Freek's project within the Low2High "Process innovation at the customer interface to high-tech producers" paid off demonstrably even before the end of the project. The specific successes in product development for low-tech heating elements should be mentioned first in this context. These are the result of intensive project work in which the "Low2High" capability of the company was developed. In particular the Freek management team and its "boundary spanners" and innovation managers all played roles that were decisive for success. At the same time, the company and production structure, now better adapted to the specific demands of high-tech customers, is making the various exchange processes with high-tech partners increasingly more straightforward and is thus also contributing to the discernibly higher success rate in acquiring new customers and in L2H product innovations.
Thanks to Low2High, Freek was able to entirely make up for the drop in sales caused by the 2009 crisis as early as by the end of 2010. And the positive developments continue; following gains of 30 per cent in 2010, a two-digit growth figure was again recorded in 2011.
The fact that this gratifying performance is not only due to the economic recovery of those years is also highlighted by the following development: the number of active customers increased by a further 20 per cent compared to 2009, after an increase in revenue of 6% was achieved even at the start of the year and despite the crisis. A closer examination confirms that among the new customers are a disproportionately high number of high-tech customers.
On the basis of the structural business changes caused by L2H and the associated paths for personnel, processes and organisation, Freek holds out the firm expectation of being able to continue to plan for ongoing growth in the coming years. The economic conditions will then only determine the rate at which this growth is achieved.