Establishment 1958

In 1958, Claus W. Hess founded his business consulting company in Mannheim. The business idea: functional industrial planning , which was to be offered as a complementary service alongside traditional business areas such as architecture, structural design  and technical building equipment in industrial construction.



A new partnership

Together with his later partner Hermann Vischer, Claus W. Hess brought the necessary technical expertise into his team in 1964 and the business idea took off. Functional industrial planning was a sought-after service during the reconstruction of war-damaged factory buildings and the new buildings required by the “Wirtschaftswunder”, also known as the Miracle of the Rhine.

Black and white picture with the two founders of io

Claus W. Hess and Hermann Vischer (from left)

Revolution high-bay warehouse

Largely unnoticed by industry and the public, the first half of the 1960s saw a "great moment in logistics": the Europe-wide unification and standardization of a load carrier into the "Euro-Pool-Pallet". This standardization allowed new ways in material flow and warehouse technology and created the basis for i+o's first breakthrough: the organization and planning of the first high-bay warehouse for Beiersdorf AG in Hamburg.


I can't say that the Beiersdorf warehouse designed by i+o was the first high-bay warehouse in the Federal Republic of Germany and neighboring Central European countries, but it was certainly one of the first.

Picture of the former management Hermann F. Vischer
Hermann F. Vischer Co-founder of io
Black and white picture of an architect's meeting

Working as a team: Rainer Randel, Hermann Vischer, Hans Füller and Albertus Bujard (from left).

Further development

At the same time, new, international standards for the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products were emerging - these encouraged the development of a further business area and the founding of Pharma Consult GmbH.



Planning “Germany’s largest washing machine”

The acquisition of Foodplan AG opened its other mainstay of i+o, food & catering planning. In addition to food supply, i+o expanded its planning activities to include the entire hospital supply center, which includes the large-scale laundromat. This led to the pilot project of a highly automated central laundromat for all Hamburg hospitals at the Eppendorf University Hospital.


Employees of a large laundry standing on the assembly line and sorting sheets

The industrial laundry supplied six hospitals with fresh laundry.


World market leader in the planning of in-flight catering facilities

With Sky Chefs in the USA, i+o begins its activities in the planning of highly complex in-flight catering facilities at airports. This is followed by well-known customers worldwide such as British Airways, SAS, Swiss Air, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Korean Air.


Establishment of i+o Informationssysteme GmbH

In 1983, i+o Informationssysteme GmbH was founded together with Dr. Ing. Arndt Westernacher. Westernacher developed software for IBM computers in Karlsruhe and was to take i+o further in the field of information technology.



Southeast Asia as an important hub

With the aim of opening up new markets in Southeast Asia, we opened our Singapore location in 1996. As the expansion of the Southeast Asian airports was pending, we had already been recognized as a neutral, independent specialist planner for the catering industry. As a result, we also received planning orders from Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Hong Kong and China.


i+o moves to larger premises

The steady growth requires a move to the Römerstraße in Heidelberg.



Europe’s largest high-bay warehouse in Bremen

Planning and realization of the largest fully automated high-bay warehouse to date with 132,000 pallet spaces for Tchibo, operated by Bremer Lagerhausgesellschaft (BLG). German Logistics Award of the BVL for Tchibo GmbH (2004).


Opening of our location in Bethlehem, PA, USA

After numerous, successful projects on the US market, we decided in 2006 to open a local office in the USA in order to be able to provide the best possible services for our local customers.


Opening of our office in Dubai

Our focus In Dubai is on in-flight catering facilities, food factories, logistics facilities, hotels and hospitals for which we design intralogistics and the entire supply chain including central kitchens and laundries.



Foundation of our location in Hong Kong

io-consultants (Hong Kong) Co. Limited was founded in 2013 to coordinate the project business in China. The responsible contact person is Tan Hang Seong from the Singapore office.


New branding: io-consultants and groundbreaking move

In 2013, we uniformly operated under the io-consultants brand worldwide. In the same quarter, we moved into the newly built passive house development in the Heidelberg Bahnstadt.


Two new locations

With the offices in Munich (2017, left picture) and Dortmund (2019, right picture), two new locations were added in a short time.


Foundation io-DigitalSolutions

In October 2018, we founded the new SAP consulting company io-DigitalSolutions GmbH, which offers comprehensive solutions for the optimization and digitalization of the supply and value chain. io-DigitalSolutions is a 100% subsidiary of io-consultants and emerges from the SAP and IT division of io-consultants and the SAP consulting company ParCon Consulting, which was founded in 1997.



New site in Poland

In 2021, the site in Lódz, Poland was established.


Re-branding io

We introduce the new brand "io" for a worldwide uniform appearance and to consolidate our consulting and planning services.