Sport, Fun and Team Spirit – The Dragon Boat Race 2019

June 2019

Already for the fifth time the FLS paddled together with the GRP at the dragon boat race at the Rursee. With mostly beautiful sunshine and warm summer temperatures not only the competition was great fun, but also the refreshing swimming in the lake during the breaks enjoyed great popularity. The ambition in the race, as well as the day together in general, once again welded the employees of both companies together. With great motivation and commitment, the team paddled to 18th place with 29 teams at the start during the evaluation of the three runs. Last year’s goal of running a race under one minute was achieved, which again raised the spirits and led to the best atmosphere at the Aftershow Party. We hope that next year we will continue to improve and that we will be able to enjoy the day again when the weather is fine.


A visit to Silicon Valley – What counts at the end of the day is what YOU make of it

Silicon Valley in California: The Who-is-Who of high-tech giants – including Apple, Cisco Systems, Google, Facebook, Intuit, Oracle and Yahoo. A place that has power and influence far beyond the San Francisco Bay Area. This is where Janina and Manfred Keuters set off for Easter. After Janina Keuters’ visit together with the top 100 innovators at the beginning of the year, they now wanted to get to know THE location for innovation in order to gather new impulses. Because if you want to remain competitive in the long term, you must always be open to new ideas and developments in different areas! During their visit there were already daily updates with the impulses of the day.

The GRP and FLS managing directors started with a visit to the companies B8ta and Autodesk. Especially the visit to Autodesk immediately turned some things upside down: The CAD program of the company Autodesk can e.g. produce a complete 3D-printed sports shoe. If this is already possible, how will it develop in the next few years? Do we still have to go to the store to buy shoes, or do we all have a 3D printer at home and just print the shoes we need for the day every day? Waste isn’t an issue either, because the old shoes are 100% recycled.

The first impulses of the day were: “Rewire the brain! – Rethinking and creating new unique experiences” and “Finding the golden mean: Building on past experiences, but consistently questioning and redesigning the future”.

One of the most important features of Silicon Valley is its unique work culture. Janina and Manfred Keuters therefore visited the Stanford Campus where the open jobs promote interaction, community and knowledge transfer. The Circuitlaunch companies, which specialize in co-working, co-innovating and co-building and provide BootUp with the co-working space for start-ups, were also visited and demonstrated the advantages of the Silicon Valley working culture on site!

The impulse of the day: “Open to new approaches and thought patterns (1+1=3)” and “Everyone can be a hero. What counts at the end of the day is what YOU make of it.”

One thing a Silicon Valley visitor will notice is the familiar, relaxed California lifestyle – from casual wear to the cafeteria meeting places. But this relaxed attitude is only one side of the coin. In fact, development and response times are exactly the opposite. The product development cycles for many companies usually only extend over weeks, not months. And what really drives companies in Silicon Valley is the focus on getting things done quickly instead of worrying about every possible mistake. A sign on Facebook summarizes this attitude: “Done is better than perfect”. Janina and Manfred Keuters just got to know this “Try and Error” setting on Google. Google is counting on trying out many things and including the best things in the company structure! Apple also relies on innovations and so the new Apple Center with Argumented Reality could represent the entire Apple headquarters. The breathtaking overall picture with use of wind – takes over the cooling of the room and the solar system – which covers the power generation for the entire Apple campus – inspired the GRP and FLS managing directors.

The experiences of this day then also brought the impulses of the day: “Mistakes we make once always get us further” and “Think big and act small – have visions and break down to current topics and short-term milestones”.

Of course, a visit to Deutsches Tech-Export SAP was also a must, and so the two Keuters’ also stopped by! Design Thinking was the keyword here! The buzzword that is one of the most popular buzzwords for Silicon Valley is lived at SAP. Here, new ideas are developed and implemented in a highly creative environment – surrounded by smart refrigerators and live robots. Once again, many topics are simply developed for the learning process! A workshop on the topic at “Business model inc” rounded off the topic of Design Thinking and also dealt with the development of future business ideas.

If you are visiting the Bay Area, you should also try out the everyday innovations that can already be experienced there yourself. So Janina and Manfred Keuters tested Tesla’s Model X during a joint test drive and also visited Amazon Book – a bookstore based on the Amazon ratings. But also a workshop on the topic “Organization of the future” brought new impulses. The two asked themselves questions about how to position themselves for the future and what to question. The impulses of the day were: “It’s never too late to change”. And “Everything as always. Just different. And what about the day after tomorrow?

Although Silicon Valley high-tech companies and their employees can be ruthless competitors, there is also an omnipresent attitude of cooperation. Valley employees have a healthy understanding of the importance of good teamwork. Promoting internal collaboration is good for any company, in any industry. One of the best known open source projects worldwide is Mozilla. The non-profit organization consists largely of several 100,000 members who work continuously to improve open source. Manfred and Janina Keuters were particularly interested in the structures and processes. Because the goal at Mozilla is above all to make the RIGHT technology decisions – not always the quick or short-term ones.

This is the last impulse of the day: “With creativity to unexpected solutions”. And “Keep it real. In times of digitalization and technology, always seeing people in the foreground.”

The exciting and eventful time in Silicon Valley passed far too quickly. But Janina and Manfred Keuters had a lot of experience, impulses and food for thought on their return flight and we are eager to see which ideas will bear fruit!

B2Run Run Aachen 2019 – Run away from the rain!

Also in this year a team of the companies FLS and GRP participated together in the B2Run company run.

This year there were 3700 runners and our GRP-FLS team almost tripled their number! 20 employees of GRP and FLS threw themselves into running shoes and faced the 5.2 km distance in typical Aachen dirty weather! From the starter to the pleasure runner and walker everything was there – but one thing united us all: the fun of the event. Because even the rain, which gave weight to one or the other, could not harm the beautiful course through the Soers, the Tivoli and the riding stadium. Our goal last year was to expand our team – with our medals around our necks, we have now celebrated this properly! And next year, we’ll add another one!


Still looking for your problems?

…or do you already find the solutions?!

Whatever the Easter bunny brings, you have already found one thing – our new module overviews!

We have expanded our portfolio for you and will be happy to bring you up to date with the latest developments in digitisation:

Book the digitilisation workshop and sharpen your individual strategy with us!

FLS wishes you a happy Easter!

If you think big and it seems feasible, then you probably don’t think big enough!

Janina Keuters has travelled to Silicon Valley with a group of top 100 medium-sized entrepreneurs in search of innovation and inspiration.

When we were named Top100 Innovator last summer, it wasn’t just an award. We were also accepted into the network of the most innovative medium-sized companies in Germany. New ideas and the courage to think outside the box is an important factor. A group of last year’s award-winning top innovators, together with Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke, now embarked on a quest for innovation. And where better to do that than in Silicon Valley – the talent factory for software, technology and innovations.

FLS Managing Director Janina Keuters and 18 other top innovators made their way all the way to Northern California. Tour guide Mario Herger’s schedule included visits to well-known names such as SAP, Apple, TESLA, Google and Facebook. But also some less known tech solution providers like DocuSign and Belcham, as well as various workshops were part of the program.

Nowadays the technology is changing faster than ever before. Gadgets, devices and innovations that were considered science fiction just a few years ago are now part of everyday life. Whether it’s Apple’s latest iPhone, Tesla’s new generation smart car, or innovative crowdsourcing solutions like Uber and Airbnb, the possibilities for where the technology will take us in the future are seemingly endless and within reach, especially in Silicon Valley.

A handful of companies immediately come to mind when you think of Silicon Valley. SAP, Apple, Tesla, Google and Facebook are just a few of the companies that Janina Keuters, and participants in the group, were allowed to visit during this time. Understanding how these companies started, what sets them apart, and how they maintain a culture of innovation are principles we can use to drive change and bring it to our businesses.

Many things about the big companies are already known without having to travel far. But you can learn on the ground that “innovation” is indeed so rooted in the corporate identity of the individual companies that it no longer needs to be addressed. Innovation is lived and is part of everyday life. The idea of “pay-it-forward” was particularly important and fascinating for Janina Keuters. In Silicon Valley, this refers to a mentoring mentality from which Steve Jobs also profited and which he in turn passed on to Marc Zuckerberg. Because if you support inexperienced thinkers and developers without expecting any counter help – you also indirectly help yourself. After all, Silicon Valley’s entire network ultimately benefits from new ideas, start-ups and technologies.

The courage to plan things larger than one would dare to do also plays an important role: “If you think big and it`s doable, then you probably don`t think big enough!” and “Fail early, fail often!” are important guiding principles for the Silicon Valley mindset. Together they show that you have to have the courage to think bigger and to see in problems the possibility for growth and the creation of new solutions – because even failure gives you important lessons!

From the first day of the joint tour, the Top100 Group saw on site how digitization is gradually reaching every area of life, and how progress is being implemented. So self-propelled cars drove through the streets, you could go shopping in the AmazonGo shop without queuing and have a cup of coffee served by robots in the CafeX. Prototypical innovations are part of everyday life in Silicon Valley.

There were also many inspirations for the everyday life of the company. Whether small teams at Google, writable walls, or open-plan offices with 100 employees in one room – every company creates spaces that encourage cooperation and are adapted to the requirements of the employees. FLS Managing Director Janina Keuters was particularly enthusiastic about the working environment and the rooms on Facebook. Because in order to promote work motivation, it is important that the employees can fully develop and identify with the company. From the roof terrace to opportunities for personal development and a wide variety of restaurants offering free food for all employees and visitors. The “Mini-City” is an impressive experience.

The time announced by Prof. Dr. Franke at the beginning of the trip as an “adventure week” passed far too quickly. But Janina Keuters took many small and big ideas and thoughts with her for herself and the FLS and one thing is for sure: This was not the last time that she got inspiration in Silicon Valley!



“Open the door and it happens!” – The Aachen Clinic Clowns bring soap bubbles, magic and happiness into everyday hospital life.

Laughter is healthy – FLS donates for the Aachen Clinic Clowns
Every child knows this saying and the Klinik-Clowns Aachen make it their business to put a smile on the faces of children and seniors. Because laughter has positive effects on the general and health condition and promotes the healing processes. Humour in hospitals and nursing homes is therefore a sensible complement to medicine.

The clinic clowns visit the children’s wards of Aachen University Hospital twice a week. With funny games and great costumes, the clinic clowns take the burden off the shoulders of the children and their relatives for a short time and restore their joy of life. They also visit the Haus Cadenbach senior citizens’ home twice a month and work carefully with senior citizens and people suffering from dementia. According to clown Frida, there is no routine and no plan: “Open the door and then it happens”. That’s exactly how we got to know the Klink-Clowns today and enjoyed their soap bubbles, jokes and music.

The great commitment of the clinic clowns is possible thanks to the financial support of the Hirschhausen Foundation “Humor Hilft Heilen” and the association “Freunde und Förderer des Luisenhospitals e.V.” and donations. That is why we at FLS are very happy to support this project. “The clinic clowns do an excellent job. We ourselves were able to experience them today and laughed heartily. It is a pleasure for us to support them and to do good again. For us as a family business, such a campaign is a matter close to our hearts”, FLS Managing Director Janina Keuters said.

The FLS GmbH & Co. KG is pleased that with her donation she can continue to make the performances of the clinic clowns possible. Further information about the association, as well as the possibility for a donation, can be found here.

Planning ahead in the age of industry 4.0

In the current February issue of “Discover Germany” an article on FLS was published in a special on the topic “The Top Innovative Companies of Germany”. Since we also received the TOP100 Innovator award last year, it is a great honour for us to again be counted among the most innovative companies. “Discover Germany” is one of the hottest national and international business magazines. The in-flight business and lifestyle magazine is not only available free of charge at airports, air lounges and various airlines and Deutsche Bahn, but is also available worldwide as an online magazine in four- and five-star hotels.

Planning ahead in the age of industry 4.0

With innovative software and personal commitment, FLS-GMBH-CO-KG shows its customers the way to an up-to-date, optimized production process.

With 40 years of company experience in the industrial sector, FLS is today at the forefront of smart production planning (PPS) providers. If a customer needs solutions outside the standards, these are developed and applied quickly and effectively. For the family-run company, high flexibility and individual customer support are of the highest priority. Since 2016, FLS has been in the hands of CEO Janina Keuters, who has since steered the company safely into the era of Industry 4.0 and Smart Factory. FLS recently achieved a place among the top 10 in the NRW 2018 Founders Award and also secured the ‘Top 100’ award for Germany’s most innovative companies. FLS’s customer structure consists of large corporations as well as typical German medium-sized companies with long-term experience. Their expertise is effectively supported by FLS with the latest in software-based know-how, in order to be optimally equipped to meet the increased demands of industry 4.0.

Read the full article here.

FEKOR at the Moneyfair in Berlin

The ‘World Money Fair’ took place last week in Berlin. At one of the largest trade fairs in the industry, coin manufacturers from all over the world come together and present, among other things, their special and commemorative coins for the first time. During the fair, the manufacturers exchanged ideas at a Technical Forum. Our customer, Münz-Prägstatt GmbH from Munich, presented their daily production routine on the way to the Smartfactory. The use of our FEKOR system was also reported, because our production planning system is an important part of this way. Our authorized signatory Yannik Wirtz also answered questions during a subsequent round of questions.

Happy holidays

We would like to thank you again this year for your confidence in our services. 2018 was an excellent year for us with successes in development and beyond that the awards – Top100 Innovator and Top 10 of the Founders Award NRW 2018 – which we received. One of our goals for the coming year is to build on these successes with great motivation. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2019.

It is very important to us that even people who are not feeling so well have a Merry Christmas. Therefore we decided to donate money this year to the “Klinik-Clowns” instead of gifts for our customers. This association supports sick people, especially children, by making them smile again and distracting them from their everyday life in the hospital. The open and cordial encounter with the clowns often accelerates the healing process and contributes to the well-being of the patients. We will continue to support this heart project in the course of the year!

We wish you a contemplative time with your family and friends and will be there for you again at the beginning of January.

A taste of the world of work – an internship full of surprises

A student internship offers us the opportunity to help our interns find their way in a world that is often opaque for them and to broaden their horizons. This year we were supported by our intern Lia for two weeks. Here she reports about her experiences

I asked myself how I could still use my holidays sensibly. Therefore I thought about doing an internship at FLS. However, my expectations were not very high. I just thought: What can you make big in an IT company if you are not a professional and have never been involved in it? I had the usual cliché in my head, that of an intern who just makes coffee and goes copying. But my expectations were absolutely exceeded. I was allowed to work in social media (the area that interested me the most anyway). One of my biggest surprises here was that I was allowed to write my own articles for the website. I would never have believed it before. Therefore I did some research and thought about how to make them interesting and appealing. Furthermore I thought before my practical course that one cannot create anything right in such a short period of time. Here, too, I was taught better. I did a lot of research and dealt with the topic of “social affairs”, for example how this point is structured on the website of other companies. Within the two weeks, we also contributed “Social Affairs” to the FLS website.

Besides my experiences in social media, from research to creating a new point on the website (with the help of WordPress and other CMS, which I also got to know), I actually took a lot with me from the field of IT. As I mentioned at the beginning, I could never really do anything with computer science before, which never bothered me, because it didn’t interest me very much or I could have used it. I thought. My internship at an IT company really brought me closer to computer science. Even though I worked most of the time in other areas, I was also allowed to look into the areas of a developer. The example of a chocolate factory showed me how to produce chocolate most cost-effectively and quickly using the system. For example, nut chocolate is not produced at the beginning of the week, because otherwise the machines have to be cleaned completely, which in turn generates costs. I was very impressed that such processes can be influenced by just a few clicks on the computer. My greatest success was the publication of my written articles on the website. After completing my internship, I can also imagine working in social media after school.