"They travel on the path of time which they neither create nor determine, but which they can navigate more or less skillfully."
Historian Paul Kennedy wrote this in 'The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Powers' about nations, but the same principle holds true for institutions or companies shaped and led by people. Strategy is and always has been about being ready to handle the road ahead. Its goal is to develop potential for success tomorrow by doing preliminary work and investing in future courses of action today.
It always starts with the inspiration of a visionary idea. When this idea is combined with the courage to make decisions, the future becomes possible. Ultimately, the success of strategic decisions to do or deliberately not do something depends on how firmly the decisions are implemented.
Given the long history of Achenbach, it is clear that the people at the helm of the company have been willing time and again to make decisions to secure its future. In retrospect, these decisions were keys in ensuring the firm's evolution into the Achenbach Buschhutten of today – a global high-tech machinery and engineering company.
The past five and a half centuries can be divided into the following distinct eras, reflecting the industrial evolution of Siegerland, also known as the Iron Country, one of Germany's oldest industrial regions.