I returned late last night from Germany after visiting the core team at ECM/Profitec. There was a lot to see, some things which surprised me greatly and many things I would like to talk about but cannot. Except to say they have some great ideas for future machines, are really pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, even trying to make the impossible possible.
Wed evening - I arrived about 10:00 pm Michael and I grabbed a snack and went to the Museum, it was almost midnight and we started looking around.
Thursday…The first full day I was picked up from the hotel in Heidelberg just before 9pm (Germany are 1 hour ahead of us!)….and we started visiting the factories, ending up with the design team based in the Profitec factory. We finished up about 6:30 pm, the reconvened at 8:00pm for dinner with the design team, beers and more discussion of coffee machines/grinders
Friday - 8:45 am left the hotel (which was 10 min away from the factory) and spent until around 4:30pm with the design team after which I had to head to the airport for a 8pm flight home.
It’s a development team of very mixed ages and experience, Michael has clearly chosen some of the best, brightest and most passionate people he could find and significantly boosted the number of people in development over the last 12-18 months. Their enthusiasm is not constrained, they have a “can do” and not a can’t do attitude. OK, this is what we want…., how can we find a way to do this.
We all know ECM/Profitec are high quality machines, in a way the names are different but the DNA is the same. The components are great, excellent quality and carefully chosen, but behind these machines are a very large team of people who make this happen, 100s of people. You never see them, you rarely think about them, but a machine does not come straight from the designers mind and jump into the box. I have to make a video of my experiences, with photos, to properly convey this.
The last thing that makes a company great is real passion. Does the owner of the company just want to get rich and make money, or do they have passion for the machines, the process, the grinders and for coffee. If Michael simply wanted to make money, the corporates are out there, waiting and greedy to buy the last few owner companies. I also never would have gone to work with them for a few days! Michael, (if I remember correctly), has 3 factories in Germany and 2 in Italy, plus the old factory, part of which now serves as a Museum.
I’ll keep the thread updated as we go with Video and photos….I wish I had taken more, but there was a lot of work to do, ideas to discuss and new prototype ideas to see, plus an extra agenda item of my own. I love the look of the Profitec 800 Lever machine, and I had some ideas (for significant change), to make the very beautifully made machine retain all the classical simplicity, but bring it right up to date. I don’t know when it will happen, but I hope it’s quickly, once other key projects are complete.
One of their key drivers was to improve their range, but without building in extra cost or as small an extra cost as possible, whilst maintaining the quality. Something that’s really difficult to do!
I’m old now, but I hope still of some help to be worth inviting over again to work with the team. I’d definitely like to see some more of the museum and work some more with the team. The future will tell I guess whether I’m old and experienced, or old and stupid 🤣
P.S. Did I fill my pockets with stuff on the way out….no I didn’t, but all these little components, boilers, prototype bits etc.. are like little jewels…just quite heavy!