Letter from the Chairman of the Board of Management

Dear customers of the TÜV NORD GROUP,
Dear colleagues and partners,

The TÜV NORD GROUP is in the midst of the digital transformation. The rapid spread of the Internet of Things and data-based mobility and the progressive interconnectedness they offer are presenting testing organisations with new and exciting tasks. The smartphone, which has just celebrated its 10th birthday, symbolises the speed at which digitalisation and networking have spread throughout the entire economic sector and the private lives of individuals, offering information and the possibility of interaction for all – at any time and in any place. Smart products are continuing the irresistible onward march of digital networking: Smart Cities, Smart Mobility, Smart Home, Smart Grids, Smart Factories. Intelligent and autodidactic machines and systems are at the forefront of this trend. And it is in the light of such developments that we, as a major testing and consultancy service provider, must find answers to new questions. One such question is this: after many years of independent learning, are robots based on artificial intelligence still safe, and will they behave properly in emergency situations? When it comes to answering these questions, with all their security relevance, the TÜV NORD GROUP has its contribution to make in the industrial sector and to automated driving.

There is one principle which we will never forsake: the new digital world must be just as secure as the old analogue one. The safety of people, goods and the environment is the top priority in everything we do. IT security already goes hand-in-hand with mechanical and electronic safety. Industrial robots, self-driving cars and electricity and water utilities need to be protected from cyber-criminals.

Digitalisation and networking are expanding our mission: as well as protecting our mission, we also increasingly need to protect machines from human manipulation. We in the TÜV NORD GROUP have for this reason regarded IT security and physical safety as connected disciplines for many years and have developed products for this purpose under the “Security4Safety” label. After all, without IT security there can be no product safety.

We are all involved in networked processes all the time. To cite just a few examples, our experts have already completed over 30,000 app-based lift tests and 2.5 million periodic vehicle inspections with the aid of a digital adapter. Then there is everything we do from the certification of basic IT protection for SMEs through to comprehensive security tests of large-scale data centres – the list is a long one.

With our new corporate mission statement, we aspire to align ourselves even more consistently with the requirements of our markets. In the digital age, knowledge is fast becoming a decisive success factor. Where in the mission statement it says that “future security for our customers is our goal”, this statement is both an assertion of what we have already achieved and a spur to greater things. In this Annual Report, members of staff from every area of the company offer insights into what it is that motivates them. They formulate their personal vision for a safe and secure world – one that is technically advanced, digital and networked.

In 2017, with the Digital Academy, we took some decisive strides of our own toward instilling knowledge of the digital transformation in our staff and qualifying them to lead our company into the digitally networked era. In the context of this dedicated training programme, they are being given instruments with which they will digitalise our existing services and processes and develop new innovative business models. Our Digital Academy also sees itself as a qualification programme for those of our customers who are actively seeking to take their place in the digital world and the networking that goes with it.

I wish to thank all our customers and business partners for the positive cooperation we have enjoyed and the trust they have placed in our company and its people.

Once again in 2017, our staff has across the world successfully dedicated its efforts to advancing the TÜV NORD GROUP. In the name of the Supervisory Board, the Group Executive Committee and employee representatives, I offer my heartfelt thanks for this commitment and what we have achieved together.

Kind regards,

Unterschrift Dirk Stenkamp Unterschrift Dirk Stenkamp Unterschrift Dirk Stenkamp Unterschrift Dirk Stenkamp

Dr Dirk Stenkamp
Chairman of the Board of Management