With total revenues of nearly 87 million Euro during 2010, MIWE succeeded in returning to the growth trajectory that preceded the global economic crisis of 2009. In particular, incoming orders from abroad, which had declined the most due to the investment slowdown that followed the turmoil of the financial markets, resumed momentum. Primarily due to exports, total revenues increased 8.4 % from the previous year. Domestically, the cautiously optimistic prognosis for the year was exceeded by 3 %, but the annual value of orders did not quite attain the level of 2009. The export share in 2010 was approximately 47 %.
In our foreign business, our collaboration with our partners, many of them of long standing, has proven a successful strategy. For example, France, with incoming orders over 3 million Euro (which is 68 % above the prognosis), has successfully established itself as an important central European market for MIWE. And with incoming orders of nearly 6 million Euro, Poland has has made what is a record contribution in the company's history. The company is also on a growth trajectory in Japan, Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea), the near East, Russia, Switzerland, Australia, and Ukraine. In Ukraine, for example, the large orders for bakery plant construction attained a total value of around 3 million Euro. Sales were slightly beneath projections only in the USA, which was particularly hard-hit by the finance crisis. However, even here sales exceeded those of 2009.
Internationalisation continues apace
To secure its market position, MIWE continued to expand its international presence in 2010. Despite difficult conditions, we were able to launch a distribution centre in Iran, which quickly succeeded in making some initial sales. In addition, we were able to establish a new distribution centre for the near East, HEIDI Chef Solutions, which is headquartered in Dubai. In the "Bakery Equipment" business area, which was newly founded for the purpose, the distributor has an experienced business manager and two service specialists under new contract. This will serve as a base for MIWE operations in the emirates, and help expand our presence in the region. We also took important steps in establishing a distribution centre in Brazil, which will expand our operations in the South American region. An import license has been obtained, and an initial open house already garnered a significant number of orders.
In order to focus even more attention on our traditional markets, Matthias Burkhardt has been named Area Sales Director for Italy and Austria, as well as director of MIWE's Swiss subsidiary. The network of distributors in the Russian Federation managed by our Russian subsidiary will also be expanded in a targeted fashion. In addition to constant demand for bakery plant technology, the region is also experiencing growing demand for MIWE baking stations.
In the area of baking stations, in particular, substantial growth can only be achieved by targeting new customer segments. For this reason, in 2010 MIWE launched a Key Account Management, which will operate both domestically and abroad. It will be responsible for responding to specific needs and requirements of our major customers in a targeted fashion. This focused attention had already led to a notable intensification of contacts during its first year of operation, and has already increased sales.
Focus of attention: MIWE synchro
In 2009, MIWE introduced "MIWE synchro", which ensures process optimisation in production and administration. "MIWE synchro" has continued to expand, and now has been implemented as a guideline in all company divisions. The central concept is the idea of "lean management", which focuses on lean and efficient processes under the slogan "Breathe freely. See clearly. Work with success". MIWE aims to implement this concept not only in manufacturing, but in the entire order process (to include the entire administration). The goal is to achieve the maximum result with the minimum expenditure of effort.
In conjunction with this initiative, production of the MIWE condo deck baking oven has been moved from Arnstein to the Meiningen plant. The Meiningen centre for baking stations is optimally equipped to produce the larger piece numbers of the "small, but elegant" deck baking ovens, with substantially shorter throughput times, consistent output, and the reliably outstanding MIWE quality. The shift was accomplished without operation-related redundancies at the Arnstein site.
During this reporting year, the centre of development work focused on rounding out specific applications and optimising the product portfolio.
The concept of the MIWE roll-in e+ rack oven uses a novel heating gas conduction method, which has made what is "probably the most cost-efficient rack oven in the world" one of MIWE's most important products. This technology has now been expanded to ovens of all sizes, and is also available in an electric version.
MIWE thermo-express, our thermal-oil heated deck baking oven, was completely overhauled and equipped with the latest technology. For example, a 12-oven version was designed and built, in which each oven has its own temperature regulator and air circulation system ("turbo technology") in order to flexibly control the baking atmosphere, and so to customise and improve the baking results.
The MIWE ideal M (a "M"odular or stackable version of the classic MIWE oven), which was previously only available in a 3-oven version, has now been expanded to a 6-oven version available under the name M6. In this deck oven, a maximum of two modules, each with 6 ovens, can now be stacked. They can be loaded and unloaded by an automatic system.
This modular construction is now also being employed in proofing units. These new proofing units, which were developed and built especially for the Eastern European market, now can attain an hourly production of approximately 3,500 pieces, and offer a particularly good price-performance ratio.
MIWE TC, a computer control unit operated with the touch of a finger, was first offered for cooling units in 2009. Because of its many advantages, it was expanded to other market segments in 2010. This control unit has significantly improved performance compared to its predecessor. It has more precise sensors, which allows for more precisely-calibrated measurement. This allows for significantly more precise temperature and humidity regulation, which results in reproducible, high product quality.
The MIWE eco:box, which is a dedicated recovery system for heat from exhaust gas, is now available for several modules with burner outputs between 95 and 300 kW, and for all burners in baking ovens and central boiler units. As a result, it is now available in all bakery performance categories. The entire series has now been accepted by TÜV Süd in Munich. We have also introduced a new product on the market, the MIWE eco:proof. This is a proofing heater, which uses heat emitted from heating elements connected either upstream or downstream. Used in a variety of proofing units, the product not only reduces energy costs, but also generates a gentle heat that substantially improves the proofing climate and ensures outstanding product quality.
The Fresh Food System MIWE cube, which is directed at bakeries that have adopted gastronomic services as an important additional revenue stream, has now been expanded by the addition of the MIWE cube:fire component. The electrically-heated deck baking oven features a high-quality stone plate, making it the perfect oven for all products that do not require steam, but do require an exceptionally high baking temperature, such as pizza, quiche, tarte flambée, pretzels, puff pastry, and crispy-baked snacks.
Successful integration: MIWE energy
In our new MIWE energy business unit, MIWE has succeeded not only in establishing itself as one of the first recognized centres of competence for energy-efficient baking, but also increasingly has established itself as a valuable coordinator between the production processes of proofing, baking, cooling, and frosting. The engineering required for the energy concept requires a high level of technical expertise and extensive experience with baking technology and energy issues. Both the market and customers acknowledge MIWE as a leader in these areas.
Service - an important element in securing our future
MIWE Service justifiably enjoys a good reputation in our field. Our service aims to provide the highest possible availability for all MIWE machines and units. In 2010, MIWE began to implement a new structure for the Service Desk, which now distinguishes between a 1st and a 2nd line service. The distinction is simple: the 1st line service receives all inquiries and processes the simple cases. If the 1st line requires assistance, they route the inquiry to the responsible specialists on the 2nd line. In this way, we were able to increase the availability of service by nearly 20 %. In addition, each inquiry now is routed directly to the contact who has the necessary expertise.
MIWE's service has also been improved by working with MIWE Quality Management to optimise standard processes such as returns and the handling of complaints. This has improved process quality, sped up process times, and has measurably increased customer satisfaction.
MIWE regards continued employee training as one of the foundations for securing our future. This is particularly true in times of demographic change, and applies not only to continuing education but also to trainee education. Of the 12 trainees employed during 2010 / 11, one was offered a permanent position. A number of employees have successfully completed additional training in business, economics, operations, master certification, and engineering. Over twenty employees have also taken part in a long-term coaching programme on the topic of "successful customer and relationship management". Goal: improved customer service
In 2010, MIWE continued to regard investment as an important means to securing our future, and has carried out these investments at a high level. Our (self-financed) investments currently stand at nearly 2.4 million Euro. In addition, we plan approximately 357,000 Euro investments for the expansion of the machine park in 2011. An additional 210,000 Euro were invested in an absorption cooling unit in the plant.
Other important investments in 2010 included a fleet of vehicles, at 803,000 Euro, and the acquisition of industrial property rights (330,000 Euro). In advance of equipping all technical field service staff with Mobile Service Devices, the necessary hardware was purchased for nearly 150,000 Euro.
Careful natural resource management is not just important for bakeries and their baking units - at MIWE, we also ensure efficient energy use in our own operations. We abide by our company slogan, "Our operation is shaped by environmental awareness." As a result, MIWE invested more than 320,000 Euro in 2010 in the construction of a solar plant on the roof of our production facility.
In 2011, MIWE plans to continue to consolidate its markets and pursue growth in the areas of baking production and baking ovens. MIWE is an expert in climate-controlled baking processes, and in ensuring highest baking standards. As such, we are well-equipped for the rapid changes in the baked goods market. We will continue to strengthen our strategic orientation and optimise all business processes, and work even more closely with the leading markets using our new portfolio policy, which will help ensure our continued success.