Top 100 - 2017

RK Rose+Krieger recognized as innovative leader


RK succeeds once more in making the list of Germany’s innovation elite / presentation by TOP 100 mentor Ranga Yogeshwar

TOP100 2017

The fifth time in a row "top innovator"

RK Rose+Krieger GmbH is amongst the innovative leaders of Germany's small and medium-sized businesses once again this year – for the sixth time in a row. Ranga Yogeshwar, Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke and compamedia awarded Minden's specialist for linear, connecting, profile assembly and module technology with the TOP 100 seal, which has now been awarded for the 24th time. RK Rose+Krieger was able to impress during the independent selection process, above all with innovative processes and the company's excellent internal innovative climate.

RK Rose+Krieger turned a crisis into an opportunity in the most impressive manner to realign internal innovation processes. In 2009, like so many other businesses, the manufacturer of components, modules and solutions for automation technology, founded in 1972, was caught up in the maelstrom of the global economic crisis. Managing Director, Hartmut Hoffmann, who has been in the post since 2008, used the situation as the impulse for modernisation of the medium-sized business. He knew that the innovative processes required radical revision and outdated structures had to be broken up. For this purpose, he introduced the Japanese Kaizen management method, which is based on a continuous process of improvement.

KAIZEN project teams supported by qualified LEAN Masters

KAIZEN project teams supported by qualified LEAN Masters

Hoffmann, who has dedicated half of his working life to innovation work, paid particular attention to the participation of all employees, i.e. the creation of a good innovative climate, when restructuring. "If you want to be innovative, you have to abandon the idea that the boss knows everything better and tells employees what they have to do", is his motto. The motivation of the 208 employees at the TOP 100 company is suitably high: on average every second member of staff submits one improvement suggestion per year.


As part of the Kaizen system, employees of the leading innovative company were trained as "Lean Office Masters" or "Lean Production Masters", and took on comprehensive responsibility for processes of continuous improvement. The experiment has been a success across the board. "We now turn over more with the same team, and much more calmly, than before the crisis", says Hoffmann with satisfaction. Rose+Krieger has been recognized as a top innovator for a sixth time.

Ranga Yogeshwar, the Mentor of the TOP 100

Ranga Yogeshwar, the Mentor of the TOP 100

The Mentor of the TOP 100, science journalist and TV presenter Ranga Yogeshwar is impressed with the quality of the companies and hopes for a signalling effect: “The way in which the TOP 100 generate new ideas and develop pioneering products and services from these is remarkable in the truest sense of the word. I am glad that recognition of these TOP 100 companies draws attention to these qualities. Hopefully, this encourages other companies to follow in their footsteps. In the future, this innovation culture will become more and more important for all companies.”


TOP 100: The competition

More than 4,000 companies were interested in being one of the TOP 100 companies this year. 366 of these applied to participate in the qualification round. 284 companies made it into the final round. 238 were selected to be listed in the TOP 100 (maximum 100 in each of the three size classes). Assessment of the companies was completed by Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke and his team from the Chair for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. Their assessments were based on over 100 parameters in 5 evaluation categories: “Innovation-friendly Senior Management”, “Climate of Innovation”, “Innovative Processes and Organisation”, “Innovation Marketing”, and “Innovatory Success”.

The TOP 100 are regarded as pacesetters in their industries. The figures from the assessment prove this: Among the companies, there are 97 national market leaders and 32 world market leaders. On average, they achieved 40 percent of their turnover with market innovations and improvements which they launched onto the market ahead of the competition. Their growth in turnover was thus approx. 28 percentage points above the industry sector average. Altogether, these SMEs have filed 2,292 national and international patent applications over the past three years. These innovations also propel job growth: The TOP 100 plan to hire 9,500 employees in the next three years.