eibmarkt® can look back on many years of experience in international mail order trade. On the occasion of our 20th eibmarkt® anniversary we have provided a number of highlights for you particularly in the field of private labels. In the next weeks (starting from 11th of August 12:00 CET) we will integrate, in addition to special anniversary prices for the whole range, extraordinary sales campaign packages of brand manufacturers, KNX® special offers, reduced service prices and much more. We are looking forward to this special event and, on the occasion of our anniversary celebration weeks, would like to thank you for your trust in all these years - the basis of the eibmarkt® success. You have contributed to this success with your purchases, ideas and criticism.
Please take into account that on Friday, 18 August, 2017 almost all employees of all divisions of the company, subsidiaries and affiliate partners have a day off in order to participate in the celebrations. However, the operative order system will work as usual so that orders can be placed without any restrictions. Acknowledgements of order will also be sent around the clock and all related administration tasks will be carried out as usual on this day. Enquiries by phone, however, cannot be answered.
How it all began...
The company was founded in Germany in 1997 as "Gebäudesystemtechnik EIB" and converted into a corporation 4 years later. Being fully convinced of the future-oriented „EIB“ technology the brave step into independence was taken. At that time we only dealt with the system integration of EIB components, primarily in public buildings. At that time, there were hardly any EIB components, only a few made by Siemens, and incredibly expensive. In 1997, it was hard to convince customers of this technology. We were lucky enough to start our business with three very large projects. What helped us to convince customers was an EIB presentation board with only a few EIB devices at an incredible purchase price of almost DM 20,000, developed for weeks by the owner in their own bedroom; to the frustration of his girlfriend; a rebuilt Ford Transit as a mobile office with 2 workstations, a lot of EIB equipment, a 200m roll-out EIB bus line leading directly into the building as well as monitoring tools for commissioning and diagnosis. These were really crazy times with pizza, coke and working weekends. Making money was actually a side issue and of low importance. For presentations, a mobile phone Siemens S10 with color display, at that time an absolute highlight, was used to call the screen via EIB tele control to carry out switching operations or, vice versa, to receive all types of messages, to activate lighting controllers, to control individual rooms and many more functions. This fascinated everyone and really convinced important decision-makers in project development and planning of public buildings who were looking for energy-efficient solutions.
What happened next?
The first profits were immediately reinvested in new developments. Together with importance of building automation, we recognized the internet as a huge opportunity and our first Excel-based and entirely self-developed online shop with over 1,000 articles went online at the end of 1997 and was maintained and updated for many years. eibmarkt® is therefore probably the oldest company on the market with online shops for electrical engineering. Of course, there were only a few orders at the beginning, but that changed a few years later and with Smart Store came the breakthrough. In 1997 there was still no Google & Co. Our first choice was the German search engine Fireball which later cooperated with Alta Vista and, thus, created worldwide search results. Our early presence in the internet enabled us to win more than 500,000 regular customers from all over the world, and this until 2010 almost completely cost-free, a vital competitive advantage.
What led to the company eibmarkt.com?
At the end of 1999, eibmarkt.com went online. In 2004, we changed to the Smart Store shop system and the turnover development improved dramatically. There were almost no competitors. In the meantime, we also established further core businesses. Our experiences as service providers told us exactly which EIB products were in demand. As a result, our next move was to develop and produce electronic and electrical assembly groups - a logical and necessary step. In 2001, the company was converted into a corporation. In the period from 2000 to 2004, countless hardware products were developed but only a few of those were really produced. Developing EIB devices was extremely expensive and complex. At that time, the installation bus was still a European standard (EIB® = European Installation Bus) and later a worldwide standard (KNX® = an abbreviation created from the word "convergence", which stands for uniting the different bus systems to form a uniform standard, and the name "Konnex" to create the new registered trademark KNX®). Our system integration projects usually required highly complex control and regulation tasks, which at that time were only possible with the EIB function module from Levi Fils used by us in large quantities. Since we believed we had enough experience, a similar device was developed by us within one year. This had an even greater importance since the production of this very important device was stopped after ABB took over the Levi Fils AG Switzerland on 11 March 2004. However, the costs for the development got out of hand. Costs for the still pending licensing and testing of this complex device were enormous. A decision had to be made. Finally, the device was not produced and the budget provided for it was invested in the e-business eibmarkt.com. From today’s point of view a decision crucial for the further development of the company. In 2010, eibmarkt.com GmbH was established as a subsidiary of EIBMARKT® GmbH Holding, followed by the eibtron.com GmbH in 2011, another online shop for electronic components with more than 300,000 central warehouse articles.
You have a huge diversification in many fields, why is that?
This is correct; however, all areas are related to each other and, ideally, complement each other. This is also important for future projects, such as 2D and 3D holography without 3D glasses, also for smart phones, permitting the display of a large amount of information which would not fit onto a Smart Phone or a Smart Watch. This will replace the 3D reprography of online articles and, at the same time, allow a customer to feel the surface structure of a product via a KNX® pad and smell it through a KNX® odour actuator, for example when buying a high-quality leather shoe. We are convinced that this will be standard in a few years. EIBMARKT® GmbH is a member of the KNX® Association Brussels. Almost all the core businesses of the parent company EIBMARKT® GmbH Holding aim at the sophisticated building management. Apart from self-developed and produced electronic and electrical modules, this also includes the specialization in the field of automation software. The challenges of the core businesses of building automation KNX® and global e-commerce (eibmarkt®, eibtron®) have led to many new business fields: intelligent yacht automation with KNX® in sports boats and super yacht construction as well as robot-controlled 360°/3D product photography in a new dimension for manufacturers and online shops. Both business fields have been broadened and shown a successful development. We have gained international recognition through numerous awards, for example the "INNOVATIONSPREIS-IT" award (IT innovation award) for EIBMARKT® GmbH Holding for the innovative IT solution "3D Reprography in E-Commerce" – a highly useful solution for small and medium-sized enterprises – awarded by the Initiative Mittelstand (SME Initiative) under the auspices of Microsoft Deutschland GmbH, or the "KNX® World Award" for eibmarkt®.com GmbH. This makes us particularly proud.
What are your plans for the future?
For almost three years, we have been developing the newest generation of the eibmarkt group shop systems, a result of 20 years of mail-order experience. The new shop system allows you to place orders as a corporate or private customer. As part of the internationalization process, the project provides 14 languages and consists of 21 shop systems (plus 25 language shop systems) with more than 20 methods of payment and approximately one million available articles. This project represented a very big challenge in its areas, especially the IT connection with all its complex functions of store front, ERP system, logistics and supplier connection as well as presenting the range 14 languages. The overall project consisted of over 500 individual projects, which could only be managed by experienced project teams and long-term partners. In the medium term, we still have many more plans with this system, which will go beyond a simple shop system. You will be surprised. However, the current focus is finishing the internationalization process. The new system will be managed by the same eibmarkt.com GmbH team (call center, service, IT), that manages the already known store eibmarkt.com. This will guarantee the very high standards our customers are used to. Preparations for the Go-Live as well as all publications about the new domain structure / shop names and PR activities will start in a few months. The new system will not replace eibmarkt.com, but represent an additional shop. For the years to come, there are also plans to extend the very successful eibmarkt.com shop.
Dialogue: Mrs. Kerstin Ziegenbein (agency aanders®) and Marco Labahn (CEO of EIBMARKT® GmbH Holding)