Enterprise Europe Network

A real-life toy story

Posted: 28 May 2015

When a German toymaker needed high quality parts for its products, it turned to the Enterprise Europe Network for help.

Dreams of expansion

Dieters is a small, family-owned toymaker in the southern German town of Tübingen which specializes in educational toys.

Keen to expand its range in the competitive toy market, Dieters needed to source high quality wooden parts. While Dieters knew that Eastern Europe offered the proximity, raw materials and manufacturing expertise they needed, the company required additional resources and knowledge to help them find the right supplier in the right country.

At this point Dieters turned to Katrin Glaser at their local Enterprise Europe Network office Industrie-und Handelskammer (IHK) Reutlingen. Being part of the world's largest support network for SMEs with international ambitions meant that Katrin was able to combine personal contacts with extensive technological outreach and ensure that Dieters' profile reached the right potential suppliers.

Slovenian supplier

After considering several expressions of interest, Dieters felt that Slovenian wood products company Casa Doma would be an ideal supplier. Like Dieters, Casa Doma had also turned to their local Network branch at the Maribor Development Agency (MDA) to help them grow faster. Here, Network expert Jolanda Damis had immediately spotted the partnership potential and ensured that Casa Doma reached Dieters' radar.

Soon after, the companies agreed to cooperate.

Natali Stein of Dieters says she's grateful to the Network for bringing the companies together. "Thanks to the Enterprise Europe Network, we easily found a partner that helps us to enhance our competitiveness," she says.

Primož Gršič of Casa Domo is equally satisfied, saying, "With help from the Enterprise Europe Network, we easily came in contact with the German company and expanded our business."