-> KÖTTER Group still as innovative as ever on 85th birthday
-> Involvement in Swiss Morphean SA and partnership with F24 AG, as well as in-house control centres, give security and service extra boost
-> Employee training and further training come to the fore for lifelong learning, motivation and appreciation
Essen (03/01/2019). The KÖTTER Group celebrates its 85-year existence today. With over 18,000 employees, the service provider group is one of the top 10 providers of infrastructural building services, and is the largest family company in the German security industry. This position has been strengthened even more by the recent integration of the ARNDT group, based in Fürth. At the same time, the traditional company is also promoting its digitalisation strategy. In particular, the involvement of the Swiss high-tech services provider Morphean SA in 2018 and the partnership with Munich-based F24 AG, as well as in-house control centres, open up a multitude of opportunities for development, "The successful use of big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital building blocks has opened up whole new markets for us," said Friedrich P. Kötter, Board of Directors of the KÖTTER Security Group.
The service provider group, which has active security (security services and technology, risk and health management), cleaning (maintenance, glass, industrial cleaning etc.) and personal services (such as temporary work in commercial sales jobs) divisions across Germany, wants to continue its lasting success record.
"We look back over these 85 years with pride, satisfaction and gratitude, but we are also filled with enthusiasm for the future of our group," explained Friedrich P. Kötter, who is continuing the tradition of the family company into the third generation with his sister Martina Kötter. "Pride, because our group represents a history of success, in that it has specially sought out like-minded people in the security sector. Satisfaction, because we have guaranteed that our family company will remain independent by acting with the long term in mind. Gratitude, because our grandfather and father set the decisive principles, which have been upheld thus far by fair and reliable partnerships with customers and employees."
These performances are reflected in figures and ambitious orders;
as part of the '24/7' service promise, employees cover around 35 million km a year, a significant part of which involves property protection work. They are supported by the control centre in Essen, which processes over 28 million messages a year.
As a professional partner for companies from all sectors, or even public institutions such as museums, the security division is in charge of cash desk and supervisory services, or helps with the museum shop (such as the Barberini Museum in Potsdam), for example. The cleaning and personal services divisions convince customers with demanding cleaning services in areas such as healthcare (e.g. the Ruhrland Clinic, a company of Universitätsmedizin Essen), or as an experienced partner for personnel deployment in retail and logistics (e.g. Kodi Logistik GmbH).
"We hope to maintain our success with economic sustainability and the highest quality services provided," Friedrich P. Kötter explained. "Because we always want to convince customers with a serious and reliable performance, and not with dumping prices and making use of subcontractors, which is what a steadily growing number of market competitors are doing."
Challenges: Recruiting and retaining personnel, training and further training
Therefore, employees are still the central pillar: "People must always take priority, and need our full attention and appreciation," said Friedrich P. Kötter. More and more effort is required in light of the advance of digitalisation, and an intensifying lack of manpower, which is affecting all companies. "Training and further training is of particular significance. It does not just prepare people for new types of tasks and technology. It is also an important driving force for motivation and appreciation, and therefore a decisive instrument for recruiting and retaining employees," the family employer believes. "We place specific emphasis here on the skill of our academy, which is active nationwide."
Using high-tech: Protecting properties intelligently, purchasing experience and increasing turnover in a targeted manner
Even more so, because digitalisation is also causing long-term changes to the service provision sector. The family company has subsequently expanded its portfolio, in order to meet the claim of being a pioneer in the digitalisation offensive. The focus is on expanding current system solutions, where the customised combination of personnel and state-of-the-art technology is already of central relevance, with regards to digital technologies for smart service solutions. Because, with the help of AI, big data and cloud-based technologies, video systems - for example - can be developed into complex systems. The customer gets to see everything via an efficient platform, which is easy to use; from IP camera recording to cloud-based logging and intelligent analysis functions, to automated alarm functions and processing commercially relevant information, as the following examples demonstrate:
People counting: The person counter is an intelligent tool with which retailers can acquire comprehensive information about visitor numbers and the conversion rate in their businesses. This enables them to measure their performance and thereby ensure that customers are presented with optimal purchasing conditions, and that sales numbers increase.
Queue management: The tool provides retailers with live information about queues. This enables them to access automated measures for minimising waiting times and increasing the purchasing experience in real time. Data protection is guaranteed by pixelating people, and the privacy function for masking out certain areas.
Visual alarm verification/guards replacement: Live video and audio transmissions in the in-house high-tech control centres, plus the ability to address suspicious parties via loudspeaker, enable fast reactions, reduce false alarms and increase efficiency. The virtual guardian also contributes to increasing security and efficiency, in that remote surveillance from the control centre partially replaces patrols, for example.
Managed service: This makes administration of access controls easier, while also increasing security. The highly secure platform pools all data recorded at different properties, replacing respective local systems. Moreover, the predefined contact partners receive live information and videos regarding important events directly on Smartphone, Notebook etc.
The co-operation also enables flexible and integral management of F24 crises and emergencies, in an audit-friendly manner; from the breakdown of critical infrastructures to dealing with natural disasters. Components of the web-based, and therefore globally usable solution FACT24 include the short-term summoning of crisis teams or mass alerts.
"These building blocks make it clear that we are supporting our partners in more comprehensive ways, taking security and service to a whole new level," said Friedrich P. Kötter.