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MEIKO celebrates 85 years

MEIKO – the well-known manufacturer of dishwashers and cleaning and disinfection machines based in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany – recently celebrated its 85th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the company’s managing directors Burkhard Randel and Dr. Stefan Scheringer cast their eyes back over MEIKO’s rich history while also giving their thoughts on what lies ahead for the company:

“MEIKO was founded at a time when dishwashing systems were still a relatively unknown product. Since then, commercial dishwashers have become an essential part of running a professional business, while bedpan washer-disinfectors have become equally indispensable to hospitals and care homes. What began as a start-up venture in 1927 has steadily developed into a global group with 22 subsidiaries and offices in 90 countries. In 2011, MEIKO’s 1,800 employees generated sales of 250 million euros.”

The Offenburg-based mechanical engineering firm is often cited as a showpiece of German business in terms of its overall structure. MEIKO is owned by a foundation and cannot be sold, and it invests all its profits in expanding the company and safeguarding people’s jobs. This ownership structure means that there are no dividends to pay and no partners drawing income from the company.

“MEIKO is rock solid,” say the two managing directors, and there is plenty of evidence to support this claim: The company has never asked a bank for a loan, has never been threatened by bankruptcy, and has never laid off employees in economic downtimes.

When Randel and Scheringer use the phrase “rock solid”, they are also referring to the company’s determination to stick to its word in a world where honouring promises often takes a backseat to making quick profits: “We like our customers, we support them, and – true to our company’s motto – we work together with them to find the “clean solution” that best meets their needs. Our customers know they can rely on us. Doing business fairly is the central principle embraced by all MEIKO employees worldwide.”

One of the best presents to mark MEIKO’s 85th anniversary was the announcement that the company had sold its 1000th dishwasher from the M-iQ range, which is widely considered to be the world’s most innovative and intelligent commercial dishwashing solution. M-iQ (pronounced “my-kyu”) is the result of painstaking German craftsmanship and engineering skills. After five years of research, MEIKO came up with an M-iQ design that reduces operating costs by some 30 percent as compared to conventional dishwashers.

“MEIKO believes in sustainability, and our corporate philosophy clearly echoes that belief,” say Randel and Scheringer. “We are committed to research, training and development because these are aspects that inherently promote sustainability. We take our responsibilities in this area very seriously – not least because we believe in protecting vital resources and offering future generations an environment that is as clean as possible.”

MEIKO is a company that turns words into action. The sale of its 1000th M-iQ machine prompted it to establish a budget of 10,000 euros to be forwarded to an environmental research project. When it sells its 2000th machine, it will inject a further 10,000 euros into educational activities and similar measures.
Randel and Scheringer sum up what the future holds: “We develop innovations based on our understanding of the challenges that lay ahead. Governments, currencies and economic systems may change as the years go by, but we will continue to live our values, shape future developments, work hard and continue to follow the successful path that has brought us here today. MEIKO is celebrating its 85th anniversary – and the future has just begun!”