The history of CSB – Programmed for your success since 1977

The establishment of CSB

On July 1, 1977, CSB was founded as a consulting firm by Dr. Peter Schimitzek and his brother Karl-Heinz. Their focus was on business consulting for food manufacturers and matters of food law. In the mid-seventies, the German legislator introduced new food law regulations stipulating that meat processing companies permanently have to control their recipes. That was when also the era of electronic data processing started at the enterprises. For Peter Schimitzek, it was therefore a logical step to use IT for his customers in order to solve business challenges as for instance location analyses, product calculations and recipe optimization. CSB has adhered to this approach ever since: the company optimizes the value chains of its customers using new technologies.

The brand CSB

Initially, CSB’s company name was KSB. KSB stands for "Kalkulations-Service und Beratung" (calculation service and consulting). However, in 1980 the company had to change its name as the abbreviation KSB was already being used by a well-known pump manufacturer. In the scope of an internal survey, an employee suggested the name “CSB” as an alternative. The company could thus continue to use the developed logo with only a few minor changes. What is more, the name CSB-System for “Computer, Software und Beratung mit System” (computer, software and consulting - systematically) suited much better the position of CSB because already at that time, CSB offered all services from a single source - software, hardware, service and business consulting.

The first CSB customer

The first major customer to use the CSB system was Meica based in Edewecht. Peter Schimitzek had advised Meica on recipe optimization and in the scope of a blind tasting, he demonstrated that the system not only convinced with its calculation, but also with regard to the final product. “After the successful presentation, the customer asked me to leave the Commodore computer right there,” Peter Schimitzek remembers. Further installations quickly followed. The first closed product management system was installed at Schmitz Fleischwaren in Heinsberg. Meica and Schmitz are still among CSB’s satisfied customers.

The first IT turnkey solution for the food industry

CSB started developing software with programs for product calculation and recipe optimization in the meat industry. From 1981 on, the software has been systematically supplemented with the areas of procurement, production, sales and accounting so that in in 1983, the first specialized solution for the meat industry on PC basis could be presented. CSB extended the software to meet the requirements of other industries such as bread & baked goods, delicatessen, fish, beverages, dairy products, fruit & vegetables as well as confectionery.

CSB was thus the first provider of a specialized IT turnkey solution for the food industry. Since 1985, CSB’s software has been upward compatible. This means, release changes are automated to a large extent so that the latest version of the CSB-System is operational with a few hours’ time.

Its clear industry focus distinguishes CSB from the major ERP providers and is the decisive factor for the customers. Today, CSB’s turnkey solution caters to all areas of the value chain in the CSB industries - vertically and horizontally, that is from primary production to consumers, and from machine to controlling. In this way, the CSB-System replicates all industry-specific business processes in its standard version.

The head office and the octagon

Just like many other successful software companies, CSB started up temporarily and partly in a garage. Im September 1990, CSB moved to its new location, which is the present head office in Geilenkirchen that was specifically built for the company. However, the first plans for the new building were not what Peter Schimitzek was looking for: “I would never move into that hutch,” said Peter Schimitzek. “And then I had the idea of building octagons.” Already as an 11-year old boy, he was fascinated by the octagon when he made a school trip to the cathedral of Aachen. The octagon with its regular shape and as a symbol for wealth, harmony and fortune was to mold the CSB building. It was planned to look similar to the famous castle of Castel del Monte, hunting seat of Frederick II, but as a moated castle. The work environment should be agreeable. In addition to the water and the park surrounding the building, a palm garden in the atrium and coffee corners in all octagons provide for that.

The growth

Again in 1990, the first foreign subsidiary was established in Switzerland. After the fall of the Wall, CSB rapidly expanded in the new federal states. In 1992, a subsidiary in France followed, 1995 in Spain, 1998 in Finland and Sweden, and in 1999 CSB started up in the USA. The demand for an industry-specific turnkey solution led to strong international growth.

Today, CSB’s experts are on site around the world, implementing and supporting projects regionally with international expertise. CSB supports customers in about 50 countries and is represented with offices in 23 countries. The software is offered in 28 languages. Overall, CSB employs approx. 550 people. CSB is thus one of the largest family-managed software enterprises in Europe.

CSB today

Together with its customers, CSB has more and more expanded, refined and improved its IT turnkey solution. During its 40-year history, CSB has established a unique set of best practices for the food, beverages, chemical, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. The CSB-System is in use worldwide, comprising the know-how of all CSB projects it its standard version.

CSB continues to be an industry specialist and one-stop provider. Vanessa Kröner: “We offer our customers everything they need for the effective operation of the CSB-System, worldwide and from our own hand. Our service portfolio comprises software, industry hardware for automation, support, training, process consulting as well as cloud services.”

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