The 30th jubilee of the GBK
In June 2016 GBK Ingelheim celebrated its 30th jubilee. Here you can find all photos of this event, as well as congratulations from our customers. The Managing Director, Björn Noll, portrayed how the GBK has successfully maintained itself in an increasingly complex market in the last 30 years and how we will master the challenges of the future, in an interview with the magazine Security Engineer from July 2016.
GBK GmbH has been successfully operating in the market for 30 years. How have the demands placed on you and your employees by customers changed?
Björn Noll: GBK has started as a dangerous goods office. Today our customers are increasingly expecting an all-round service provider who can answer all questions related to the environment, health and safety (EHS) for them. The first additional service was the creation of safety data sheets and the introduction of an international 24/7 emergency number. 30 years ago customer business was predominantly at the national level, we are now active in the European and global market. This requires a regular adjustment to changing market conditions and the recruitment of qualified employees. In the past, we could employ our employees in all areas. Today this is hardly possible due to the increasing complexity of our business areas and makes specialization necessary.
What about dangerous goods handling: What are the qualifications now and in the future?
Björn Noll: The profession of the dangerous goods inspector is characterized by increasing complexity. Now we are also recording sectors that have so far been excluded from the topic of hazardous goods. One example is the rapidly developing regulations for lithium batteries. In addition to profound expertise, further skills are also required: this includes, among other things, communication strength, didactic knowledge and assertiveness.
GBK GmbH serves more than 750 customers, including many small and medium-sized businesses. The number of regulations and instructions for the transport and storage of dangerous goods is growing steadily. How is your assessment: Is the middle class thus overstretched?
Björn Noll: It is hardly possible for medium sized businesses to meet the complex legal requirements themselves with their own resources. Outsourcing to suitable service providers is therefore the right and most cost-effective way – also with regard to compliance. The chemical law is similar to the tax law, and companies are also handing over their tax affairs to a qualified consultant.
The public associates with dangerous goods usually a very high risk potential and spectacular accidents. How good is the risk management of German companies in respect of dangerous goods and dangerous goods transport?
Björn Noll: In relation to the very high absolute figures for total dangerous goods volumes, the number of accidents or incidents is quite small
Where is the biggest deficit and challenge on this issue in the companies?
Björn Noll: Incorrect or non-declared dangerous goods lead to unpredictable risks. Particular the rising accidents in the transport of lithium batteries are a cause for concern. There are very limited possibilities for action in the event of an incident, particularly in air transport.
Currently GBK GmbH generates 20 percent of its sales outside the EU. Is further expansion planned?
Björn Noll: In the US and Canada, we are traditionally strongly represented with our own locations. We are currently expanding our consulting activities in China. We work together with a strategic partner in China and a Chinese employee.
GBK GmbH offers a comprehensive range of training courses. What is the focus of your offer?
Björn Noll: With internal and external speakers, we focus on special topics in the field of chemicals and transport law, which cannot be found on every corner. At the moment in-house seminars are particularly needed to implement the globally harmonized system for the classification and labeling of chemicals (GHS) in China, the USA and Canada. These seminars are held by highly qualified employees of GBK GmbH.
Let’s look into the future: what goals have you set yourself together with your team, but also for yourself in the coming years?
Björn Noll: We want to continue the team’s success. The focus is on the benefit of our customers. I understand this also by personal success. Key figures are still customer and employee satisfaction.