One of the greatest achievements in innovation is to remain successful over several generations of a technology. Sonopress GmbH from Guetersloh has managed this feat. The company, which has just been awarded a TOP 100 seal, has repeatedly reinvented itself. Launched in 1958 as a pressing plant for vinyl records, the company later switched to the development and production of CDs and DVDs. And as this market declined sharply with the advance of digital downloads and various streaming services, the next evolutionary step followed. “Until then, we were more technical followers, but market pressure pushed us into a technical trailblazer role,” says Managing Director Sven Deutschmann.
Based on continuous market monitoring, the top innovator with more than 500 employees in Germany recognized in good time that optical data storage devices for televisions with large screens needed to store higher volumes of data and information. So the Westphalian company developed the world's first fully-automated production line for 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs with a gigantic storage capacity of up to 100 gigabytes for devices with ultra-high resolution and color quality – and it did so six to eight months ahead of Japanese and American competitors. This far-sightedness has paid off: Today, nearly all the major Hollywood studios are regular customers. And Sonopress also occupies a top position in the booming world of video games with its high-performing products: It is one of only three companies in the world to offer certified data carriers for the gaming industry.
TOP 100: The Competition
Since 1993, compamedia has awarded its Top 100 seal of approval to SMEs with a special ability to innovate and above-average success rates for innovations. This project has been coordinated by Professor Nikolaus Franke from the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration since 2002. The Top 100 is mentored by science journalist and TV presenter Ranga Yogeshwar, and is organized in partnership with the Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research and the German Association for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (BVMW). manager magazin is the media partner of the company benchmarking competition is provided by. For further information, please see www.top100.de.