Award-winning innovation: RK Rose+Krieger


RK is one of the most innovative German SMEs/Award presented by Ranga Yogeshwar

TOP100 2015

The fourth time in a row "top innovator"

Success based on entrepreneurial foresight: RK Rose+Krieger GmbH will be honoured as one of the most innovative German SMEs at the German SME Summit in Essen on 26 June. "Top 100" mentor Ranga Yogeshwar will present the Minden-based company with the "Top 100" seal, which has been being awarded for some 20 years now. As part of the assessment process RK Rose+Krieger was subjected to a two-stage scientific analysis. This is the fourth time in a row that the company has been named as a top innovator.

In the "Top 100" innovation competition RK Rose+Krieger GmbH scored particularly well in the category "Innovations Marketing/Outward Orientation". 75% of all stimuli for product innovations come from external sources. The machine builder, known as a one-stop supplier for linear, profile assembly, connecting and modular technology solutions, uses trade fairs as a pool for new ideas. At such events, managers ask customers and interested parties for improvement suggestions and about their future requirements. Market observations and competition analyses also provide input. Moreover, students who are completing a dual course of study at the Minden-based company analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the ranges offered by other machine builders.

Top management relies on the Japanese method, Kaizen

KAIZEN project teams supported by qualified LEAN Masters

KAIZEN project teams supported by qualified LEAN Masters

A further strength of the company, which was founded in 1972, is the organisation of its innovation processes: Top management relies on the Japanese method, Kaizen. At the heart of this concept are regular quality circles in which staff contribute their suggestions for improvement, work on cross-departmental projects and thus discuss and optimise proce-dures and processes together. "A company which fails to im-prove continuously will face major problems", stressed Man-aging Director Hartmut Hoffmann.

The innovative success is clear to see: The company from Minden with a workforce of 220 is among the very best in its industry both nationally and internationally, and also holds six national and international patents. RK Rose+Krieger has now been awarded the "Top 100" seal four times in succession.
Managing Director Hartmut Hoffmann

Managing Director Hartmut Hoffmann

According to the Managing Director Hartmut Hoffmann: "We have started to live and breathe innovation." The focus here is firmly on ensuring transparency. As a means of motivating its staff, the top innovator RK Rose+Krieger is committed to open communication and passes on key data such as incoming orders and sales figures to the workforce on a weekly basis.
"Our good ideas and their rapid implementation are a decisive competitive factor for us", continued Hartmut Hoffmann. "This is why we invest a lot of time and effort into innovation man-agement. In doing so, we rely on the creativity of all our staff and I would like to thank them for the fact that we have been awarded the "Top 100" seal."

Background information on the Top 100

The "Top 100" seal is awarded following a two-stage analysis which has been developed by Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke and his team from the Chair for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. The academics examine innovation management and the innovative success of the SMEs based on more than 100 parameters in five categories. It is ultimately up to the scientific leadership to decide who will be presented with the "Top 100" seal.

This year Dr. Franke and his team received a record-breaking number of entries: Of the 302 qualifiers, 234 companies man-aged to make the final. 178 of them were awarded the seal in three size classes (maximum of 100 companies per class). The awards were presented during the German SME Summit in Essen.
The "Top 100" are first-rate in every respect: 71 national market leaders and 31 world market leaders were honoured. Altogether the top innovators have filed 3,405 national and inter-national patent applications over the past three years. They achieved just below 41 percent of their turnover with market innovations and improvements which they launched onto the market ahead of the competition (average of all SMEs in Germany: 6.6%). This success is no coincidence: On average the top innovators invested 10.5% of their turnover in R&D (average of all SMEs in Germany: 1.5%). Two thirds of the "Top 100" are family-owned companies.



"Top 100": The competition

Back in 1993 compamedia began awarding the "Top 100" seal to SMEs which demonstrate particular innovation strength and out-standing innovative success. Since 2002, Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke from the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration has been this project's scientific head. Prof. Dr. Franke is one of the leading experts for user innovation in the world. The science journalist and TV presenter, Ranga Yogeshwar, is the "Top 100" project mentor. The Fraunhofer Society for the advancement of applied research acts as a partner to this project and the German business magazine "manager magazin" is the media partner. For more information, go to