B. Braun

Sharing expertise

Sunday 5 June 2011, by Arnau Ferrer, Cristina Borda, Mona Pumberger, Stefanie Flohr

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a) The main facts about the activities of the company

The company’s history began on June 23, 1839, when Julius Wilhelm Braun took over the "Rosen-Apotheke" pharmacy in Melsungen and expanded it, now including a mail-order business for native herbs. Today, more than 170 years later, B. Braun is a global player with more than 40,000 employees and subsidiaries on five continents, in 50 different locations worldwide.
The main mission of the company is to provide medical supplies, pharmaceutical products, and surgical instrumentation to health care providers, end-users, professional customers, and strategic business partners and within its branch this company is the world-market leader.
They dedicatedly offer operational and logistics services that are not comparable with anyone of their competence in excellence. The business propositions are highly innovative and the company is always trying to advance in progress improving in the ways to do business.
With their innovative products and services, B. Braun helps to improve working procedures and treatments in hospitals and medical practices and so increases the safety of patients, doctors and nursing staff.
The brand has its strength in innovation from its corporative philosophy that is promoting the exchange of information and experience both within the company and between the professionals in the hospitals, always through dialogue, to use it effectively and expand it consistently and purposefully for the benefit of health.
Their goal is to acquire, preserve and expand knowledge for the healthcare market. B. Braun is responsible for transforming all their knowledge into products and services expressed through their three fundamental values of their corporate culture: Innovation, Efficiency and Sustainability.
Moreover with its over 5 000 employees worldwide B. Braun is the main employer in the region ?Nordhessen? and Germany?s best employer with full points graded in the fields of ?working conditions?, ?corporate culture? and ?business development? according a study of the CRF.

b) The ethical challenges this company is addressing

Company management requires the maximum ethical standards and they are extremely subject to the law. B. Braun understands the corporate governance and compliance not just as a legal requirement, but an evident pre-condition of doing business on a sustainable basis. The company sees itself as a part of society, so they act responsible according to this statement. As a part of the cultural and sport support that the company provides, it also promotes the science and knowledge sponsoring university chairs and offering scholarships.
Moreover the company promotes the integration of the unemployed youth giving them a place to train in the firm.
B. Braun also cares for the needy, and provides aid and organizes campaigns to help the most affected areas. As an example, B. Braun organized a global donation campaign to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake. Furthermore it supports the campaigns ?Child Relief &You? and ?TOPSY? to help children in India and Africa live a decent human life.
Concerning the relationship to its employees, B. Braun was the initiator of the ?B?rokonzept 2010?, which was later introduced also in other companies in the region like the Genuine Parts Center of Volkswagen. This concept is designed to promote self-initiative, team spirit and liberty of choosing your workplace to loosen the hierarchy of leadership and improve flexibility. What is more, B. Braun is constantly implicating measures to improve the compatibility of job and family for their employee. Family rooms where one can withdraw and relax as well as glass roofs of the factory to be able to keep the feeling for time especially for shift workers. Additionally a park with a lake was built next to the plant to provide better conditions during work breaks.
The company is really involved with the society, and that?s why it tries to be an active actor in environment conservation and the entire society development.

c) What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it

B. Braun is an ethical company due to its care for its employees and the environment. As a main employer the pharmaceuticals producer provides a balance between work and family-life which supports especially women. Moreover the new developed concept of workplace management is very efficient and economic. By using this concept not so much space for offices is needed and the employees work more efficient due to the open office policy.
Furthermore B. Braun is also concerned about future generations, helping the unemployed youth to gain a foothold in the labor market.
B. Braun, as a leading family-owned business, has for its more than 150 years of production never been involved in any scandal. That is why we believe in the company?s philosophy and trust in its effort for people, especially its employees. We think this enterprise is a good example of the successful combination of acting ethical and at the same time being very profitable.

d) The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve

In the next years B.Braun is planning to develop a new business sector, clinical nutrition supply which is becoming more and more a necessary factor in daily hospital life. Moreover the firm is expanding its production in Malaysia, Brazil, Indonesia and Argentina. We consider the effective implementation of their pro-employee policies there as potential challenge the company may have to face in the future. This could be difficult because of different labor standards in these countries.



Location: Melsungen (Germany)

Sector: pharmaceutical and surgical products

Official website: http://www.bbraun.com

Key figures:

? Sales: 4.422,8 million (+ 9,8 percent)
? Consolidated Annual Net Profit: 277,4 million (+ 15,8 percent)
? Investments in Property, Plant and Equipment and Intangible Assets: 575,4 million (+ 26,5 percent)
? Equity Ratio: 42,3 percent
? Personnel Expenditure: 1.581,7 million (+ 11,0 percent)
? Number of Employees (as of Dec 31, 2010): 41,666 (+ 5,5 percent)
? Produces in more than 50 locations worldwide
? World market leader in its sector
? Ranked as Germany?s best employer

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