The place where it all began: in the Heinrich Kurtz house on Hauptstätter Straße, Ferdinand Gross founded his ironmongery on 17 November 1864.
Ferdinand Gross – a company founder with vision and an outstanding sense for our customers’ needs
Being named a “supplier to the court” – confirmation of excellent goods quality
Front page of the catalogue, 1906/1907
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
THE FERDINAND GROSS GENERATION
On 17 November 1864, Ferdinand Gross opens an ironmongery in the lively Bohnenviertel – the “Bean Quarter” – of Stuttgart. Only a few years later, the young, rapidly growing business needs to look for larger premises. News of the quality of the goods and tools on offer gets about – also in the palace: Ferdinand Gross is given the title of “Supplier to the Royal Court” in 1904. A first ever sales representative is brought on board to handle the ever-increasing supply business. After spending half a century establishing the company, the founder hands over the reins on 1 April 1914 to the next generation.
THE EMIL GROSS GENERATION
The consequences of the First World War can be felt across Europe; the political and economic situation is fractured. However, Emil Gross manages to recognise the opportunities: when he notices that the number of car and motorbike workshops is rapidly growing, while the previous clientèle in smithying and carriage construction is falling away, he starts to put together large and small ranges of blank bolts, selling them in compartmented wooden crates to the garages. A great success, by which we became established in sectors that are still an important part of our supply business today.
Emil Gross ensures the survival of the company during the Great Depression.
An important change of direction: our first in-house catalogue for carriage and car bodywork fittings from 1925
Long the headquarters of Ferdinand Gross: the building at Olgastraße 54 on the edge of Stuttgart’s Bohnenviertel district
A career changer from a different sector, Franz Hering led the company through the Second World War and difficult post-war period
Company lorry on Brennerstraße, August 1955
“Old traditions in a new building”: flyer advertising the move to the new premises at Olgastraße 54
WORLD WAR & ECONOMIC UPTURN
THE FRANZ HERING GENERATION
After the sudden death of Emil Gross, his son-in-law, Franz Hering, takes over. As a career-changer once inexperienced in the sector, he has to manoeuvre the dealership not only through the Second World War but also the tough post-war years. With great endurance, extremely loyal employees and a knack for intelligent innovations such as the Teks screw, which is able to drill and tap a hole itself, he manages to bring the company over the two-million-Deutschmark level for the first time. In a period of buoyant economic activity, in 1964, there is great celebration at the company’s 100th anniversary!
A NEW START
THE GÜNTHER AND DIETER HERING GENERATION
The move from the inner city to the outskirts of Stuttgart turns out to be a milestone for our company. Because here in Leinfelden, there is enough space for long-term growth and diverse options for expansion. With the new workplace and ultra-modern IT, the course is also set for the digital age: in 1984, Telex is already largely used for communications, with over 500 self-developed programs running on 25 monitor terminals. Ferdinand Gross also becomes one of the first companies to get a foothold in East Germany, in 1991. It was another perfect decision, and also established our strong presence in Eastern Europe.
The company takes a decisive step forward with its move to Leinfelden: Günther (L) and Dieter Hering (R) lead the company into a new era.
On 6 November 1971, the new company headquarters in Leinfelden is officially brought into action
The “brain” of the new headquarters: Ferdinand Gross is an early adopter of computers
The modern, functionally furnished offices offer plenty of space for employees
Hitting the road: the growing “Schrauben Gross” fleet
Positioning the company as a reliable partner to industry: Gerald Hering (L), Managing Partner, and Thomas Erb (R), Managing Director.
With the modernisation of logistics and warehousing, the first combination of two different multi-shuttle systems is installed
The warehouse conversion takes place during continuing operations, a logistical chef d’oeuvre for the whole team
Don’t look, find: in FALCON, the company has developed a multi-award-winning E-Kanban tool, positioning itself more firmly on the market as a Kanban pioneer
A NEW DIRECTION
THE GERALD HERING GENERATION
With its rigorous Kanban orientation, Ferdinand Gross positions itself as an absolute C-parts specialist. An outstandingly successful development that means the high-bay warehouses have to be extended. The conversion to a Dematic multishuttle solution, unique in the world, takes place while the warehouses are still up and running – a logistical masterclass from the entire team. With prize-winning innovations such as the e-Kanban solution “Falcon” and growing sites in Eastern Europe, Ferdinand Gross can look to the future with confidence. Currently, the sixth generation is preparing for its role. But no matter whether it will personally decide the fortunes of the company: Ferdinand Gross will remain family-owned!