectors. Our own sales activities via platforms such as Ebay and Amazon, as well as several newly acquired customers from the food, cosmetics, electromobility, fastening technology, and disinfection sectors also contributed to a successful 2020. We were even able to keep all our employees on board, despite some difficult circumstances.
The year was characterised by investments: The construction of a further hall with 5,800 sqm expands our capacities, the new solar power plant with 750 kw/p reduces our CO2 footprint and around 30 new data interfaces accelerates the connection of new customers. We welcomed new customers in the food sector, stationary trade and also production agencies. Never before have we been allowed to assemble so many Advent calendars, including extremely high-quality ones. The packaging of medical products is now also part of Ideal-Group's portfolio: the audit of Ideal-Pharma Packaging was successfully completed.
And once again the focus is on growth through new customers: Dinkelacker, Kaco new energy, Sylvie Meis and others opt for fulfilment and other logistics services provided by the IDEAL-GROUP. With existing customers, we implement a range of different new projects, e.g. as part of Amazon FBA. We expand our personnel capacities accordingly. With the foundation of the new IDEAL-PHARMA PACKAGING GmbH, we focus on strengthening our pharmaceuticals/cosmetics area of expertise.
This year we again welcome several new customers, including Knauf Building Products. Two newly built halls provide us with a further 7,000 square metres of production area, which contribute to process optimisation in our food logistics. This results in a further increase in personnel - actively supported by our new city office for personnel recruitment. In the pharmaceutical sector, we pass the internal GDP audit (Good Distribution Practice) of a discerning customer of ours for the second time.
We’re not just responsible for the logistics of the UEFA online shop in the year of the European Football Championship, but in 2016 the items turn around particularly fast. Various new customers such as Matrema from Gräfeling are acquired. We expand our picking warehouse from one to three storeys - same spatial requirements, but more favourable conditions for our customers. The production area is also expanded: Planning for a further 7,000 sqm in 2017 is completed. Coca Cola entrusts us once again with its Advent truck campaign - over 300,000 items will be packaged as Advent calendars, each with 24 gifts.
We celebrate our anniversary: For 20 years we have been developing steadily in one direction: upwards. The IDEAL-GROUP is now also certified according to IFS Food for food handling for then next twelve months. The audit is complete. Almost at the same time we are also certified by the manufacturer Mars according to its very strict and comprehensive specifications. Our new pallet wrapper for up to 120 pallets/hour goes into operation. We prepare for the development of additional storage and production capacities by expanding the picking warehouse from one to three floors.
Alongside the e-commerce division, we continuously expand our food and beverage sector. Several large promotions for Coca Cola we work on in 2014 are very successful. Initial co-packing and display construction projects for our new customer Bempflinger Lebensmittel are implemented.
Start of our extensive multichannel activities for Intersport's new online shop. We need to expand once again: the ground-breaking is held in March for an additional production hall with a 5,000 m² logistics area.
Introduction of Pick-by-Voice. This innovation increased the process reliability and brought about the desired continuous transparency in the warehouse. Voucherless picking processes, as well as internal stock transfers, guarantee error-free processing and stock reliability. We have placed great importance on being able to integrate various customer systems.
Expansion of the logistics centre at the Böllinger Höfe site. Construction of the fully automated high-bay warehouse with more than 16,000 pallet spaces. Up to 280 pallets can be stored and retrieved per hour – optimum prerequisites for serving regional customers on a “just-in-time” basis. This led to a gain in customers from the automotive sector.
Targeted expansion of IS IDEAL-SERVICES to become an expert partner in the field of work contracts, as well as further development of the temporary employment offered to customers and expansion of the team.
Establishment of IS IDEAL-SERVICES, our subsidiary for the leasing of employees. Acquisition of several customers in the field of mail order.
Establishment of the subsidiaries IDEAL-SOLUTION GmbH and IDEAL-FULLSERVICE GmbH. Expansion of the range of services to include credit assessment, credit management and debt collection; i.e. to cover the complete spectrum of multichannel commerce.
Commissioning of a new logistics centre with a further 12,000 m² of production space; creation of
40 new jobs.
Six-figure investments, e.g. in cardboard presses, to allow separation and sustainable disposal of materials and therefore to optimise environmental performance. Participation in several trade fairs with our own stand.
Now certified for the handling of foodstuffs after successfully passing the audit. Official partner of the PSI network. Membership in the “Sweets Global Network”. Establishment of our own spirits warehouse, as well as expansion by a further 10,000 m² of production space.
In April, the company celebrates the 10th anniversary of its establishment in 1995. Very positive business development. Introduction of a new piece of software, developed specially for our requirements, for quality assurance in everything from picking through to punctual delivery.
Relocation from Talheim to the “Böllinger Höfe” industrial estate in Heilbronn. Fully optimised systems, working processes and production processes over a production area measuring 5,600 m², as well as a 4,000 m² outdoor storage area for significant efficiency gains in the deployment of our 170 employees serving over 200 customers.
Expansion of activities to include the food sector. Satisfaction of the special requirements for the handling of foodstuffs and acquisition of several well-known customers in the food sector. Expansion of range of services to include handling and storage of pharmaceutical products and cosmetics in accordance with the relevant hygiene rules. Planning begins for the move to Heilbronn due to good business development and as the company's growth renders the existing logistics areas too small. Development of optimised processes and ideal structures.
Changeover to a new merchandise information system, specially developed for IDEAL-PACK. Establishment of special secured interfaces to allow customers to query statuses of stored products. Solid customer base, now with more than 150 firms from Germany and abroad.
Expansion of production areas to 4,000 m². Increase in number of employees to 82. Establishment of first apprenticeship positions. Purchase of a new shrink-wrap machine with integrated camera system for reading and sorting addresses.
Relocation to new production facilities with 2,600 m² of production space. Permanent workforce of 40 employees. New investments in technologically advanced, high-performance machinery. Expansion in the field of data processing.
Establishment of IDEAL-PACK by the two managing directors, Hans Klein and Johann Kremer, initially with eight employees in a production hall measuring 1,400 m². Successive expansion of the technical facilities and expansion of the services offered.