Forty years ago this year GEUTEBRÜCK, began life in a garage on the bank of the River Rhine. Thomas Geutebrück set up a mail order business selling Japanese car radios and hi-fi amplifiers. One day he had a visit from two gentlemen from the German criminal investigation department. It was the era of the Baader Meinhof Group and the Red Army Faction and bank robberies were on the up, so they were looking for some means of taking photographs to identify culprits. There was clearly a ready market; contemporary video recorders were simply not up to the job, so Thomas decided to design a special film camera for the purpose.
His camera was unconventional. It was much simpler to make and cheaper to buy and to use than anything produced by trained photographic camera developers. It transported the film with rubber rollers, so perforations weren’t needed and less film was required. The camera was a run-away success and came to dominate the market, not just in Germany but right round the world with updated versions of it in production until 2005.
Fortunately for many of the high security sites, prestigious buildings and important organizations across Europe and round the world which are now protected by Geutebrück video security systems, Thomas Geutebrück did not rest on his laurels.
His garage-based enterprise flourished and grew, first into a CCTV manufacturer with a strong emphasis on R&D and innovation, then into a digital video security company with an international reputation for quality. Now under the direction of his daughter Katharina, it has developed its IT skills to levels normally only achieved by the top IT specialists; it boasts a 35 million Euro annual turnover and sales partners in 40 countries.
Katharina Geutebrück, daughter of the company’s founder and present managing director, thinks this 40th anniversary is not just a good excuse for a celebration but also carries with it a relevant message for today’s prospective security buyers.
“In a fast-moving world,” she contends, “continuity and stability are important factors in building trust. And with the complexity of today’s technology, pure feature-plus-function based decisions become more and more difficult for users to make, so trust has an increasing part to play. Finding a partner you can trust to provide a solution that fits, and that will adapt and still perform after years of use is increasingly important.”
“From our 40 years in the business,” she continues, ”we hope customers will see that we are a company which builds long term relationships and is here for the duration. We invest a great deal in backwards compatibility to allow our users to benefit from future developments even years after their original investment decision. This is one of our strengths, and it is a persuasive factor for knowledgeable users who have had experience with other manufacturers with product strategies based on high volume and short term gain.”