Article

Outstandingly innovative: Humintech

The Grevenbroich-based company joins an exclusive group of prizewinners stretching back over more than 20 years as Top 100 mentor Ranga Yogeshwar awards it the Top 100 seal of approval. The award to Humintech is the outcome of a two-stage analytical procedure by a team of research scientists. 

Natural humic acids form the basis of Humintech GmbH's success. The com-pany uses these in agriculture to improve the properties of soil, for example, or to stimulate plant growth, and the industrial and animal feed sectors also benefit from the company's innovative products. Humintech GmbH scored particularly highly in the Top 100 competition's Innovations Marketing cate-gory, as it is great at coming up with ideas for commercialising these complex products. "We place great emphasis on an intensive dialogue with potential users," commented Müfit Tarhan, Humintech's executive director. "We offer our international customers workshops, for example, as a means of exchang-ing ideas. It's all about being open and transparent." Humintech has a sales network covering 60 countries worldwide. 

To ensure the continuing success of the company, its 24 employees are closely involved in the creative process, with each employee contributing an average of five suggestions for improvements, approximately 60 per cent of which are implemented. Flat hierarchies and short communication channels make it easier to decide whether an idea should be taken up or rejected, and bonuses offer employees an incentive to continue their active engagement. 

"Generating good ideas and implementing them quickly is an important com-petitive factor for us," explained executive director Aydogan Cengiz. "This is why we invest a lot of time and money into managing innovation. In doing so, we are relying on the creativity and inventiveness of all of our employees. I should like to extend my heartfelt thanks to them for helping us win this Top 100 Award."

The Top 100 accolade is awarded on the basis of a two-stage analysis de-veloped by Nikolaus Franke, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, and his team. The research scientists use more than 100 parameters in five separate categories to investigate how SMEs manage and generate successful inno-vations. The decision as to which companies ultimately receive the Top 100 award lies exclusively with the academic coordinators of the project. 

This year, Professor Franke and his team reviewed more applicants than ever before, with 234 out of a total of 302 qualifying companies making it into the final. After the finalists had been split into three size categories (maxi-mum of 100 companies in each size category), 178 were awarded the acco-lade. The German SME summit in Essen provided the setting for the awards ceremony.

The Top 100 are outstanding in every respect: this year's crop includes 71 domestic market leaders and as many as 31 global market leaders. In the last three years, the top innovators have together applied for a total of 3,405 German and international patents. Nearly 41 per cent of their recent reve-nues came from new products and innovations, which they brought to the market before their competitors (average of all SMEs in Germany: 6.6 per cent). This success is no accident: the top innovators invest an average of 10.5 per cent of revenues in research and development (average of all SMEs in Germany: 1.5 per cent). Two thirds of the Top 100 are family businesses.

The Top 100 competition
Since 1993, compamedia has been awarding the Top 100 seal of approval to SMEs with particular innovative capacity and above-average success rates for innovations. This project has been coordinated by Professor Nikolaus Franke from the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration since 2002. Professor Franke is one of the world's leading experts in the field of user innovation. The Top 100 is mentored by journalist and television pre-senter Ranga Yogeshwar, and organised in partnership with the Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research. manager magazin provides media support for the company benchmarking competition. Further information is available at www.top100-germany.com

compamedia – mentor to Germany's top SMEs compamedia GmbH, which was founded in 1993 and employs 15 people, organises the nationwide company benchmarking competitions Top 100 (since 1993) and Top Consultant (since 2010). The company collaborates with prestigious universities on these projects.