8 Industry with a strong SME sector Technology from Berlin There is a little piece of Berlin in almost every living room. The India-Dreusicke plant has been manufacturing plastic housing since 1929, most recently including that for the FRITZ!Box internet routers from the Berlin company AVM and devices from Deutsche Telekom. 60 employees produce between four and six million units per year. T he Berlin economy is growing – on average considerably more than in the rest of Germany. This is above all thanks to the SME sector. The 180,000 businesses are the economic heart of the capital city. Company bosses are optimistic: 64 % of them assess their business situation as either good or very good – an increase of almost 10 % on the previous year (2014) – according to a survey by Investitionsbank Berlin and the credit bureau Creditreform. This means that the companies are in a considerably more positive mood than the trend in the rest of Germany would show – there the rate lies at only 56 %. In 2015, more than every second SME was able to report a growth in turnover compared to the previous year. And the HR requirements in the SME sector have a positive effect on the employment market. Every third company employed more workers than in the year before. One reason for the favorable situation: Berlin‘s companies are innovative and collaborate closely with scientific institutions. In addition, companies profit from low labor costs: compared to Munich the salary of an engineer is approximately 25 % less. And the international character of the city makes it the perfect location for companies who want to market their services and products worldwide. Digital Transformation. Berlin is also ahead in terms of opportunities arising from the digitization of the economy. A plumbing company can send its plumbers out to the customer quicker thanks to current traffic data, a cabinet maker can exchange drafts with his clients via the Cloud, and the CEO of a plastics company can monitor the work of his machines on his smartphone – Berlin businesses benefit from the digital pioneering achievements of the many IT and software companies. Thanks to the excellent networking of incubators and startups, the capital can provide the expertise required to improve products, processes,
Business metropolis – Impulses 9 Industry location Berlin and marketing for the future with digitization. With its flexible structure, the SME sector in particular can quickly utilize the opportunities presented by digitization. Industrie 4.0. Industry and science work together in Berlin towards developing smart solutions for the „Internet of Things“. In application-oriented projects, they integrate production, and make it intelligent and flexible. The pioneers of a comprehensive implementation of Industrie 4.0 technology include Bundesdruckerei (the German Federal Printing Office) and the Osram factory in Berlin. The American corporation GE is also convinced of Berlin‘s suitability as a location for the digital revolution: In 2015, the company opened its „Global Technical Learning Center.“ The 2,500 square meters training center serves for internal GE training as well as external training. It was opened in the immediate vicinity of the GE Power Conversion factory, one of the largest GE premises in Germany. Dr. Jürgen Allerkamp, Head of the board of the Investitionsbank Berlin Photos: Thinkstock.de | iStock | Wavebreakmedia, Investitionsbank Berlin, companies „The SME sector in Berlin is the heart of the economic dynamic. This pulsating heart will have to undergo a digital transformation in the next years so that Berlin can continue its breathtaking catch-up process.“ Alongside young startups, the Berlin economy is also characterized by a strong industry. Siemens is particularly well-rooted in the capital city. Gas turbines are manufactured in Moabit, for example, while motor and windpower facilities are produced in the Siemensstadt. 12,000 people work in the world‘s biggest Siemens production facilities. In the BMW factory in Berlin- Spandau, motorcycles have been in production since 1967. More than 110,000 machines leave the factory each year. Daimler also appreciates Berlin. Around 2,500 employees work in the Marienfelde factory, producing the climatefriendly engines of the future. The corporation is investing half a billion euros in the high-tech location. Well-known manufacturers Further heavy weights of the Berlin industrial landscape: The US concern Procter & Gamble manufactures wetshaving systems in its Gillette factory in Berlin-Marienfelde. Beiersdorf AG produces its Nivea products such as bath foam, shampoos and mouthwash at its Berlin location. In the Osram factory, around 14 million special bulbs are produced annually for automobiles and movie recording. The Swiss firm Schindler builds elevators and escalators. The subsidiary was founded in Berlin back in 1906. Brands with tradition It is musically very demanding in C. Bechstein Pianofortefabrik AG: The firm has been producing exquisite pianos for top musicians all over the world since 1853. The Königliche Porzellan- Manufaktur Berlin (KPM) was founded in Berlin in 1763 by Frederick the Great. It is still a manufactory today, producing handmade porcelain and hand-painted decorative items.