The idea of revolutionizing conventional storage systems in pharmacies began while Daniel Gollmann was still studying mechatronics at the Merseburg Institute of Technology. The idea gradually took shape and was realized a few years later after trend-setting experience at the Helbling consulting agency in Switzerland. Together with the former management consultant Dr. Iwan Zwick, company Gollmann Kommissioniersysteme (order picking system) was formed in Halle an der Saale shortly thereafter, both with personal funds and external assistance.
The choice of location can be explained by the fact that central Germany hold an enormous potential in the engineering profession. The company began life here with a handful of young developers and engineers. After the first prototype of the revolutionary automatic order-filling machines had been developed within a short time, the first machine was installed at the Berlin Pharmland pharmacy in April 2007, just a year after the company was founded. Today, just three years later, the number of employees has increased several times over, so that some 80 jobs have been created to date. The Thüringer Bahnhof (Thuringian Railway Station), where the company head offices are situated, is not only a location of innovation and ideas, but also symbolizes a “location in a state of upheaval”.
Since September 2006, some 1,500 square metres of production space were built in various stages in an officially protected former coffee factory dating from 1890 in Halle (Saale) and a further 1,500 square metres were built by mid-March 2008. Since the first machine was developed, the equipment have been installed and tested in the company premises at the Thüringer Bahnhof. The Halle location in the heart of the Halle-Leipzig competence centre offers ideal conditions from the point of view of logistics potential and extremely well-qualified technicians and engineers. In early January 2009 came further proof of the significance of the industrial estate at the Thüringer Bahnhof, when Gollmann was awarded a prize as a “Location of Ideas in the Country of Ideas” in Germany’s biggest location campaign “365 Locations in the Country of Ideas” by the State Minister of Commerce in Saxony-Anhalt, Dr. Reiner Haseloff.
In his speech, Minister Haseloff once again promised the company every possible assistance from the state government.
The many graduates of the Merseburg Institute of Technology with whom Gollmann Kommissioniersysteme GmbH has worked closely since the company was founded bring innovative ideas and the drive to implement them as well as they can. The engineers work in the areas of software, development, construction and service and support the team with their professional work in these areas. The responsibility for young people and the region of Central Germany as an employer is taken very seriously, with young people being trained in a wide variety of careers and fields. At the moment the company employs eight apprentices/trainees.
As the only Central German manufacturer that makes storage systems for pharmacies, the company has become well established on the market and in the region over the last few years.
The company’s automatic shutter cabinet systems are storage systems which can be used both in pharmacies and in the industrial sector. The cabinet systems function relatively simply. Thousands of different medications can be stored in the shutter cabinets according to a chaotic system and can be retrieved again automatically within a few seconds. In the process, the pharmacist does not have to leave the customer alone to look for the right medication in conventional cupboards; instead, he/she is able to provide the right advice to the customer.
More than 60 satisfied pharmacists throughout Germany appreciate the enormous time-savings that result from the use of such storage systems and the more efficient use of space.
The company’s declared aim for the coming years is to sell other cabinet systems on the international pharmacy market and to service the industrial market to a larger extent. To date, the company has sold systems to Australia, Italy and Switzerland. And the team at the company’s head offices in Halle will continue to grown in the next few years.
Several awards for innovative strength and creative power prove what potential the company has and, above all, its employees have. Besides the award for “Ort im Land der Ideen” (“Location in the Country of Ideas”), Gollmann Kommissioniersysteme GmbH has successfully maintained its lead over a large number of competitors in the biggest business initiative for the medium-sized sector “Mutmacher der Nation” and was elected the winner for Saxony-Anhalt.
The third prize in the Germany-wide company start-up competition “GründerChampions” (“Start-UpChampions”), sponsored by the German development bank KfW, proves that investments in innovations, well thought-out entry to the market and the creation of new jobs pays off. The location of Central Germany and the city of Halle offer excellent conditions.
The author studied mechatronics at the Merseburg University of Applied Sciences and completed a master’s degree at the well-known Handelshochschule Leipzig. He then worked at Helbling consulting agency in Switzerland. Together with Dr. Iwan Zwick, he founded Gollmann Kommissioniersysteme in 2006, which develops and markets automatic shutter storage systems for pharmacists and industrial applications.