Business in the Process Industry is Picking Up
IBIC Looks Back on Its First Year
Hans-Peter Beier has managed to pull off a feat that many would have considered to be too risky, too daunting. In 2009 - in the thick of the worldwide economic crisis - he founded IBIC, an international engineering and consulting firm that supports companies in designing new manufacturing plants for the process industry. When CHEManager Europe spoke to him a few months after the launch of his company, Beier said that everything had been developing according to plan and he had “no reason to complain.” Now, one year later, Beier reflects back with Brandi Schuster - and also looks to the months ahead.
CHEManager Europe: Your company has recently celebrated its first anniversary - congratulations! How have the last 12 months been for you?H. Beier: Although it was a very challenging year, our business development has been very successful. In fact, I would even dare to say that we have found our niche in the market as a European provider of engineering services for plant designers and operators.
You established your company in the middle of a global economic crisis. How did the economic climate impact your business?H. Beier: We definitely felt negative effects. For example, it took a bit longer to achieve our growth targets than we had originally planned.
Emerging economies such as China and Brazil have achieved the fastest recovery. Has this changed the scope of your international business? Which other regions are showing growing interests in building plants for the process industry?H. Beier: Since our target market is Europe, the scope of our international business has not really changed. Yet, even our European customers have a large share of projects for building or modernizing plants in the Middle East, India or the Asia-Pacific region.
What kind of organic growth has IBIC experienced in the past year? Do you have any plans for expanding your business through acquisitions or partnerships?H. Beier: Our service business has grown steadily from the start, whereas our company growth has lagged a bit behind our forecasts so far. Although we are not planning with acquisitions at this time, we are building up our partner network step by step.
What were the biggest challenges that you faced in the past year?H. Beier: Every company needs to make certain key investments during the start-up phase – whether sales are developing as planned or not. Spending, however, always feels awkward when you hit a weak business cycle.
Is there anything you would do differently if you could start over again?H. Beier: As far as the fundamentals are concerned, I would make the same decisions today that I did a year ago. I would, however, make a few small tweaks based on what I know today. For example we could already have recruited even more project engineers earlier based on the regained strength of our industry sector these days.
Where do you see your company in the next 12 months?H. Beier: Business in the process industry is really picking up in general, and I think that our company will profit from this development. We’ve already seen a jump in the demand for services in late summer. As a result, we have good reason to be optimistic in attaining our ambitious targets.
IBIC (Internationale Beier Ingenieur-Consulting) GmbH, Neu-Isenburg
Phone: +49 (0) 6102 812238
Fax: +49 (0) 6102 812239