our management report

fundamentals of GFT and GFT group

Tradition meets forward-looking development: GFT relies on the successful model of the cooperative to strengthen and secure the position of the installer trade in the long term.

Cooperative as a Model of Success: For over 50 Years

When GFT was founded 50 years ago, independent telecommunications companies had the idea of using their own business enterprise to independently provide the purchasing, storage and distribution functions that were indispensable for their companies. They no longer wanted to be dependent on outsiders in the industry, but to exert influence on the telecommunications market themselves as a strong regulator. Cooperation in the legal form of a cooperative is the most suitable way to achieve this. In this form, self-administration and entrepreneurial self-determination are best realised within the framework of the legal mandate to promote. Today, GFT operates exclusively in the drop shipment business.

Extensive Service Portfolio for Members

The central business field is "central invoicing". GFT members purchase "in the name and for the account of GFT" from its more than 80 contract suppliers. GFT guarantees punctual payment to the contract suppliers, taking advantage of purchasing benefits (bonuses, discounts, etc.). In addition to central invoicing, GFT offers its members a wide range of commercial services to support them in their day-to-day business - in some cases via cooperation partners. These include banking, financial and insurance services, training and networking (GFT Academy), IT/data management services, corporate, tax and legal advice and numerous framework agreements, for example for car procurement.

The business model of GFT

Member Orientation and Representation

As part of its business model GFT also participates in representing the interests of its members through communication activities together with the VAF Bundesverband Telekommunikation e.V. This is done, for example, through the central negotiation of warranty agreements with the industry, the creation of uniform industry standards for commissioned data processing (in accordance with the DSGVO), the standardisation of so-called terms of conditions in accordance with known industry requirements, etc. As a cooperative, GFT has focused primarily on increasing the benefits for its members, the so-called "Member Value".

The Structure of GFT

The GFT Group includes a location in Hilden (headquarter) as well as the two subsidiaries IPnova AG, Hilden, and GFT Austria GmbH in Vienna-Schwechat. GFT eG assumes almost all central and administrative functions for its subsidiaries. These are essentially the areas of central invoicing, finance, IT and organisation. Furthermore, accounting, personnel management and the joint market presence fall under the umbrella of GFT eG. In addition to the core business of the GFT Group, GFT Austria GmbH will in future provide further services for members in Austria, such as the conclusion of framework agreements for member companies, legal support, as well as consulting, marketing and digital development services for member companies. IPnova AG, Hilden, has not yet commenced operational business activities.

Employees and Staff Structure

As in the previous financial year a positive trend can be seen with regard to the average length of service. At GFT eG this is 14 years. GFT is committed to training the next generation of employees. The trainee ratio was 9.0% in 2022.

As at 31st of December 2022, GFT had a total of 23 employees. The proportion of full-time employees as at 31 December 2022 was 84%. The proportion of part-time employees remained almost unchanged from the previous year at 16% (previous year: 17%).

GFT set up decentralized working facilities for all employees at an early stage when the pandemic began. To ensure a smooth transition from the office to their own four walls, GFT provided new hardware such as laptops, webcams and special communication software and access at short notice. Thus, uninterrupted work was possible and accessibility for our members was guaranteed at all times. In addition, staff were offered regular in-house SARS-CoV testing. As the pandemic subsided, mobile working continued. Staff now have the option of working from their home offices for up to two full days.

Reconciling Family and Career

For GFT corporate success is decisively based on a committed and strong team. An appreciative corporate culture and flexibility in individual problem-solving are important cornerstones for balancing family and career.

In Focus: Social Engagement for Schools

GFT supports the project "Pupils' cooperative - sustainable business, acting in solidarity" of the Cooperative Association - Association of Regions.

Student cooperatives are student-run companies run by students on their own responsibility in the form of a cooperative. Within the framework of the cooperative, they develop their own business ideas, organisational structures and work processes, write the business plan and develop the statutes of their school cooperative. They also develop products and/or services that can be sold both inside and outside the school.

In student cooperatives, students gain practical insight into how companies are founded and how they function. At the same time, they learn about the central cooperative values - democracy, sustainability and solidarity.

GFT has therefore signed a cooperation agreement to found the first student cooperative at the Freie Aktive Schule (FASW) in Wülfrath. GFT will support the pupils' cooperative together with the Genossenschaftsverband - Verband der Regionen e.V., which provides teaching and learning materials and is responsible for the annual cooperative examination, in all entrepreneurial matters as a cooperative partner in the founding and later active phase, in order to introduce the pupils to economic issues in practice at an early stage.

14 Years

is the average duration of employment.

since 1972 - 2022.

9,0 %

GFT trainee quota.

Cooperation with the "Freie Aktive Schule" in Wülfrath to establish a student cooperative