Rock ‘n’ roll ‘n’ moving

Oct 14 | 2015

Gebr. Roggendorf from Cologne became the top booker through the EUROMOVERS network in 2014. It is a company that is not only one of the founders of the network but remains totally committed to the concept both at home in Germany and internationally. It has built its reputation on a diet of hard work, commitments and a little rock ‘n’ roll.

Manfred Roggendorf and his brother Walter run the company that was founded by their father, Theo, 50 years earlier.  “Our father was a freak,” said Manfred.   “He just loved the moving industry and never stopped talking about it.” Sadly he died five years ago. 

But he lived to see his company grow to one of the largest and most respected in Germany. Today the company performs domestic, international and commercial moves for its private and corporate clients. Gebr. Roggendorf also has an impressive 6,000 sq met archive storage facility and provides move consulting as a discrete service for large commercial relocations.

It was 20 years ago that Gebr. Roggendorf became one of the founding fathers of EUROMOVERS.  It started with a handful of companies who had worked with other groups but felt they did not provide value for money. “The intention was for the exchange of traffic in Europe, to work together, help and learn from each other, and to have a corporate image,” said Manfred.  And that’s exactly the way it turned out.  Ten years ago EUROMOVERS International was formed to extend the network further and is still growing.  “We still search for new EUROMOVERS members and agents all over the world.  This too has been successful.”

Today EUROMOVERS has around 400 trucks painted in its distinctive livery in Germany alone.  This is a distinct advantage when tackling large corporate moves.  “We can easily provide 20 or more vehicles, from different companies but all looking the same, for a large job,” said Manfred. “With big customers we wouldn’t have a chance without it.”

That image often has a marketing benefit with clients, then their employees, remembering the name and contacting EUROMOVERS for subsequent commercial or private household goods moves.  Manfred recalls when Sony moved into Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. Gebr. Roggendorf handled the commercial move for 300+ people and has been providing moving services to the company ever since.

EUROMOVERS is also becoming a strong brand around the world.  Last year Manfred said that in addition to his chart topping bookings in Germany his company also placed around 150 shipments to the international EUROMOVERS members.

It’s easy to see why Gebr. Rogendorf has been successful.  The EUROMOVERS network, with more than 60 international and over 30 national qualified members and agents, has undoubtedly helped, but the company was successful anyway. Quality is important and Manfred believes in training his staff properly and paying them well. He also holds regular staff meetings to encourage everyone to have an opportunity to share in the company’s development and makes sure that every opinion voiced is respected and acted upon. There is a dedicated quality management officer who identifies problem areas and takes corrective action. “We use the EUROMOVERS training centres here in Cologne and in Nuremberg,” he said. “We want to give everyone who works here the opportunity to do well. Often it’s the little things that matter.  Good employees are like gold.”

One of those nuggets is Stephan Strauss who handles the international work.  “Stephan is the son of a diplomat,” said Manfred.  “He has a talent for languages and really understands the international market.”

A look at the Gebr. Roggendorf website also gives a clue into the company’s innovative style.  Along with the usual services the site offers a special service for ‘older people’.  “Older people have the money and want good quality rather than cheap prices,” said Manfred.  “If you want to employ the best people and pay them properly you have to work for people who can pay the right rate for the job.”  Gebr. Roggendorf also provides fine art packing and shipping services.

But there is one other passion in Manfred’s life: music.  For the last 30 years or so he’s played regularly in a rock and roll soul band called Hongkong Winnetous.  Manfred plays rhythm and lead guitar and sings.  “Our motto is ‘moving, fun and rock and roll’,” said Manfred, showing me a YouTube clip of his alter ego on stage.  They are pretty good too. Take a look here.

Photos: Top right: Gebr. Roggendorf vehicle on the street with the EUROMOVERS livery; middle left:  Manfred performing with Hongkong Winnetous.