The start as an entrepreneur cost Peter Bröckskes sen. exactly 100 Reichsmark. This sum was demanded by the Chairman of the Government as administrative fee in order to approve the “establishment of a plant for electric machinebuilding (Production, assembly, and distribution of low-voltage current system)”. Who wanted to start an entrepreneurship in 1947, needed to overcome several obstacles: Before granting the approval, the public official made enquiries of Peter Bröckskes and his plan at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce at the regional council in Düsseldorf, the trade association, and the lower administration. Even the Minister for Economic Affairs of the State North Rhine-Westphalia had to agree.
The Wheels of Bureaucracy Turned Slowly
Already in those days, the wheels of bureaucracy turned infinitely slowly. On March 24, 1947, Peter Bröckskes sen. had filed the petition- the permission was dated 1st September. The city council of Süchteln was way faster: The trading license was set on June 4, 1947. Thus, this date also means the official date of foundation of the company SAB Bröckskes.
An Alarm System as the Main Product
At the age of 27, Peter Bröckskes sen. first overthrew all obstacles in November 1947 when he received the “provisional production permit” by the Minister for Economic Affairs of the State North Rhine-Westphalia. In this document, the name of the company was announced for the first time: Electric signal and machine construction Peter Bröckskes. The main product should have been an alarm system that the electrical engineer Peter Bröckskes had developed in order to defend burglars.
Invoices Paid with Bacon
Especially the industrial field attracted the attention of the young man. His construction “should have served the security of the workers as well as the smoothly running processes” by directly displaying any engine broke downs or overloading. This is, because every interruption is attached with additional expenditure of energy of the workers and a loss in production.
The entrepreneur rented an office and a shed with lathes and some machines. Fast he hired some employees. At that time, important clients of alarm systems have particularly been the regional farmers. They were able to pay the bills – with bacon or other food. Money did not have any value at that time. Despite those unfavorable conditions, the company grew. Until the currency reform in 1948, Peter Bröckskes occupied 18 employees.
Never Focusing only one Field of Business
Even at that time, the founder of SAB did not want to focus on only one field of business and therefore, offered a long list of activities like, for instance, construction monitoring, calculations, and low-voltage current systems. In 1948, the currency reform evoked a deep watershed where money started playing an important role again. The company shrunk and was a one-man-business again in 1950.
A Stroke of Luck
Peter Bröckskes got the area representation for tile machines of the ren- owned company Händle what meant a stroke of luck for the development of the company. During his frequent visits of tile-making works in the boarder area, Bröckskes detected a significant shortcoming in tile manufacturing:
Nobody knew at which temperature the kilns worked. Thus, the quality of the tiles depended only on the experience of the workers. Peter Bröckskes sen. identified a gap in the market and received his first order of a temperature measurement in 1952.
"We will do it ourselves“
The entrepreneurial success enabled Peter Bröckskes to again hire employees. Business was doing very well and thus, he thought about producing compensating cables for his systems by himself because cable producers could not deliver the products in time. Consequently, it was clear: “We will do it ourselves.”
In 1960, Sales Exceeded one Million for the First Time
In 1960, Peter Bröckskes sen. converted the company in a GmbH and sales exceeded the one million threshold for the first time. Only five years later, Peter Bröckskes raised sales eight- fold. In the meantime, the company also started producing compensation cables, measuring cables, temperature resistant cables, cables with asbestos and silicon insulation as well as oil and gas resistant control cables. Temperature sensors and the correspondingly required special cables for the plastics processing industry rounded off the extensive delivery program. In 1966, Peter Bröckskes had to double the size of production area by a second workshop and until 1967, he increased the staff by around 50 employees.
First Export to Trinidad
Early on, the company started to also export its products. The first shipment – a measurement system – was sent to Trinidad. Still, most orders came from countries near by but also from India, the Eastern bloc, Africa, North America, Japan and Australia. In the mid sixties, already 40 percent of production was exported.
Permanent Space Problems
In 1972, the company SAB had almost one hundred employees and celebrated its 25th anniversary. The party took place at a time of active construction work. Frequently, company buildings were extended. In 1978, the production burst at all seams and Bröckskes bought the neighboring and held for sale area on which he commenced plant II one year later. Simultaneously, he converted the company in a “GmbH & Co. KG”.
Cables would Circumference the Earth Once
For a long time already, cables have meant 80 percent of sales. The export quota was also remarkable: Around 30 percent of the products were exported. In the beginning of the eighties, SAB sent its products already to 45 countries in the world. The at that time sixty-year old founder of the company also facilitated the process of succession: In Mai 1980, Peter Bröckskes jun. joined the company at the age of 28. Until 1985, Bröckskes increased production and staff that much that the yearly produced cables would now circumference the earth once.
New management at SAB Bröckskes
On April 29, 1989, Peter Bröckskes sen. died and his son took over the management of the company which in the meantime, had grown to a business with almost 250 employees.
Trade as a New Field of Business
Also the organizational structure of SAB had changed: The whole sales department for the domestic market and export was restructured. Now, there are special groups for customers from wholesale and the industry. By that, the employees are able to better respond to customer needs.
Simultaneously, Peter Bröckskes jun. built up a new business unit by not only concentrating on the production of cables and thermocouples, but by starting to trade them. Thus, he participated in several trading companies in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Malaysia, and Switzerland. All those companies with around 50 employees have almost entirely sold SAB products. Additionally, in December 1995, the cable producer “Mosebach” was bought and renamed KANSA Kabeltechnik GmbH. Consequently, the product range has been expanded by harnessed cables and wires.
From Viersen into the World
Next to the German production plant and headquarters of the company in Vier- sen, SAB Bröckskes found its first subsidiary in the Netherlands in 1995. After that, two additional French subsidiaries followed in 1996 and 1998. In 1999, it was time for “going America” and SAB opened up its first oversea subsidiary in the USA. A subsidiary in China (2004) followed. Moreover, a distribution network of representations in India, Russia, Brazil, Korea, Singapore, Israel and Poland supported the company in the other countries.
Through the Ages
The time had come again to think about a suitable succession. Thus, Peter Bröckskes’ daughter, Sabine Bröckskes-Wetten, took over the technical management of SAB Bröckskes in 2009. In 2011, the new KANSA production hall for the ready-made cables and wires was finished and SAB received the certification for the Energy management system according to DIN EN ISO 50001. In the same year, Sabine Bröckskes became new companion of the SAB group. Peter Bröckskes jun. still stays managing director.
SAB Bröckskes celebrates its 70th company anniversary
After 70 years we look back to a dynamic history of the company with many ups and downs and at the same time forward to a challenging future. On top of success, Peter Bröckskes retires from the management of the company and hands over the corporate management to his daughter Sabine.
SAB looks forward! In future Sabine Bröckskes-Wetten will be the head of SAB.