On 4th June SAB Bröckskes GmbH & Co. KG celebrates the 75th anniversary. When Peter Bröckskes, Sr. made the first step toward his own business set up in a small garage nobody could know what would come out of it.
Today SAB Bröckskes is a leading cable manufacturer with 550 staff members worldwide and a turnover of more than 134 million EUR in 100 countries worldwide.
In the anniversary year, SAB Bröckskes does not only look back to the beginning but also looks forward to the future.
Value-oriented action, loyal cooperation with its staff members, suppliers, and customers as well as a sustainable treatment of resources characterize the family business and are the focus of our thinking and action.
Although the company anniversary is shadowed by the Corona pandemic and the Ukraine war. We would like to thank all our staff members, customers, and business partners who have accompanied us for decades and thus helped to shape our success.
The SAB story starts in a shed in Suchtein and 100 Reichsmark. The start can be compared to a roller coaster ride. It rises quickly but soon the descent follows.
At the beginning of the 1950s, Peter Bröckskes, Sr. is confronted with many challenges. The young entrepreneur discovers a market niche that lays the foundation for this success story.
The sixties are a time of rapid growth for the company. Peter Bröckskes is hardly able to keep up with all of his plans. As the company booms, two factory plants and an office building are constructed.
The brand awareness of SAB is growing rapidly.
In the 1970s SAB Bröckskes goes on riding on a wave of success. The decade is marked by rising turnover figures and a growing number of staff members as well as a sensational extension of the company premises.
SAB Bröckskes delivers to 45 countries around the world. SAB begins an apprenticeship program to develop young cable workers. In 1989 Peter Bröckskes, Jr. takes over the management.
Crisis becomes opportunity
A change of strategy becomes necessary when SAB Bröckskes is in a crisis with a 25% drop in sales. The decision is made to change from a wholesale business to a special solutions provider for industrial applications. This courageous decision changes the
On the speedboat SAB
The 2000s started with awards, jubilees, certifications, and further international expansion. Things start to change and in 2007 the worldwide financial crisis hits. It reaches SAB Bröckskes and the turnover figures are decreasing considerably.
The journey continues
The company starts the next decade stronger than ever. SAB Bröckskes was still producing exclusively in Germany and expands its production capacities. Sabine Bröckskes-Wetten takes over the management.
SAB is subject to change
The Corona pandemic and the war in Ukraine determine everyday life but Sabine Bröckskes-Wetten leads the company into the future with a focus on health management, structural changes, and digitalization.
Peter Bröckskes sen. - Proactive visionary
Determination, diligence, and ambition were the formula for the success of the company founder Peter Bröckskes, Sr. With a pioneering spirit and a good understanding of customer needs, Peter Bröckskes started his one-man business in 1947 with the building of alarm systems.
In the course of his entrepreneurial activity, he repeatedly had to accept setbacks and was often faced with the prospect of going out of business. But he always managed to identify gaps in the market and develop new products to meet the needs of the market.
He was by no means a man who could do everything. However, he was a man who learned because of ambition and drive! True to the motto "then we'll just do it ourselves", Peter Bröckskes, Sr. was always interested in satisfying his customers. In doing so, he spared neither the challenge nor the effort.
Peter Bröckskes - Crisis is seen as chance
Peter Bröckskes completes his studies in business administration in 1977 and initially starts as a controller for the baked goods manufacturer DeBeukelaer in Kempen. In 1980 he joins SAB Bröckskes as sales manager and quickly assumes responsibility for the international market. In 1989 Peter Bröckskes, Sr. dies at the age of 69. Peter Bröckskes Jr. takes over the management of the company.
The 1990s are marked by a slump in sales of up to 25 percent, which results in layoffs- SAB Bröckskes is in crisis! How is the company to survive in the face of international competition?
Peter Bröckskes turns the previous company philosophy and strategy upside down by moving away from the trading business, towards becoming a special cable manufacturer and problem solver. True to the motto "Faster than you think", SAB Bröckskes becomes more and more the speedboat of the industry and grows at a time when the slow tankers of the cable industry are getting into trouble.
So even the global economic crisis at the end of the 2000s cannot bring the company to its knees. On the contrary - Peter Bröckskes leads the company out of the crisis stronger than ever.
Sabine Bröckskes-Wetten - prepared for future
After her apprenticeship as a cable production mechanic at SAB Bröckskes and her subsequent studies to become an industrial engineer, Sabine Bröckskes-Wetten initially took over a departmental management position in production in 2007, and later assumed overall responsibility for the technical area. In 2011 Sabine Bröckskes-Wetten became the new owner of SAB Bröckskes. In 2020, Peter Bröckskes withdrew completely from the management and has since been assisting his daughter Sabine Bröckskes-Wetten in the background in an advisory capacity.
The young entrepreneur continues the course of expansion while still maintaining quality and service consciousness. Together with the SAB team, SAB achieves the most successful years in the company's history.
But the success is quickly overshadowed. The worldwide Corona pandemic puts a great strain on business and the company's ability to act. But Sabine Bröckskes-Wetten reacts quickly, adapts the company to the new normal and the changed conditions, and seizes the opportunities that arise.
Sabine Bröckskes-Wetten is now focusing on digitalization, health management, and structural changes, making the company ready for the next decade.
1947 the start as an entrepreneur cost Peter Bröckskes sen. exactly 100 Reichsmark. This sum was demanded by the Chairman of the Government as an administrative fee in order to approve the “establishment of a plant for electric machine building (Production, assembly, and distribution of low-voltage current system)”. Anyone who wanted to start an entrepreneurship in 1947, needed to overcome several obstacles before being approved. The public official made inquiries about 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
On March 24, 1947, Peter Bröckskes, Sr. had filed the petition. The approval was dated 1st of September. The city council of Süchteln was much faster: The trading license was permitted on June 4, 1947. Thus, this is the official date of the foundation of the company SAB Bröckskes.
An Alarm System as the Main Product
1947 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 signalling systems as well as an alarm security centre, 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.
1948 hired Peter Bröckskes some employees. The entrepreneur rented an office and a shed with lathes and some machines. 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
1950 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“
1955 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.” Peter Bröckskes acquired the necessary know-how, the machines were purchased and cable production began.
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
In 1966, Bröckskes had to double the factory space with a second hall and increase the workforce by 50 employees by 1967. 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. A new finished goods warehouse, a new laboratory and the production halls and office buildings were extended. In 1975, Peter Bröckskes Sr. made part of the company premises available to the shooting sports club and a new shooting sports facility was built. Peter Bröckskes sen. also lent a hand.
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; the thermal department, the strangler's shop, the butcher's shop and the raw materials warehouse are housed here. Simultaneously, he converted the company in a “GmbH & Co. KG”.
Cables would Circumference the Earth Once
In 1980 Peter Bröckskes turned 60 and his son Peter Bröckskes jun. joined the company at the age of 28.
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. Until 1985, Bröckskes increased production and staff that much that the yearly produced cables would now circumference the earth once.
Peter Bröckskes an exemplary citizen
In 1984, the outstanding entrepreneurial achievements of the company founder Peter Bröckskes were honoured in a special way: the then District Administrator Hanns Backes awarded him the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon.
"If it were not for men of Peter Bröckskes' calibre, we would be much poorer in the Republic," said the District Administrator in his laudation.
The great voluntary commitment of the man from Süchtel, who was involved in hunting as well as in customs and politics, was also acknowledged. Hanns Backes described Peter Bröckskes as an exemplary citizen with heart and mind who supported numerous associations in the city and district both ideally and materially.
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.
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.
In the following years, Peter Bröckskes founded various trading companies, such as JPM Câbles in France in 1992, which later became Câblerie SAB, and KKH in Hamburg in 1994. All those companies with around 50 employees have almost entirely sold SAB products.
In 1994, after years of preparatory work, the quality management system according to ISO 9001 was introduced.
Start der Kabelkonfektion
In 1995, the time was ripe for the company to start its own cable and wire manufacturing business. The cable manufacturer Mosebach from Elsdorf filed for bankruptcy and Peter Bröckskes took his chance and took over the company together with its machines and employees. One year later, the cable assembly company moved to SAB Bröckskes' headquarters on Grefrather Str. in Viersen-Süchteln and KANSA Kabeltechnik was born. The still young subsidiary abruptly expanded SAB's production possibilities and offered customers a plug and play solution for the first time.
Also in 1995, the subsidiary Bröckskes BV was founded in our neighbouring country, the Netherlands.
SAB Bröckskes goes round
In 1998, the partnership with Auxicom in France began. In addition, the company premises were expanded to 110,000 m² and a new logistics centre was built. At this time, the new company name was also created and the old company name Signal-Anlagen Peter Bröckskes had to give way to SAB Bröckskes. After all, Signal Anlagen had not been manufactured for over 30 years. The new company logo was also developed in accordance with the three product areas of cables & wires, thermotechnology and assembly.
In 1999, it was time for “going America” and SAB opened up its first oversea subsidiary in the USA. Furthermore, the international distribution network was expanded through agencies all over the world.
SAB Bröckskes - Innovative as never before
In 2001, the new decade began again with extensive building measures. In only 90 days of construction time, a new office building was built for the meanwhile 48 SAB Bröckskes sales staff. In total, the company employed around 410 people at that time. It was with the oldest department of the company, the thermal department, that SAB Bröckskes succeeded in developing a miniature thermosensor, which was used as a test instrument in the production of microchips. For this achievement, SAB Bröckskes received the Research and Innovation Award of the Mittlerer Niederrhein Chamber of Industry and Commerce in the same year.
In 2006, SAB Bröckskes documented its commitment to protecting the environment by introducing the ISO 14001:2004 environmental management system for all company divisions. This was followed three years later by the certification of occupational health and safety management according to NLF/ILO-OSH 2001 and OHSAS 18001:2007.
A turbulent decade comes to an end
In 2009, Sabine Bröckskes-Wetten, the daughter of Peter Bröckskes, took over the technical management of SAB Bröckskes and said goodbye to her long-time predecessor Hermann Hahn in retirement.
At the same time, the world was in probably its deepest crisis since the Second World War. The financial and stock markets collapsed, industrial production declined massively and SAB Bröckskes had to cope with a dramatic drop in orders.
But this time, too, SAB Bröckskes was able to preserve jobs through short-time work and capacity adjustments, and then to increase sales figures back to the previous level.
In 2011, incoming orders in the field of cable assembly virtually exploded and an expansion of production capacities was inevitable. So planning and building was done again and a new 2,200 square metre KANSA hall and 40 new jobs were created.
In addition, SAB Bröckskes received certification for its energy management system according to DIN EN ISO 50001 in the same year.
Peter Bröckskes made it exciting at the end of the year at an extraordinary works meeting where he set the course for the future of the company. Sabine Bröckskes-Wetten becomes the new owner of the SAB Group!
SAB continues to grow internationally
SAB Bröckskes continues to step on the gas and expand its international business. In the following years, the company entered into partnerships in Russia, Brazil, India, Singapore, Israel and Poland.
2014 was the year of awards. SAB Bröckskes was honoured by the Federal Employment Agency for its outstanding commitment to training young people and received the official certificate for promoting young talent. Once again, the best cable production mechanic in Germany came from the Bröckskes company.
This was followed in 2015 by the award from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia "Germany at its best" for the best performance "Special cables for global industry".
In 2017, the company officially retired Peter Bröckskes. However, Peter Bröckskes continued to work in the company as managing director together with his daughter Sabine Bröckskes-Wetten.
Cable manufacturer with expertise
In 2018, SAB Bröckskes was again on the wave of success. Sales figures shot up and delivery times of up to 40 weeks were the result. At this time, the largest investment in machinery in the company's history was made. But it was not only production that was modernised; the SAB logo was also redesigned to highlight SAB Bröckskes' expertise as a manufacturer of special cables.
Viersen very close
In 2019, SAB Bröckskes surprised everyone by becoming the main sponsor for the World Billiards Championship in Viersen. Through this commitment, Peter Bröckskes secures the venue in Viersen for the next five years and shows that his home town of Viersen is also very close to his heart.
Social commitment has always been and will always be practised at SAB Bröckskes. This is also shown by the campaign "collecting donations" instead of "cutting down trees". In future, there will only be one large, decorated Christmas tree in the company. The money saved will then be donated to a social institution in the Viersen district. This is how the management combines environmental protection and social commitment!
State of emergency as new normality
In 2020, Peter Bröckskes withdrew further from day-to-day business and has since been assisting his daughter Sabine Bröckskes in the background in an advisory capacity.
Almost at the same time, the Corona pandemic had the world firmly in its grip. What started as a local epidemic in China spread rapidly to other countries and a worldwide pandemic was the result. Mandatory masks, curfews, contact restrictions, closed shops and schools - these measures were now in place in many countries, affecting not only social life but also businesses around the world. Covid-19 was a shock for the economy and also for SAB Bröckskes.
Sales slumps of up to 50%, interrupted supply chains, short-time work and home offices were the order of the day. These abrupt cuts presented the company with an unprecedented challenge and Sabine Bröckskes-Wetten was initially challenged to secure SAB Bröckskes' ability to act and to adapt to the new framework conditions.
With a wealth of ideas, structural changes and new focal points, the young entrepreneur not only managed to preserve all jobs, but also to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the pandemic. Supply chains were rethought and digitalisation was advanced.
Covid-19 was and is a turning point of this decade. Now it was time to actively shape this change with courage and confidence.
SAB Bröckskes is one of the best training companies in NRW!
An apprenticeship at SAB Bröckskes means an apprenticeship with a future! Because the company's trainees have been among the best in NRW for several generations of training.
In 2021, SAB Bröckskes once again received the award "Best training company in NRW". Peter Bröckskes was not without pride in his positive assessment of the training. "Our goal is to remain at the forefront of cable manufacturers in the future. With a constantly high training quota, we provide for our qualified junior staff and ensure the quality of our products and the pursuit of constant innovation with our know-how," he said.
So it is hardly surprising that 14 young people started their training at SAB Bröckskes in 2021. That was a record at SAB! Since the company was founded 75 years ago, never before have so many trainees started their training at SAB in the same year. And this despite difficult conditions during the Corona pandemic.
SAB Bröckskes social - very close
Once again, the company showed its social responsibility for society. For years, the employees have been donating their overtime to various social projects. A considerable sum was also raised for the victims of the flood disaster in the Ahr valley in 2021. Together with the management, the SAB employees were able to donate 60,000 euros in emergency aid to the Action Alliance Germany Helps.
SAB Bröckskes celebrates its 75th company anniversary
In 2022, SAB Bröckskes, at the peak of its corporate success, celebrates its 75th birthday. After three quarters of a century, we look back on a dynamic corporate history with many ups and downs that SAB Bröckskes has successfully mastered over the decades. Today, the company is more successful and healthier than ever. In keeping with the company's 75th anniversary, SAB Bröckskes achieved the best company result in its history last year, with sales of 75 million euros in Germany and over 134 million euros worldwide.
The company and Sabine Bröckskes-Wetten are all the more concerned about the war in Ukraine, which is not only an unbelievable humanitarian catastrophe, but also plunges the corporate world into another crisis. SAB Bröckskes reacts promptly and stops all business relations with Russia until further notice. In addition, the employees together with the management donate an amount of 40,000 euros to the Friends of Kanew, a humanitarian aid organization from Viersen.
Today SAB Bröckskes is one of the world's leading manufacturers of special cables
with many international representatives and subsidiaries.
Development and production remain 100% at the company's headquarters in Viersen (North Rhine-Westphalia).
SAB is looking to the future!
And that means - Sabine Bröckskes-Wetten is at the helm of SAB Bröckskes
and leads the company into a new decade.