- Growth creates jobs – for the first time, the technical services company employs over 20,000 staff
- Global player – at Germany's largest TÜV organisation, the percentage of staff abroad is as high as 47%
- Worldwide growth – in 2013 TÜV SÜD acquired eight companies in eight countries
- High commitment to future-oriented issues – food safety, electromobility and data security
Munich. TÜV SÜD again lives up to its reputation as a job engine. At the end of 2013, the technical services company employs 20,000 staff worldwide – a new record, and over 1,200 experts more than in 2012. "This year has been a continuation of our sustainable success story. Every year since 2005, we have created at least 1,000 new jobs", said Dr Axel Stepken, Chairman of the Board of Management of TÜV SÜD AG, at today's year-end financial results conference in Munich.
The only exception was 2009, the year of the financial crisis, when the international services company created only 300 new jobs. Stepken predicted, "We will continue to grow in 2014 and again welcome over 1,000 new members of staff to our company." The service provider's positive development is driven by strong demand for its services. In 2013 TÜV SÜD will beat the previous year's record, meeting its revenue target of around EUR 2 billion (2012: EUR 1.82 billion).
Dr. Matthias J. Rapp, CFO at TÜV SÜD, emphasised, "Our increasing international presence is the key driver of our growth, which is both organic and inorganic. In 2013, for example, we acquired a total of eight companies in eight different countries." The largest acquisition was a company in Brazil that manages large-scale construction projects throughout Latin America. Rapp continued, "Our strong international presence is also reflected in our headcount, with 47% of TÜV SÜD's employees working abroad at present."
A significant factor in TÜV SÜD's sustained business success over the past several years lies in its strengthening of innovative business areas, such as its current services in the fields of electromobility, food safety and data security.
Electromobility: high demand for battery testing is fuelling global expansion of laboratory network
"Electromobility has been a focus topic in our company since 2009 and will stay an important growth market for TÜV SÜD throughout this decade", said Horst Schneider, Member of the TÜV SÜD Board of Management. The demand for services to ensure the safety of this new drive system is rising around the globe.
Given this, the technical services company significantly strengthened its global network of battery testing laboratories in 2013, expanding its battery testing laboratory in China by 1,500 sqm (over 16,000 sq ft) to manage the increase in demand. The company also enlarged its existing laboratories in Garching (near Munich), Toronto and Detroit. Further expansion plans are in the process of implementation. While the foundation stone for another battery testing laboratory has been laid in Korea, TÜV SÜD will start to offer the testing of batteries for electric and hybrid-electric vehicles in Taiwan and Japan within a framework of collaborative operations from 2014 onwards.
In Germany, TÜV SÜD is the uncontested market leader for training courses on high-voltage safety; the company is also involved in all important government-funded projects, known as the "National Electromobility Showcase".
TÜV SÜD has also recently expanded its test portfolio for vehicle batteries. By acquiring a crash facility in Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich, TÜV SÜD Battery Testing GmbH now also offers dynamic crash tests for battery systems and components.
"We are convinced that electric vehicles, be they battery electric or fuel-cell powered, are the future", said Schneider, continuing, "Our success so far clearly points in this direction, and we will continue to pursue our objective of becoming the number one provider of safety services for electromobility."
Supporting food safety throughout the world: new laboratories and global technology transfer
The importance of safe and healthy food products is also increasing around the globe. Given this, TÜV SÜD has designated laboratory and certification services aimed at ensuring food safety – another of its strategic growth areas.
TÜV SÜD has therefore invested massively in the strengthening of its international laboratory network over the past 18 months, with food-safety laboratories in Brazil (2012) and Italy (2013) as the most recent acquisitions. At present the company has over 500 employees worldwide, offering a full range of testing, analysis and certification services for food products.
"In 2014, we will focus on further expanding our laboratory network in Europe, Asia and Latin America", said Dirk Eilers, Member of the Board of Management of TÜV SÜD. "Our objective is to provide clients all over the world with food-safety services of the same consistently high level of quality."
Today, TÜV SÜD's food specialists test fish and seafood around the globe against uniform standards and criteria. This has been made possible through the intensive, global transfer of know-how and the integration of all food laboratories in TÜV SÜD's network, and is but one example of our comprehensive food expertise. "TÜV SÜD's experts accompany these food products from sea to shelf, also monitoring the entire transport chain", continued Eilers.
Industrial espionage and industrial sabotage: data security risks are significantly rising
Another global focus topic is data security. Current security scandals have shown that the risk of malicious attacks on data records has increased significantly – both in personal and industrial environments. As integrated systems become more common in industry, new potential risks emerge throughout all sectors.
TÜV SÜD Chairman of the Board of Management Axel Stepken underlined, "Against the backdrop of integrated industry, we need to re-assess risks and develop better security mechanisms." Today, the crucial question is: how can we achieve an adequate level of security without compromising on the high degree of integration or restricting the functional safety of installations?
TÜV SÜD has already developed solutions for these pressing issues. Its "System tested" standard, for example, is the first standard worldwide to link the functional safety requirements of integrated systems with security requirements (protection against malicious attacks). Stepken stressed, "Data security for applications including cloud computing, telematics or smart factories will become one of TÜV SÜD's key growth fields over the next years, because demand by business, industry and society to minimise data risks is growing every day, and because protecting society against the risks involved in innovative technologies has been TÜV SÜD's core responsibility and mission for almost 150 years."
Installations subject to monitoring in Germany: beware of gambling with safety standards!
Electromobility, food safety and data security – while enormous efforts are taken to increase the level of safety in many areas, considerations are currently afoot to abolish tried-and-tested regulations for existing technologies. At the company's year-end financial results conference, Karsten Xander, Member of the Board of Management of TÜV SÜD, warned that political circles in Germany were aiming at an amendment of the industrial safety regulations that govern installations subject to monitoring, such as lifts, fuelling stations and installations in potentially explosive atmospheres.
Xander emphasised, "Here in Germany, we must not gradually sacrifice our excellent level of safety needlessly. Installations subject to monitoring involve a relatively high risk potential, and Germany's Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance (Betriebssicherheitsverordnung, BetrSchV) therefore has good reason to demand that these installations are inspected by an independent third party at regular intervals."
Recent years have witnessed continuous deterioration in the condition of such installations. This is also pointed out in the current Installation Safety Report. In 2012, for example, only around one-third of all lifts were in perfect order, while safety-critical faults were detected in almost ten per cent, and almost one per cent of lifts – in absolute figures 4,600 lifts – had to be taken out of service immediately. Given this, Xander urged, "Germany's requirement of third-party testing of systems and installations subject to monitoring must not be watered down." Otherwise defects may go unnoticed, resulting in unavailability and a dramatic increase in the number of accidents.