Redi heads east with its customers

The quality management firm wants to expand engineering business

Langenfeld, Germany. The Redi-Group is planning a major expansion next year, especially in its engineering services.

These services are concentrated in its Redi Engineering unit. A primary activity is lending engineers to auto suppliers, where they work as specialists to improve supplier activities or audits and systems.

“When someone calls us for the first time, a huge quality problem is often looming,” said Dieter Reitmeyer, the company’s founder and managing director. “Our customers mostly lack the know-how and the necessary staff.”

Reitmeyer sees central and eastern Europe as an opportunity for his company. The service provider wants to follow automakers and suppliers to their new production sites in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia.

Redi-Group is considering expanding into Turkey and South Africa.

“Quality management will remain expensive in eastern Europe,” Reitmeyer says.

For one thing, the level of training among technicians and other staff members is inadequate. For another, Redi must first train staff hired in eastern Europe or temporarily assign German employees to the sites.

For the 2004-2005 fiscal year ending in March, the company had revenues of 118 million euros, or $146 million at current exchange rates, almost exclusively auto business. It has 1,240 employees worldwide and 695 in Germany.

Over the next three years, Reitmeyer is expecting annual revenue increases of at least 15 percent.

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