|Gerhard E. Blum (General Manager)|
|Revenue||1,656.17 million euros (2015/2016)|
Number of employees
Julius Blum GmbH (commonly referred to as "Blum") is an international company that produces hinge-, lift- and runner-systems and the appropriate assembly tools for the cabinet making and furniture industry.
Blum is an international manufacturer of furniture hardware. It is a family-owned company based in Höchst, a municipality in the Austrian province of Vorarlberg. Production facilities are mainly located in Austria, but the company also has production plants in the United States, in Poland and in Brazil. Blum supplies furniture manufacturers and hardware distributors in more than 120 countries worldwide. 97% of its products are exported, and its annual turnover is 1,656.17 million euros in 2015/2016.
The first product was a horseshoe stud, which averts horses from slipping. Then in 1958, the first furniture hinge was produced. The construction of concealed hinges started in 1964, and this essentially led to the entry into the furniture fittings industry. Today, Blum products are exported to more than 120 countries.
Julius Blum died in 2006, and the family business continued to be run by his sons, Gerhard Blum and Herbert Blum. Today, the company structure is as follows: Gerhard E. Blum (26%), Herbert Blum (26%), and Blum Private Trust (48%).
Production facilities and subsidiaries
The company has seven factories in Vorarlberg, and additional production sites are situated in Poland, Brazil and the United States. In the 2014/15 financial year, 50% of the company’s turnover was generated in the EU, 15% in the United States and 35% in other markets.
Factory in Jasin nearby Swarzędz, Poland
Blum subsidiaries (ranked according to the founding year):
Blum is specialized in the production of fittings and systems for furniture, in particular for kitchens. The main business segments are lift, hinge and pull-out systems. Apart from its hardware solutions, the company offers electrical and mechanical motion technologies for the opening and closing of furniture. Blum products are displayed at showrooms, home design shows and fairs for the furniture industry, such as Interzum in Cologne  and Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS).
Blum invests 4% of its annual revenue in research and development. In 2014, the company holds around 52 patents and 1200 trademark rights in total. Blum Austria occupies second place in the invention rankings and ranks amongst Austria’s top ten patent candidates.
The company has set up training rooms, laboratory kitchens and test-drive areas to identify requirements of kitchen fitters, manufacturers, sellers and kitchen buyers. Research insights have resulted in new and improved products and concepts for storage space planning in kitchens.
Blum has won several awards in product quality and design. In 2013, the furniture manufacturer received the European Inventor Award in the "industry" category for its hinge system Blumotion. The invention assures that doors, drawers and lift systems close gently and silently.
Blum Austria started its own apprenticeship system in 1970. The four-year program is a combination of class participation and practical training in the company. Students are able to learn high-tech professions in metal and plastics processing. Vocational training is common within central Europe, as young people are split at the age of 15 either to academic schools or to apprenticeships.
Eight training programs are currently offered:
In 1995, Blum USA introduced the in-house training program "Apprenticeship 2000" according to the Austrian model. The company cooperates with businesses in the community and the Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC).
As of September 2015, the company trains 298 apprentices, 14 of which are in the United States. Blum apprentices frequently take part in global competitions like WorldSkills, in which they have received several certificates of excellence.
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