| Back

Award-winning quality innovations

Fittings specialist Kludi named as one of the “TOP 100 Innovators” among Germany’s SMEs in 2022

Together with his team, Professor Nikolaus Franke – founder and director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business – once again exam-ined and compared the innovation work of small and medium-sized enterprises based on over 100 indicators. These indicators include: an innovative culture and environment, innovative processes and organisation, commercial successes and efficiency gains through innovation, and customer-centric innovations. Since 1993, the renowned innovation researcher has been determining the “TOP 100 Innovators” among Germany’s SMEs on behalf of Compamedia GmbH using a scientific selection process. This year, the Sauerland-based fittings specialist Kludi ( is part of the exclusive line-up of innovative companies and think tanks. The manufacturer of premium fittings for bathrooms and kitchens from Menden submitted themselves to the analysis of the Vienna-based scientific research team for the first time in 2022 and immediately made it into the TOP 100.

“Innovative thinking from the customer’s point of view”
“A lot of what characterises modern fittings in bathrooms and kitchen comes from Kludi’s research and development,” explains Arndt Papenfuß, Marketing Director and Head of Product Management for the Kludi Group. The family-run business holds over 100 patents. The amount of new products within the total turnover is consistently well into the double-digit percentage range. “We were able to prove that our innovations are not just chance products, but are the result of an open and established innovative culture and a systematic process that explicitly includes both staff and customers,” says Papenfuß. “And that’s with strong support from a first-class management team that is open to innovation and change.” This is also demonstrated by the fact that new and improved Kludi products do well on the market; for example, the shower system “Kludi Cockpit” with its intuitively simple operating concept, or the time-saving “Easy Fit” installation features for kitchen fittings, which facilitate the work of trade specialists. “This is the result of our new approach, which is to always think of innovations from the customer’s perspective. Only if a new product provides a noticeable improvement for the customer, such as more operating comfort or reduced installation work, can it be called a genuine innovation in our eyes,” sums up Papenfuß.

The “TOP 100” award for special innovative ability and above-average innovative success will be presented as part of the German SME Summit on 24 June 2022 at the Jahrhunderthalle in Frankfurt am Main. The award will be presented by the well-known scientific journalist Ranga Yogeshwar, who is the patron of the competition.