System solutions with a past and a future

On its anniversary this year, Modul International can look back with pride and look forward with confidence. It has been offering design-focused system solutions directly to people and markets for a quarter of a century.

Despite www, e-mail, etc., trade fairs are still going strong as marketing instruments. Bringing together people and the exhibitor's presentation at the stand are now more important than ever. Modul International has set itself the task of providing solutions for this with its innovative, design-oriented stand system.
The foundations of the stand system, which is now known all over the world, were laid back in 1975 when Herbert Dahm, Norbert Giehl and Bruno Maaßen founded Herbert Dahm & Partner Werbeagentur KG. Initially using a French system, Giehl added more and more new sectional and joining elements to arrive at the brand name three years later. In July 1981, trade fair contracting and sales were separated by the foundation of Modul Einrichtungssysteme GmbH. The founding members of the new company were Herbert Dahm, Norbert Giehl, Francis Coquillat and Jean-Pierre Schott.
Initially with only three employees at the Düsseldorf location, the young company developed in leaps and bounds. Only two years after foundation, Modul already had a permanent staff of ten and was turning over DM 2 million a year. The new business premises in Fuggerstraße in Neuss-Uedesheim created new production and storage capacity. Using modern marketing tools, but also by building up a very successful network of Modul processors, the company quickly succeeded in securing a stable position for the brand in the German market alongside existing systems.
After seven years of development and growth, the Fuggerstraße premises had become too small. In 1988, they decided to build their own business premises at Sperberweg 4, in the emerging industrial zone Neuss-Grimmlinghausen. In Summer 1989 the building was completed: the company was now equipped for the coming decade on 2,000 m2 of production and 530 m2 of office space.
Whereas Modul had had vigorous sales contacts with European neighbouring countries since the early years, the route to the east had always been blocked by the political circumstances. This changed when the Berlin Wall came down and Germany was re-united in 1990. First, an office was set up in Leipzig, to be followed by another in Naunhof, to process sales in former East Germany. In this second foundation period, sales partnerships were established with new trade fair contractors which continue until today.
To bolster the international orientation of the company was a declared aim of the 1990s. This was expressed by lengthening the company name to Modul International Exhibition Design Systems in 1997. Globalisation, which was just beginning, offered opportunities and challenges, which Modul had to and wanted to rise to. The company's activities abroad were expanded with James Boog-Whiteside at the export department's helm. A foreign network of independent trade fair contractors selling Modul now arose on the same lines as the German Modul processors.
Soon the company had once again outgrown its premises and expansion had become an urgent necessity. An extension comprising about 1,000 m2 of storage and production space and the addition of an extra storey to the office building were completed between 1999 and 2001. This period also saw some changes among the company members: Francis Coquillat and Jean-Pierre Schott left, while James Boog-Whiteside became a member and Bernd Loos became a managing partner.
To ensure proximity to people and markets, the company formed subsidiaries in France, the United Kingdom and the USA. All locations include not only sales offices but also storage and production facilities. This enables short delivery times and lower transport costs. The growing significance of the Asian market and its trade fair venues is an opportunity and challenge for medium-sized companies, too. Working with new partners in this region, on its 25th anniversary Modul is set to benefit from the new challenges and opportunities that the future holds.

m+a report Nr.8 / 2006 vom 08.12.2006
m+a report vom 8. Dezember 2006