Technology

Computers become the norm

IBM 3340
IBM 3340
Courtesy of International Business Machines Corporation, © International Business Machines Corporation.

When Jürgen Gelf set up his own company at the end of the 1970s, computers had already begun to make inroads into many workplaces. They were mostly permanently installed systems: computing and storage units with cooling systems. The first machines sold and leased by CHG were the IBM 3340 magnetic disk drive model, monitors such as the IBM 3277 and the Nixdorf 620 data collection system. Customers were small and medium-sized enterprises, mostly local or from elsewhere in southern Germany, such as the Walz mail-order company, sewing machine manufacturer Pfaff, automotive suppliers Mahle and ZF, and Weishaupt, a manufacturer of fuel technology.

CHG's own IT systems

The first computer of CHG a Commodore 8296 D.
The first computer of CHG a Commodore 8296 D.

From 1981 CHG used an IBM System/32 that was housed in the former guest room in the basement of the Gelf family home – along with the programmers. Jürgen Gelf was himself a programmer, trained at IBM, and a great technophile. He was using digitized systems for lease, address, and inventory management at a time when most of his competitors only had index cards and suspension files. Invoices for the leased equipment were printed out via a Commodore 8296D linked to an IBM printer with tractor-feed paper. When the company moved into its own new building in 1986, all the workstations were equipped with their own monitors, which were hooked up to the central IBM computer. In the mid-1990s the company switched to PCs.

PC networks replace mainframe systems

IBM 3340
IBM 3340
Courtesy of International Business Machines Corporation, © International Business Machines Corporation.

At the end of the 1980s the cost of IT equipment began to fall sharply. More and more companies began replacing their mainframe systems with distributed solutions, i.e. PCs. The speed of technical progress accelerated and equipment was replaced with new, more powerful versions at ever shorter intervals. All of this demanded more intensive customer service and remarketing activities. Since the mid-1990s CHG‑MERIDIAN has increasingly focused on long-term customer relationships, entering into framework agreements and expanding its range of services.

TESMA®

Since 2004 customers and CHG-MERIDIAN can share access to the technology and service platform TESMA®.
Since 2004 customers and CHG-MERIDIAN can share access to the technology and service platform TESMA®.

In 1999 the company developed and launched its first asset management system, an IT system for using customer-relevant lease schedule information. In 2004 this system was expanded to become TESMA® Online. TESMA® stands for technology and service management. This web-based communication, planning, and administration platform gives CHG‑MERIDIAN and its customers access to a shared data pool for each item of equipment. The datasets include both commercial and technical information. A new version of TESMA® was released in 2016.

CHG‑MERIDIAN – technological diversification

CHG-MERIDIAN funded medical equipment.
CHG-MERIDIAN funded medical equipment.

Since 2011 CHG‑MERIDIAN has been strengthening its involvement in various technology sectors. In 2004 it bought a stake in the French company Finexis Medical SAS. Local involvement in healthcare has been extended. In 2014 CHG-MERIDIAN invested more than €30 million in medical equipment for customers in Europe and North America.

Production line for car body, since 2011 in the portfolio of CHG-MERIDIAN.
Production line for car body, since 2011 in the portfolio of CHG-MERIDIAN.

And since 2011 the company has provided financing and portfolio management of high-value industrial capital assets such as production lines for vehicle bodies. These two sectors have now joined CHG-MERIDIAN's traditional core competence, information technology, to become the three pillars of its business.

 

Read more about the expansion strategy of CHG-MERIDIAN here