Crisis? What Crisis?: Despite the bleak outlook of economic research institutes, there are companies that continue their path to growth – two examples from Adlershof

27. August 2020

Crisis? What Crisis?

Despite the bleak outlook of economic research institutes, there are companies that continue their path to growth – two examples from Adlershof

© BAUER Elektroanlagen GmbH

BAUER implements plant technology across all electrical engineering service areas © BAUER Elektroanlagen GmbH

These are difficult times for many companies. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, economic research institutes are foreseeing a wave of bankruptcies. Despite this bleak outlook, however, there are still many stories with a happy ending of companies on a path to growth. Here are two examples from Adlershof.

The corner of Albert-Einstein/Walther-Nernst-Strasse has undergone a complete transformation. One could also say: it’s just much nicer now. Most of all, though, it reflects one of Adlershof’s success stories which have become rare in times of COVID-19. After a year and a half of construction, the Society for the Promotion of Applied Computer Science (Gfal) completed its new three-storey headquarters on that corner in July. ‘After growing very rapidly in the past years in terms of interesting projects, orders, and employees, the GFal needed more space to do research,’ the research association announced.

It now has new laboratory and warehouse spaces at its disposal, numerous offices as well as consulting and training facilities on an area of 1,666 square metres. Its researchers are particularly pleased about the new break rooms, where foosball tables and lounges will help them to recharge. This will be more necessary than ever, because, as it stands, the GFal will continue to thrive and grow in spite of the crisis.

The application-focused research institute is not alone. When asked about his company’s business prospects, a look of satisfaction crosses the face of Franz Bauer, managing partner of Bauer Elektroanlagen. Although the numbers are solid and increasing, he is not one to give an impromptu speech about rising revenues. ‘What really counts for us are good and satisfied employees. If the team is good, the numbers are good, too,’ he says. Even if he doesn’t like speaking about it publicly, it seems he is right: The company is making 200 million euros in sales with 1,450 employees at 15 locations all over Germany. It is adding about a hundred more employees every year.

This growth is also mirrored by the new facility in Adlershof: what started off as a service location with a skeleton crew is now home to more than 150 on-site employees. From electrical engineering, data and security technology, to building automation and maintenance, Adlershof provides almost every technical building service there is. This includes electrical systems for offices, airports, clinics or research facilities as well as illumination, fire alarm systems, access control systems, and the the full array of data processing technology.

Most of the elements of this broad service spectrum will also be housed in the company’s new building in Adlershof. The Bavarian family-run company is investing around seven million euros into a building that will provide its users with a high level of technological sophistication: ‘The building is energy self-sufficient and generally quite ingenious in terms of energy and control engineering,’ says Bauer. Surplus energy produced by the photovoltaic facility is used to recharge electric vehicles at the charging poles. Even though the construction planning for the 4000-square-metre building experienced some slight hiccups during the pandemic, Franz Bauer is confident that first tenants will be able to move in in autumn 2021. There are already several parties from science and technology with a serious interest in moving in.

Some of the available space will possibly be used by the building service provider itself. Because, in spite of all the COVID-19-related insecurity, Franz Bauer expects an increase of about 10 new employees in Adlershof every year. ‘Of course, future economic slumps are possible,’ he says. ‘However, the construction sector has been relatively unaffected by the pandemic.’ Moreover, he has always put a strong focus on tending to his long-term customers. In any case, Bauer isn’t worried about the future: ‘I’m an optimist.’

By Chris Löwer for Adlershof Journal

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