A BRIEF RECAP OF THE PAST YEAR
The new year is now already two months old. Many projects realized with belgrano® were completed in the past year, other projects are about to enter the construction phase. Our team has grown and become more comfortable with and appreciative of new circumstances such as numerous online meetings and home office arrangements. New partnerships have developed and contribute to reliable project execution on BESCO’s part. However, one thing has remained the same: The ambition and cohesion of the team. Challenges are met together, ideas are developed collaboratively, and achievements are jointly owned and celebrated.
ACCEPTING AND MEETING CORONA-RELATED CHALLENGES
The past year – there is no denying it – was also marked by numerous challenges for our company. The container freight price development brought about a tenfold increase in transport costs for East Asian natural stone, thus forcing us to look for alternatives. We decided to expand existing partnerships within Europe and to add further quarries to our belgrano® repertoire in order to be able to offer our customers a continuously reliable service. We have spared no time and effort to find the best possible implementation for each order and offer and thus to always be at our customers’ side.
OPENING UP NEW NATURAL STONE MARKETS
Even though we were able to open up new markets and are very pleased to have numerous new partners, we discovered that the existing European production capacities by themselves are insufficient to supply the locally required quantities of natural stone. So, if desired by our customers, we continue to use Asian resources. In the meantime, however, we receive more than 95 percent of our natural stone from Europe.
There is also a need to catch up in the area of transportation at present. Production and transport prices are rising immensely. The project business is therefore becoming rather difficult to calculate and even more complex. This has now become very clear and is another reason to foster partnership relations. We are therefore extremely grateful to have many good partners at our side. A trusting relationship between producers, traders, construction companies, customers and transport companies is indispensable.
Our producers are currently making future-oriented investments in new locations, additional machinery and more quarries. This is a promising development that will result in more flexible deliveries and stable supply chains. This will enable us to respond to the individual wishes of our customers at all times.
BELGRANO® PROJECTS INSPIRE OUR WORLD
As in previous years, numerous impressive projects were supplied with our belgrano® natural stone. “Particularly on my mind are the Market Square in Karlsruhe, the Music School and Concert Hall in Ventspils, and the Schwabinger Tor in Munich. Not to forget – the Mercedes Square in Berlin. I could probably continue this list forever,” says Managing Director Frank Dickmann. Take a look for yourself at our belgrano® natural stone project database – here you will find more treasures and all kinds of inspiration.
Another success should not be forgotten: After years of preparation, we were able to finally book the natural stone contract for the reconstruction of Potsdamer Platz at the end of 2021. “This is a special honor for me, as I was already entrusted with the delivery of the natural stones for the former Potsdamer Platz at the beginning of the 90’s,” Frank Dickmann proudly sums up.
The completion of deliveries for the school complex in Unterföhring was another highlight of 2021. With a volume of over 2.5 million euros, this project is our largest corporate order so far and therefore an outstanding one.
NEW EMPLOYEES STRENGTHEN THE TEAM
Even though all our employees show enormous commitment, we have specifically created new positions to compensate for the increased project workload. Home office as well as home schooling arrangements and corona prevention measures have already been successfully implemented – the first step towards the new digital world has thus already been taken.
The increased demand for European natural stone has prompted us to set up a designated European inspection team. This makes it easy for us to detect and avoid problems directly at the source. A constant high quality can thus be guaranteed. Furthermore, both suppliers and project employees have a direct contact person who can flexibly check delivery commitments on site and respond to changing circumstances. This direct interface between suppliers, BESCO and our customers is very valuable during the entire coordination and delivery process.
In addition to quality, the delivery of our belgrano® natural stone and the fulfillment of delivery commitments are very important to us. After all, it is essential for construction progress to receive materials on time. Therefore, we have strengthened our project handling team and created the position of a disposition clerk, who is now exclusively dedicated to the coordination needs between customer, producer and shipping company, thus relieving the entire team. This now results in more freedom for the individual employees to take care of the actual core activities.
And that’s not all. We continue to grow and are constantly on the lookout for new talent in order to be able to meet the continuing high demand according to our standards. Are you interested in leading our family-owned company to success with your expertise, your experience and, above all, with fun at work in the areas of sales and project management? Then please take a look at our vacancies. We are very much looking forward to getting to know you.
Trainees will also find the ideal opportunity at BESCO. In the classic dual IHK training, we enable our trainees to attend the private AFBB vocational school free of charge. In addition, in cooperation with the HWR Berlin, we also offer a dual business studies program in the field of commerce. Of course, we are happy about every apprentice who decides to stay with Berliner Steincontor after their professional career and to continue the common path. After all, our trainees are a valuable investment. We are proud of the fact that six employees – including several in leading key positions – have already decided to continue their career with BESCO after completing their training.
OUR CLIMATE IS VERY IMPORTANT TO US
Even though Corona-related constraints have somewhat overshadowed other issues recently, we have not lost sight of climate protection, both as a company and on a personal level. We are still committed and voluntarily compensate transport-related CO2 emissions in cooperation with myClimate. Natural stone is available in sufficient quantities on our planet and, unlike other building materials, does not have to be produced at high cost – a great advantage that natural stone brings with it. The only relatively small and overcoming hurdle is the transport of the stone. We can therefore confidently say that the increased utilization of natural stone promotes climate protection and makes a valuable contribution.
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Florian Geyer started his career at BESCO with an apprenticeship in wholesale and foreign trade. This was followed by positions in field service, sales, in sales and project management. With this experience, the proven natural stone expert wants to contribute to continuing the growth of recent years and increasing the company’s market presence.