High-flier with big plans
Switzerland-based Condair Group is the global market leader in humidification and evaporative cooling. In Norderstedt the company found the perfect take-off point for its international success.
The name “Condair” often leads people to think of an airline. Far from the truth: Condair produces room air humidification devices. The corporation’s systems ensure large open-plan offices, production halls and museums remain perfectly ambient; their customers include numerous global players as well as the Louvre and the Elbphilharmonie. So Condair is certainly a high-flyer: The company has 750 employees, operates in 67 countries and generates an annual turnover of around 150 million euros.
International hub in the north
To serve the markets in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East more effectively, in June 2017 Condair opened its new production and logistics centre in Norderstedt.
On a 13,000 sqm plot on the Nordport industrial estate, the company merged its production plants previously located in Switzerland, England, Denmark and Hamburg. “This move has allowed us to create an important hub for our international expansion,” explains the chair of the executive board Oliver Zimmermann.
First choice: NORDGATE!
The NORDGATE region beat numerous competitors to the top in a multi-stage selection procedure. “As well as our second biggest market Germany, many eastern European countries were very much in the running,” says Oliver Zimmermann. A centre-of-gravity analysis then ultimately confirmed north Germany as the ideal region. A major plus with Norderstedt was the fact that Condair could build on the existing team from its former plant in Hamburg. But the logistic advantages weighed in its favour even more: “We may only have a small production depth, but everything still needs to be perfectly timed and coordinated, from the delivery and assembly through to the installation of our systems. Here shipping containers from China can reach us as fast as HGV transport from Eastern Europe. For our own distribution, air freight in particular is key – on a construction site every single minute is precious!”
Going that extra mile for success
For the chair of the executive board, the human factor also played a decisive role: “The development company Norderstedt and other partners made us feel welcome here from the very beginning. Everyone pulled together with the same goal in mind – whether that be the fast delivery of detailed documents, a private phone call to the Minister-President or mediating between regional service providers. They always went the extra mile for us – and this was what enabled us to implement our schedule in record time!” Born in Switzerland, Oliver Zimmermann lived in Hamburg himself for four years. During this time he came to know and love the north German sense of humour and the reliability of the Hanseatic people: “Your word is your word there and that I really appreciate!”
Today the new build on Nordportbogen is far more than a production plant. Step into the foyer, flooded with natural light, and you’ll experience the Condair world with all your senses. With its innovative technology and interactive elements, the building embodies the company’s vision “productivity, sustainability and health through air and water.” The fact that there are airplanes flying directly over the building into Hamburg airport hugely adds to the fascination; from the staff canteen on the top floor, employees have a direct view of the runway. Since setting up in Norderstedt, the company headquarters have become a popular location for events. “By boosting the local economy it also means we have a great network with resources we can use in future to attract new employees, too,” adds Oliver Zimmermann.
With room for an optional 5,000 sqm expansion, Condair can extend its existing building towards the airport. “We intend to take up this opportunity as soon as we begin producing additional product lines for private use,” explains the chair of the executive board. Once that has happened, the lights of the runway will be just a stone’s throw away – and Condair will be all set to implement its global expansion strategy.