August Faller GmbH & Co. KG increases its turnover to a record level in 2018 and invests heavily in new technologies20 March 2019
Packaging manufacturer August Faller can look back on an extremely successful business year in 2018. The company with its headquarters in Waldkirch near Freiburg, Germany, saw its sales soar to a new record high. Thanks to considerable investments in additional production capacities, automation and digitalisation, Faller has also set the course for more growth and a stable future.
August Faller is one of the leading manufacturers of pharmaceutical packaging in the European market. The Waldkirch-based company was also able to consolidate its market position last year: The turnover of the Faller Group rose by more than seven percent to just under €132 million, more than ever before. “We achieved around three quarters of this in Germany, Switzerland and Austria,” reports Dr. Daniel Keesman, Managing Partner of the Faller Group. “But we’re also achieving better representation in France, Northern Europe and other international markets.”
Internationalisation can pay off
August Faller’s foreign subsidiaries make a major contribution to this. In addition to the German production sites in Waldkirch, Binzen and Schopfheim, the company also has branches in Denmark and Poland that are showing an encouraging degree of development. In 2018, Faller also set up a joint venture with the Canadian packaging manufacturer Bellwyck in Großbeeren near Berlin. The company offers packaging services for pharmaceutical products and logistics services for clinical studies. “We’ve been pursuing a strategy of internationalisation for several years now – and it’s proving to be increasingly fruitful,” Keesman emphasises. “We expect to increase our sales by a further seven percent in 2019.”
To achieve this goal, August Faller continually invests in its development – €16.9 million in the ongoing expansion of its processes and technologies in the past financial year, corresponding to an investment ratio of 12.8 percent. “A large part of this went into the purchase of a new printing press at our headquarters in Waldkirch,” explains Keesman. “That significantly expanded our production capacities and our product portfolio for the folding carton plant in Waldkirch. To prepare for future international competition, Faller also continuously invests in the automation and digitalisation of its workflows.
A new subsidiary for small and very small batches
One trend in the packaging industry is the increasing demand for shorter lead times and ever-smaller batches, even for single items. To provide better support for its customers from the pharmaceutical industry and other industries in the future, Faller has also broken new ground by founding a subsidiary which specialises in the production of folding cartons in small and very small batches – PackEx GmbH in Worms. This is especially advantageous for customers, because they can order the products online at any time – and benefit from short delivery times and lower costs.“A largely digital business model and modern production technologies make this possible,” explains Nikolaus Reichenbach, Managing Director of PackEx. Customers can take advantage of this offer by either contacting PackEx directly or ordering from Faller as usual.
Thanks to all these changes, the packaging specialist sees itself very well-positioned for the future – and that’s an important signal, especially for the 1,300+ employees of the Faller Group. “We are a medium-sized company with a long-standing tradition, so our employees are of course very important for us,” emphasises Dr. Michael Faller, also a Managing Partner. “Investments in our sites also secure jobs, create new jobs, or make the existing ones more ergonomic and enjoyable. With over 550 employees at its headquarters, Faller is one of the most important employers in Waldkirch. “We celebrated anniversaries with several colleagues just recently – and some of them have even been with us for more than 40 years,” says Faller. “With a solidly-committed team like that behind us, we’re very optimistic about the future of our company.”