By setting up new sites outside Europe, further diversifying in its branches and standardizing on worldwide business processes, HIMA continued to strengthen its position in the international market for safety-related automation. "Last year was a difficult one, particularly for the oil and gas industry but also in the process manufacturing industry," said Sankar Ramakrishnan, CEO of the HIMA Group. "The significantly weaker economy in China and Latin America, in particular, had an impact on our business. Therefore I am more than pleased that we succeeded in staying on track and making important investments in the future." The inauguration of a new regional headquarters in Singapore showed the company's increasingly international approach. From its Singapore hub, HIMA will coordinate business in Asia Pacific with existing offices in Australia, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan.
In order to standardize and make its global business processes more efficient, HIMA invested €3.1 million in a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The growth of international business, in particular, made an integrated IT solution necessary to support the Group's processes, which now have a global scope across all its locations. "With an ERP solution rolled out worldwide, our internal processes can support and help us accelerate our growth," said Ramakrishnan.
Extending the Rail Business
HIMA also intensified its activities in the rail sector in 2015. This included updating the global sales structure and bundling development competence. The aim of these measures was to achieve synergy effects across the company. HIMA has more than 45 years of experience in safety-critical applications, primarily in the process industry. The company will use this expertise to increase the rail business's market share. Compared to the previous year, HIMA has achieved a significant increase in its revenue of rail projects.
"We have grown strongly in recent years. The important thing now is to create the structures to manage this growth. As a family-owned SME, healthy growth is important to us," commented Steffen Philipp, Managing Partner at HIMA. "We want to move forward from our strong position as market leader in Europe to become a global supplier of safety solutions. Our new hub in Singapore, which underpins our position in the important growth markets in the Asia-Pacific region, is a decisive step in this direction."