What would be your idea of a traditional manufacturing company in the orthopaedic shoe sector? You might be picturing a small workshop with traditional tools on the workbench, a sewing machine, a device for grinding and polishing, with scraps of material scattered around the working platform and a pervasive smell of leather, rubber and glue. But Indorf Orthopädie-Schuhtechnik GmbH & Co. KG in Bremerhaven quickly exposes any such notions as lazy clichés. Rolf Indorf and his son Tim have set a course for growth and future success with a new building, new services, and new, ergonomic production methods.
On 8 June 2018, the two orthopaedic master shoemakers celebrated the opening of their new premises at Rudloffstrasse 64 together with their ten employees and a number of guests. The building offers around 450 square metres of floorspace, with a reception area, workshops, store rooms, offices and staff areas. “This new building is helping us make the company fit for the next 81 years,” says Tim Indorf, in reference to the origins of the company, which was founded in Bremerhaven in 1937. Indorf acquired the municipal site, which covers just over 1,700 square metres, for its new building with the help of BIS Bremerhavener Gesellschaft für Investitionsförderung und Stadtentwicklung mbH. Together with BAB – the development bank for Bremen and Bremerhaven – BIS was also able to further support the investment project by accessing subsidies from the LIP 2014 regional investment programme. “Bremeninvest, the BAB and Weser-Elbe Sparkasse savings bank all supported us greatly with help and advice. The whole thing was seamless,” reports Tim Indorf approvingly as he looks back on the collaborative efforts of all those involved. Indorf supplies and makes orthopaedic shoes, offers adaptation of mass-produced shoes (incl. safety shoes) and insoles, and also provides shoe repairs. The range of products and services has been carefully planned and is clearly defined. “Our advantage is that we do not need to maintain an online shop. Our products are handmade, but we do not offer traditional bespoke shoemaking either. With our shoes, there is always an orthopaedic element involved. However, we do supply a lot of sportspeople with suitable shoes,” says Tim Indorf as he explains the company’s philosophy.