Hoffmann is celebrating its centenary in 2019. It is a good opportunity to look to the future, and to take a look back: Much of what makes the Hoffmann Group an expert system partner for quality tools today is derived from the company's history. That strong foundation is what has enabled us to achieve all that we have to date, and what will sustain our success into the future.
Full steam ahead
The family-led Hoffmann business has continually re-invented itself over the past 100 years: It has adapted to changing market conditions, anticipated new trends, and launched innovative products and services. As a system partner to industry, the Hoffmann Group continues to grow and develop, while remaining ever true to itself in spite of all the change. It has been helping to boost the productivity of its customers worldwide since 1919.
How the Hoffmann Group is preparing for the future
Based on the motto "Ever better" – embodied primarily by Franz Hoffmann himself – the Hoffmann Group works constantly to offer its customers ever more efficient and powerful products and services. The company is also utilising the opportunities offered by digitalisation in pursuing its goals – as a trader, a manufacturer, and a consultant. Optimised processes are speeding up delivery lead times for example. Intelligent tool management supports customers in production. The Hoffmann Group is also engaging with the latest technologies such as Additive Manufacturing and the associated challenges entailed by the processing of 3D printed components.
Analogue and digital customer support
Providing personalised support to all customers continues to be crucial to the Hoffmann Group – whether in analogue or digital form: This includes setting up the company's online shop, as well as maintaining a strong presence in person, visiting customers at their locations and engaging in dialogue with them at trade fairs and exhibitions. The Hoffmann name is a byword for excellent service and expert advice.
Quality driven since 1919
The centenary motto "Quality driven since 1919" expresses the company's all-encompassing quality commitment, reflecting what has been the foundation stone of its success and the corporate culture it has been practising for the last 100 years. This extends from the composition of the product portfolio, through the personalised advice provided to customers, through to the company's unique TÜV-certified delivery capability. The Hoffmann Group is also upholding its quality promise for the future, continually adapting its standards to changing market conditions in order to maintain its position as the preferred partner at its customers' side.
The best staff
Hoffmann is a traditional family business: It adopts a long-term approach – including to its labour relations. The company's identity and culture offers all employees a sense of stability which has proved a constant source of reassurance even in periods of economic difficulty. The employees of the Hoffmann Group are characterised by their pioneering spirit, their high standards of conduct in relation to colleagues and customers, and their diligent work performance.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Nothing more clearly explains the Hoffmann world today than our 100-year history. It has been marked by the personal commitment of the founding family, economic challenges, innovative developments, and the values of a true family business.
1919-1932: Beginnings in difficult times
In 1919, just a few months after the Weimar Republic is declared in Germany, Josef Hoffmann opens his sales agency selling "technical articles and metalwares" in Munich. He observes the market, and continually adapts his product range in order to help the business through the difficult period by regularly introducing new offers. Hoffmann's policy is not to offer the widest range on the market, but rather to sell specialist equipment – the best available on the market for each product group.
1932: Franz Hoffmann joins his father in the business
Franz Hoffmann dominates the history of the company for more than 60 years. Thanks to his pioneering spirit, the business grows steadily. His maxim that every aspect of the business should meet three criteria – simple, focused and useful – is applied to every area of the business, whether catalogue design, logistics or employee management. Like his father before him, at least in the early years he knows all the customers personally, and focuses consistently on their needs.
1936: The catalogue – the heart of the trading business
In 1936 Franz Hoffmann for the first time combines product listings from different manufacturers to create a bound in-house catalogue: The idea for the Hoffmann catalogue was born. Then in 1952 the first fully self-produced, designed and printed catalogue, containing the complete ex-stock product range, is issued. The catalogue is intended as a "technical advice reference" for the company's customers. The orange-coloured "Tool Bible" has been published yearly since 1978. In the centenary year 2019, the 50th issue will be published in 18 different languages, with a print run of 1.1 million copies.
1973: Hoffmann builds manufacturing expertise
The launch of the GARANT premium tool brand is a genuine innovation, and a key step towards becoming a system partner: The Hoffmann Group is now no longer just a trader, but also a manufacturer. The products impress by their innovation, functional design and top quality, while offering very good value for money. The Hoffmann Group currently ranks third among manufacturers of cutting tools in Germany, primarily thanks to its GARANT sales. A new quality tool brand, HOLEX, was launched in 1983, offering customers good industrial quality at an attractive price.
1993: Founding of the Hoffmann Group
Since the early 1970s, Hoffmann has entered into licensing agreements with German partner companies enabling them to use the Hoffmann catalogue in whole or in part as the basis of their work. In 1993, based on the cooperation with German partners, the Hoffmann Group is founded. It has since then pursued a joint strategy, with a centralised purchasing function, enabling its customers to enjoy even more attractive offers than before. Moreover, the Group structure means all customers can be provided with personalised support on-site at their own location. Reflecting its increasing internationalisation, since 2003 the group has borne the English title "Hoffmann Group".
1995: Beyond Germany's borders
The Hoffmann Group is growing steadily, and now ventures beyond Germany's borders. Early licensing partners in Spain, Switzerland and Slovenia pave the way for the internationalisation of the business. The international business has been developing continuously ever since.
2000: The start of online business
In the year 2000, the Hoffmann Group becomes one of the first B2B traders, offering its customers some 50,000 quality tools through its online shop. The online shop has been continually updated and expanded ever since.
2009: State-of-the-art logistics
In 2009, the Hoffmann Group opens its logistics centre in Nuremberg – at the time the largest and most efficient logistics centre in the industry anywhere in Europe. To maintain its state-of-the-art standards in logistics, in 2018 the company begins constructing its "LogisticCity" facility. The new logistics centre will be more than "just" a warehouse, and marks the first step towards digitally connected logistics operations. LogisticCity thus also embodies Hoffmann's pioneering spirit.
THE HOFFMANN GROUP 2019
Always close to the customer – all over the world.
• More than 3,000 employees worldwide • 69 subsidiaries in more than 50 countries • Global network of long-standing distribution partners • Over 1,350 technical advisors operating worldwide • Over 80,000 catalogue articles: GARANT, HOLEX, 500 manufacturer brands • Over 135,000 business customers in various industries worldwide
Factors in the success of the Hoffmann Group
Today, as in the past, the focus is on providing expert and personalised advice to customers. In the Hoffmann catalogue you will find a broad range of quality tools from the top manufacturers on the market, including in the fields of machining, clamping, measuring and grinding, as well as workstations and storage and personal protective equipment. The company guarantees 99 percent delivery capability and 99.9 percent delivery accuracy on all those products. TÜV-certified!
Giving our best
The Hoffmann Group empowers people to do their best. That is the company's claim. And the company itself is also continually striving to become better. As an expert partner to its customers, it develops custom solutions for quality tools and workstations and storage together with them. The Hoffmann Group does not stand still, but rather is passionately committed to progress – with innovative processes and tools, and with the best staff. Personal. Precise. With a pioneering spirit.