Sun and water – most people would probably just associate them with pleasant summer holidays. For LORENTZ, these are the ingredients of a global success story. The medium-sized company from Henstedt-Ulzburg has been producing solar-operated water pumps since 1993. Whether on lemon plantations in Morocco, on Texan cattle ranches, or in a small village in Madagascar: LORENTZ pumps are used for water supply in around 140 countries. "We consciously specialised in solar pumps from the very beginning," says Managing Director Jens Lorentz, who runs the company with his brother Bernt and Stephan Grinzinger, an old childhood friend of Bernt’s.
In their strategically selected niche, the small family operation developed into a market-leading company with around 300 employees. Apart from their own production plant in China, LORENTZ has other locations in USA and India. A worldwide cooperative network provides local assistance to customer who range from international aid organisations to private individuals with their own swimming pools. "Our pumps do not require any electricity or fuel. Digital maintenance can be carried out remotely, and this saves resources because they also monitor the groundwater level," explains Jens Lorentz. "This is especially interesting for larger areas that have lots of space for solar systems; in Egypt entire desert regions can be reclaimed in this way."
At the headquarters in Henstedt-Ulzburg, his team tinkers not only with powerful technology but also with innovative IT solutions to simplify the handling of and payment for solar pumps, for example using pay-per-use models that also make the devices viable for small farms. 50 employees from a total of 13 countries work at the headquarters north of Hamburg. "The demand is much higher internationally than in Germany, which is why our team is also international," reports Jens Lorentz.
Despite all its urbanity and innovative spirit, LORENTZ has remained a remarkably down-to-earth company. The brothers put together their first pumps in the garage of their parents’ home in Hamburg-Schnelsen. In 2004, the company moved from two rented apartments in Schnelsen to the Ulzburg commercial area right by the A7 motorway. After another relocation within the same area, in 2014 LORENTZ found an ideal corner lot for their future growth. This 17,000 m² property now houses a warehouse and office spaces, both larger than 2,000 m². The office building is home to new spacious workstations along with multiple rooms for conferences and training. The good location in particular has a decisive influence on the company’s success. "The connection to the perfectly developed A7 motorway is a clear advantage for us. We receive our goods from Hamburg Harbour and from the airport. Our clients’ freight forwarders collect the pumps and controllers from us and ship them in containers, for example to Mali."
Close collaboration with the municipal business development office is another essential home advantage for Jens Lorentz. "The way we interact is almost like a family. All I need to do is pick up the phone and I immediately find an open ear. My contacts try to find a solution for every issue, regardless of whether we want to expand our property or involve the mayor in an event. Recently when we were planning a charity event, they even helped us to consider how many sanitary facilities we needed!" This enjoyable collaboration is more important for Jens Lorentz than quick economic success. It seems like the company has found its perfect "place in the sun" in Henstedt-Ulzburg.