Global company Flexfab chooses Leipzig to improve its supply chain and proximity to key markets.
Flexfab established a branch in Leipzig in 2021. The American family company employs more than 1000 people worldwide. The main business area is the production of high-tech products for the aerospace, automotive, rail and heavy-duty vehicle industries. The company generates around 150 million dollars in sales per year.
Flexfab is an established company founded in 1961 by Douglas C. DeCamp and Bill Pierce in Hastings (Michigan, USA). The company mainly manufactures and supplies parts in the form of silicone hoses and lines. One of the company’s most important and longest-standing customers is the aircraft manufacturer Boeing. Here the Flexfab parts are stuck in the air-carrying lines of the air conditioning systems or in hoses for cooling and heating water. Other customers are truck manufacturers, but also the food industry, for example in the form of parts for milking machines. The production facilities are mainly located in Asia, sales are organized worldwide and run through China, Brazil, England, America and Germany
The idea of going to Leipzig came after looking at several locations including Belgium and the Netherlands for example. This was followed by a location inquiry to Invest Region Leipzig GmbH (IRL), which made the attractiveness and advantages of the region clear with several detailed presentations. In the first week of June 2021, Daniel Schwemmer came to Leipzig for the first time.
“From the location here in Europe, Leipzig is perfect,” explains Sales Manager Daniel Schwemmer. “We are a company that sources material for Europe from Asia, so we have to be flexible. Leipzig is very well connected and it obviously played a role that Porsche and BMW are already here. So you know from the automotive sector that a certain logistics infrastructure is already in place. It was a perfect fit,”
“The professional appearance of the IRL encouraged us in our decision. The service is free, the way of working is very structured, you can tell immediately that this is not the first time IRL has done this. It all makes sense,” he recalls. “IRL organised the visits for interesting properties. We drove right through the logistics landscape in Leipzig. You saw how close everything is. The major processors all have their hubs here, as well as the airport and the rail container port of Deutsche Bahn. This combination of extremely good logistics infrastructure and extremely competitive wages and rents made it perfect,” enthuses Daniel Schwemmer. “It was also perfect that the right property for growth at the location was found straight away.”
The decision had to be made quickly because there was another interested party. After the signature and with the support of the IRL’s specialist service, the first employee was hired at the location within two weeks. There was a delay because a GmbH had to be founded first. The timely implementation was a major effort, but also came with a major competitive advantage because Flexfab is planning to expand its operations from England to Leipzig.
“Because of BREXIT, we wanted to leave England, as this is now causing problems. This starts with high customs costs and continues with administrative difficulties, delays at the border, a lack of truck drivers, etc., which turns out to be extremely difficult. The location in Leipzig will make things a lot easier for us and also for the customers,” explains Daniel Schwemmer.
For the future, it is planned that the new Flexfab branch will be expanded in the long term at the business location Leipzig.