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Nothing more clearly explains the Hoffmann world today than its 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. It has made the company what it is today.

How it all began

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Beginnings in difficult times

In 1919, qualified mechanic and machine-builder Josef Hoffmann starts his own business, a sales agency selling "technical articles and metalwares". He initially specialises in selling welding machinery, automobile accessories, spare parts and technical articles. He soon attracts increasing numbers of customers. In 1930, Josef Hoffmann moves into a small shop on Arnulfstrasse in Munich, and already employs two field sales representatives. Even back then, he not only supplies his customers, but also provides them with advice on technical application.

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Business development through the energetic son of the founder

In the early 1930s, Franz Hoffmann joins his father in the business, and soon takes over as its head. He adds tools and small machines to the portfolio, and they become a major second pillar of the business. Hoffmann soon has thousands of trade and light industrial businesses as its customers. Franz Hoffmann places great value in active selling out in the field. He enthusiastically supports the Munich representative himself. 

The young company head Franz Hoffmann is keen to build a top-quality portfolio. In 1936, he combines product listings from different manufacturers to create a bound in-house catalogue. The idea for the Hoffmann catalogue is thus born.

 
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Rise to become a major trader in industrial tools

Thanks to Franz Hoffmann's pioneering spirit, the business grows steadily. He observes the market, continually adapting his product range, which is crucial to the success of the business. 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.

He regards the core competency of the trading business as lying in immediate availability and prompt delivery of the best tools. Service backup includes regrinding at the company's in-house workshop, as well as the provision of expert and detailed advice. He expands the field sales network, increasingly engaging specialists in a variety of different technical areas in addition to his tried and proven all-rounder sales staff. That service backup and expert advice remains today a unique selling point and key factor in the success of the Hoffmann Group.

Franz Hoffmann also provides unusually generous employee benefits for the time, including reimbursement of travel expenses, tickets to the cinema, food vouchers, and later a company canteen and in-house bakery. He also enables his employees to share in the company's success.

The company's head office grows – and with it so does the logistics operation

In 1972 the company moves its head office to the present-day location in the Pasing district of Munich. The facility has been continually extended and remodelled ever since as the workforce has grown in numbers. The strong sales growth of the Hoffmann Group also imposes high demands on its stock-holding and logistics. The high levels of delivery capability and short delivery lead times by which the Hoffmann Group distinguishes itself from the competition are closely linked to Hoffmann's goal of quality leadership.

A key factor in achieving that goal is the logistics centre in Nuremberg, where in 2009 the Hoffmann Group opens what is 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 market for workstations and storage grows so strongly from 2010 onwards that in 2014 the Hoffmann Group opens a new workstations and storage centre in Odelzhausen

The 13,500 m2 facility of GARANT Productions in Reutlingen develops and manufactures workstations and storage for markets all over the world.

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Odelzhausen workstations and storage centre
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GARANT Productions in Reutlingen
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The heart of the trading business – the catalogue

The first fully self-produced, designed and printed catalogue, containing the complete ex-stock product range, is issued in 1952, and extends to 240 pages. Hoffmann employs high-quality image material and a clearly structured layout as key features of the catalogue design. 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.

Hoffmann builds manufacturing expertise

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The launch of the GARANT premium tool brand in 1973 safeguards the future of the business: Hoffmann is now no longer just a trader, but also a manufacturer. The products in the premium portfolio impress by their innovation, functional design and top quality, while offering very good value for money. GARANT tools have won a number of design awards. A new quality tool brand, HOLEX, was launched in 1983, offering customers good industrial quality at an attractive price.

Rise to become an international group

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In 1993, based on the cooperation with German partner companies, the Hoffmann Gruppe is founded. Based on a joint strategy, with a centralised purchasing function, the Gruppe is able to provide its customers with even more attractive offers than before. Moreover, the Gruppe structure means all customers can be provided with personalised support on-site at their own location. 

The Hoffmann Gruppe is growing steadily, and in 1995 ventures beyond Germany's borders. It has been developing its international business continuously ever since. Together with its partners, it is now represented in more than 50 countries, with a total of 69 subsidiaries and distributors, and since 2003 the group has borne the English title "Hoffmann Group".

Milestones in the company's growth

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    1979

    Founding of the first subsidiary with acquisition of partner Theisen in Nuremberg

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    1989

    Start of the internationalisation process with the first licensing partner in Switzerland

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    1990

    Entry into the Spanish market

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    1993

     Įkuriama Hoffmann grupė, kurios tikslas -  tapti rinkos lyderiu Vokietijos teritorijoje

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    1996

    Founding of Hoffmann GmbH Bremen

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    2000

     Internete įkuriamas užsakymų centras, siūlantis virš 50000 kokybiškų įrankių

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    2001

     Įmonė sertifikuojama pagal Vokietijos automobilių pramonės asociacijos taisykles VDA 6.2 (paslaugas teikiančioms įmonėms) ir VDA 6.4 (įrankių gamintojams) - pirmoji pardavimo įmonė įrankių pramonės srityje

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    2002

    Entry into the Danish market

     

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    2003

     Pakeičiamas Hoffmann grupės pavadinimas į Hoffmann Group. Iki šiol tai vienintelė įmonė, turinti TÜV sertifikatą, patvirtinantį galimybę pristatyti daugiau kaip 99% užsakymų.
 Kartu su vietiniais partneriais plečiamas prekybos tinklas Rusijoje, Suomijoje, Švedijoje, Norvegijoje, Estijoje, Latvijoje, Lietuvoje ir Baltarusijoje

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    2004

    Opening-up of the markets in Belarus, Romania, Poland, Latvia, and – through partners Perschmann and Gödde – also in Poland, Luxembourg and Belgium

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    2005

    Leeport Machine Tool Trading (China) Ltd. becomes the Group's partner in China

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    2006

     Atidaromas TechnologyCenter Niurnberge.
 Įsteigiamas Hoffmann Group fondas

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    2007

     Oranžinis katalogas išleidžiamas 14 kalbų – unikalus atvejis Europoje

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    2009

    Opening of the logistics centre in Nuremberg, Europe's largest and most efficient tool logistics facility

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    2010

    Founding of the subsidiary in Hungary

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    2011

    Acquisition of Gebo Werkzeuge GmbH in Essen

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    2012

    Acquisition of KB Knecht GmbH in Reutlingen, subsequently renamed GARANT Productions

    Founding of Hoffmann Asia Pacific in Singapore

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    2013

    Founding of the subsidary in Malaysia

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    2014

     Atidaromas darbo vietų įrangos centras Odelchauzene

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    2016

    Founding of the subsidiary in Pune, India

    Founding of the subsidiary in Knoxville, USA

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    2018

    Start of construction of LogisticCity, a state-of-the-art logistics centre, marking a step towards digitally connected logistics operations

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"Tools create values" – the Hoffmann Group Foundation

Social responsibility and community engagement have been at the core of Hoffmann's corporate culture since its very beginnings. In 2006, the management formalised that commitment by establishing the Hoffmann Group Foundation. The values which dictate how the business operates are also reflected in the social and community engagement of the company: reliability, responsibility and sustainability. Under the motto "Tools create values", the Foundation provides targeted support to organisations which promote the development of disadvantaged and traumatised children and young people, helping them to lay the foundations for a successful and happy life.

In 2013, the two company shareholders Verena Heinrich and Nicola Januschke-Bleicher take over the management of the Hoffmann Group Foundation.

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The ORANGE HOUSE in Peissenberg, a therapy and creative centre for children and young people, was opened in 2010. The ORANGE HOUSE Bremen opened 2017.