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The company opened its new office building and began new construction work at the Hagen-Vorhalle site.
Difficult times call for creative measures. An unusual double event on 19 June 2020 saw Dörken celebrate the successful conclusion of one construction project and the beginning of another one. Following the ceremonial opening of the new office building in Herdecke the spades were passed on for the official groundbreaking for the extension to the construction foil unit at the Hagen-Vorhalle site.
After an 18-month construction time the new office building in Wetterstraße, Herdecke was completed almost on time and within the planned budget of around 10 million euros. In spite of the difficult circumstances resulting from the current pandemic, construction continued - subject to strict hygiene regulations - without disruption or accidents and without major impairment for the employees and neighbouring residents at the Herdecke site. The good weather conditions in the winter of 2019/2020 also helped keep the project almost on schedule. Punctual completion was only prevented in the finishing phase, due to a corona-related delay in the delivery of furniture.
Dörken CEO Thorsten Koch and the mayor of Herdecke, Katja Strauss-Köster, were subsequently able to cut the ribbon for the official opening on 19 June 2020. The celebrations were held on a very small scale, naturally with face masks and the now standard social distancing rules. The invited guests were able to gain a first look at the open and inviting architecture of the new building. An impression underscored by Thorsten Koch in his opening speech, which also reiterated the philosophy of the company: “We are open and tolerant, inviting and generous. We are transparent, modern and colourful, whilst at the same time functional. … We are different and surprising, we challenge those that observe us and encourage them to explore.”
The visitors were subsequently guided through the building in small groups to see how the “new work philosophy” had been consistently realised. Thorsten Koch: “Its aim is to invite employees, customers and partners to explore together, establish further expertise, get the best out of ourselves, motivate and stimulate us - to simply keep us on the move.” Around 100 new office workplaces, meeting and break rooms have been created on a total usable space of approximately 2,730 square metres. Highly modern and functional offices and meeting rooms together with open communication areas in the style of working lounges will in future intensify interaction between the Coatings employees that work there. Walkways to the existing company headquarters on all floors and a bridge to a wing behind it also make the building a central meeting and socialising point for all at the company. The in-house company restaurant will also contribute to the feeling of community. Unfortunately, due to the current situation it will only open in mid-July, under special hygiene conditions.
At the end of the opening ceremony a spade was symbolically passed on - from one construction project to the next, which began as the other ended.
Groundbreaking for major new project
The proceedings promptly switched to Hagen-Vorhalle, where the starting gun was sounded for the biggest constrcution project in the history of the Dörken Group thus far. The spades were wielded by Dörken shareholders and supervisory board members Ute Herminghaus and Karl E. Dörken, Dörken CEO Thorsten Koch, Ingo Quent and Christian Harste, both managing directors of Dörken GmbH & Co. KG, and Hagen’s mayor, Erik O. Schulz, who expressed his joy at the boost to the Hagen-Vorhalle site in his welcoming speech. Because the company has big plans here: “Our plans for this site are no less than to become the cost, technology and service leader in the field of intelligent construction physics,” declared Thorsten Koch in his address. “From here we aim to enter new markets with new technologies, driving on a culture of change.”
The company is investing around 50 million euros in buildings, new plant and infrastructure, expanding its second site to become the most efficient production location for construction foil in Europe. In the course of strategic considerations regarding growth in the coming years it was decided to relocate all future production activities of Dörken GmbH & Co. KG to the Hagen-Vorhalle site, establishing a flowing manufacturing capacity with new plant and technologies, lean processes, intelligent workflows and modern, safe workplaces. This requires the construction of several new halls, to be joined onto the existing production area. “What we aim to achieve here is maximum value added, by focusing firmly on the productivity of our plant, maximum flexibility of manufacturing through digitalisation of all value-adding processes and maximum sustainability for the use of energy, raw materials, buildings and machines,” said the Dörken CEO.
Various approaches were discussed during the site discussions - not least for reasons of cost. Ultimately, what remained was a clear commitment on the part of the CEO, supervisory board and shareholders to Germany as a production location. Thorsten Koch: “The Hagen-Vorhalle site will become a centre of excellence for construction foil intelligence,” because the product and production-relevant areas such as development, logistics and process engineering, product management and production planning at Dörken GmbH & Co. KG will also be moving to the site, a total of around 200 employees. This will see around 300 people working in Hagen-Vorhalle from the spring of 2022. Process concentration at the Vorhalle site will also give sister companies Dörken MKS-Systeme, CD-Color and Protec Systempasten the opportunity to use the site in Wetterstraße, Herdecke wholly for their growth plans and further expand the Coatings centre of excellence. This will involve the demolition of old buildings and improvement of route logistics on the topographically difficult site.
The Dörken Group works council was involved in the planning of the new production facility in Hagen-Vorhalle from the very beginning. The members of the “New Plant Structure” project team were also able to design their workplace of the future themselves. Because maximum safety and satisfaction of employees with their future working environment is a key goal of the major new project, for which the aib Architektur.Generalplanung.Projektmanagement office from Duisburg will be acting as general planner. “New buildings provide a home for strategies, ideas and visions,” says Thorsten Koch. “However, to achieve this they need to be brought to life by those that inhabit them.” And the people at Dörken are already working hard to achieve this.
Further information can be obtained from Thorsten Koch at Ewald Dörken AG, 58311 Herdecke, telephone 02330/63-222.
A continuation of the camp next year is already being considered.
Summer holidays are a great time. But some families go on holidays for six weeks, and for many parents, arranging appropriate care for their children during the holidays can be a problem. As a result, Dörken partnered with BUK Family Service from Dortmund this year to offer its first holiday camp for employees’ children. From 30 July to 3 August 2018, employees were able to drop their children off in the Cuno-Forum on their way to work and collect them there again in the afternoon. Parents could get on with their work worry-free, as the kids from 3 to 12 years of age were looked after by childcare specialists, and had great fun painting and crafting with Dörken film and Dörken paints, running around, reading (or being read to) and water fights, which were very welcome given the steadily high temperatures. The biggest highlights, however, were the team Olympics in the ‘Blue Beach’ hall in Witten and the excursion to Ketteler Hof in Haltern am See. Lots of kids had great fun here climbing, swinging and jumping in the ‘Climbing port’ or on the water slide, enjoyed the petting zoo, or even rode a horse for the first time. Of course, there was still enough time to relax and eat a lot of healthy fruit and vegetables together.
“The programme came at the perfect time in the summer holidays, and really they did a great job looking after our little son,” said Melanie and Horst Kufahl, who both work at Dörken, and are proud parents of two-year old Mats, at the closing get-together on Friday afternoon. If the reaction of the other parents of the 17 participating children is equally positive, a continuation of the programme next year will be considered.
Überlingen – For the 25th time, the TOP 100 competition recognised the most innovative German medium-sized companies. This year, Ewald Dörken AG is one of these leading innovators according to analysis by the scientific head of TOP 100, Prof. Dr Nikolaus Franke. As mentor of TOP 100, Ranga Yogeshwar honoured the company from Herdecke with Franke and compamedia on 29 June 2018 at the award ceremony in Ludwigsburg during the 5th German Medium-sized Enterprise Summit. This was the sixth time Ewald Dörken AG made the leap to the elite innovators. In the independent selection process, the roughly 1,000-strong company impressed in particular with the top management’s consistent focus on innovation.
In 1892, Carl and Ewald Dörken founded a small company to produce paint, varnish and anti-corrosion paints. 126 years later, Ewald Dörken AG has a staff of roughly 1,000 employees and four independent subsidiaries under one roof. The subsidiaries have made a name for themselves as specialists for composite membranes, microlayer corrosion protection systems, construction paints and intelligent tinting technologies in their respective industries. Over 130 national patent applications in the past four years are testimony to the innovation of the family company. The logical result: winning the sixth TOP 100 mark.
“Last year, we completely decentralised innovation management. The directors and managers have taken full responsibility for this topic.” explains Dr Ilias Mokanis, Head of Product Strategy and Planning. The change has proven itself. Instead of incremental improvements, the company is taking on more and more radical development projects. “Compared with previous ideas, the new approaches are now far more courageous, and the technological advances are far greater. This goes so far that we are now moving into completely new customer groups.” says Dr Mokanis. Accordingly, the medium-sized company now not only supplies the automotive industry, but also sectors like renewable energy sources or the construction machinery industry with microlayer corrosion protection systems by the subsidiary Dörken MKS-Systeme.
TOP 100: the competition
Since 1993, compamedia has been presenting the TOP 100 mark to medium-sized companies for outstanding innovation. Prof. Dr Nikolaus Franke has been the scientific director of the award since 2002. Dr. Franke is the founder and Managing Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Vienna University of Economics and Business. Scientific journalist Ranga Yogeshwar is the mentor of TOP 100. Partners to the project are the Fraunhofer Society and the Federation of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (BVMW). As media partners, the magazines Manager Magazin, impulse, and W&V, support the comparison of companies. For more information, see www.top100.de.
“The flood of information in the digital age is too much for many people. They only focus on news that confirms their views and shut out the others. And what’s more alarming is that we only receive pre-filtered information due to our various user profiles, which is often commercially influenced.
The freedom to form a true opinion falls by the wayside.
Daily newspapers can help counteract this. With broad-based reporting and in-depth background reports, they offer an opportunity to gain information objectively, develop new perspectives and expand horizons.
As the ZEUS project gives young people just this freedom, Dörken Group is involved as a sponsor again this year.”
CEO/Managing Director of Ewald Dörken AG
The Dörken Group companies will once again support the ‘Kindertafel der Evangelischen Jugend im Kirchenkreis Hagen’ food charity with its Christmas gift budget in 2018, too. It provides quick financial support for lunch in the open all-day schools for children whose parents ‘just about’ missed out on eligibility for state support via the Education and Participation Act, and otherwise would not be able to take part in their school’s common lunch – all without bureaucratic red tapes. The Kindertafel also allows children and young people in Herdecke, Wetter, Hagen and Breckerfeld to participate in educational leisure activities and additional support programmes, e.g. language learning and language practice. In this way, it reaches many children of refugees and new immigrants, making an important contribution to integration and a culture of hospitality. The company’s employees and customers are delighted to provide support for this work with the donation of € 25,000 to the Kindertafel for the fourth year now.
The ‘125 Years of Dörken’ anniversary year brought many major events, shared experiences and emotions. / 2017 also called for major efforts in an increasingly difficult market environment.
The ‘125 Years of Dörken’ anniversary year is coming to a close at the end of 2017. “It was a year of unforgettable moments related to our big anniversary celebration, with many emotions and shared memories,” says Thorsten Koch, CEO of Ewald Dörken AG, at the year-end assembly on 14 December 2017 in the Werner Richard Hall, chaired by Works Council Chairman Andreas Haase and Deputy Works Council Chairman Hans-Georg Kollotzek. However, 2017 was also a year in which Dörken Group had to undertake great efforts to ensure its competitiveness.
In particular, the construction-dependent business units once again faced a very reserved market environment this year. That applies in particular for the refurbishment and renovation sector. This also affects the construction paints, but primarily the composite membranes. The company’s classic core business, energy efficient refurbishment of pitched roofs, has been in decline for years and gabled roofs are currently less popular in new builds. Compounding this issue is the lack of resources in the trades and – for all business segments – overall increase in the degree of competition with a high pricing pressure in a tough cost situation due to increasing prices of key raw materials. The growth targets could not be reached with strategic measures and internal optimisation, together with new innovative products with which the companies in Dörken Group made a good impression on the market and succeeded in defending their market shares. At the end of the day, however, the company earned a sufficient profit. Dörken MKS-Systeme contributed to this with its main sales market in the automotive industry, which benefited from the high capacity utilisation of processing companies in the bulk goods sector not only in the German-speaking countries, but also in Italy.
“We look toward the new year with optimism, and hope not only for new stimuli from the market, but also especially from our strategic measures and our innovativeness,” says Thorsten Koch. “We will continue develop new technologies, set standards and launch products with unique benefits.” The anniversary motto will also hold true in particular far beyond the ‘125 Years of Dörken’: ‘Keep moving!’
‘Dörken – Keep moving’ Under this motto, all Dörken employees practice the culture of the company on a daily basis. Many employees submit a large number of improvement proposals and innovative ideas every year via an active internal proposal system. In this way, improvements are often implemented rapidly and without bureaucratic red tapes, and processes and products are optimised. Overall, 340 improvement proposals were submitted. Some employees submitted a particularly large number and extremely effective proposals, and thus contributed directly to the bottom line and security at Dörken. As a result, Thorsten Koch presented the Golden DÖrki for the ‘Improvement proposal’ category at the year-end assembly again this year. Mr Ivanic from the Production department at Dörken GmbH & Co. KG took first place, followed by Mr Concas and Mr Kruska. Like a start-up, Dörken has been developing innovative products for 125 years, and this year the CD-Color team succeeded in establishing the CWS WERTLACK® SatiFixx product on the market. As a result, Mr Koch presented the second Golden DÖrki for the ‘Product Idea’ category to the entire CD-Color team. Benedikt Müller-Wortmann and Bernd von Pachelbel accepted the award on behalf of the two teams. The two DÖrkis were once again presented to particularly dedicated and successful employees. A tradition that drives creativity and innovative spirit.
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Statement by Thorsten Koch, CEO of Ewald Dörken AG, on the ‘125 Years of Dörken’ anniversary.
Statement by Karl E. Dörken, former member of the Management Board, Partner and Supervisory Board of Ewald Dörken AG, on the ‘125 Years of Dörken’ anniversary.
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