From a Swiss family business to an international corporation
Elfriede Wenger and Hans Luginbühl have been part of the Angst+Pfister family for decades, and likewise, Angst+Pfister a part of them. In conversation, they described what it is that makes Angst+Pfister special and how challenges were mastered, both in the past and today, to secure the future of Angst+Pfister and the growth of the international corporation.
At the start of the chat, Elfi showed us an old company guide, which over 50 years ago was handed out to new Angst+Pfister employees and designed to get them off to a good start in the company. Values such as commitment,
performance focus, teamwork and respect formed the basis of the company culture. These values have endured to this day, and only recently been updated in line with current market requirements for release of the new company strategy at the start of 2019.
Our number one focus always was, and continues to be, the customer. Then, as today, the first priority was to provide the customer with the best possible service from consultation right through to delivery. First and foremost this entails providing an added-value solution for the customer that meets the highest of technological and quality standards. The great variety of customer testimonials on a huge range of projects – national and international – is evidence that again and again challenge is met with success in projects that extend from high-tech engineering solutions to customized standard components.
In the entire history of the company, one competency in particular has stood out, is still emphasised by customers, and has become a kind of hallmark. And that is the unfailing flexible, courteous and very personal type of customer consultation offered, something that nowadays can no longer be taken for granted.
Angst+Pfister originally dealt only in technical components. The product offering was continually extended and updated in line with customer requirements. For example, shortly after WWII, fluoroplastic was introduced to the product range, only one of many innovations. Starting in 1944, in early recognition of the signs of globalisation, the company expanded, establishing sales offices in the major European countries. In order to fully meet the requirements of customers, in 1987 the visionary Hans-Jürg Angst introduced a fully automated European Logistic Centre near to the German border – a further innovation, and for Angst+Pfister the opportunity to expand the scope of logistics services in supply chain management.
Solid foundations were thereby laid. Shortly after, it became clear that a fundamental change in strategy was needed to keep pace with the increasingly challenging requirements posed by the then, and future, markets. It was a question of having the resources in place to be able to adapt to the constantly changing challenges, without losing sight of who we are or where we came from. Initiated by Christof Domeisen, CEO and Delegate of the Board of Directors, who joined the company over 15 years ago, the necessary radical strategy adaptation was implemented.
Angst+Pfister evolved from a purely commercial enterprise to an international, digitalised company with a comprehensive value creation strategy. Its engineering service was established and production integrated. Further, a unifying company culture was created, built on the basis of the different companies in different countries. Each location was able to develop independently, so that the global group could profit internationally from national strengths and potential.
Today, this is a tried-and-tested recipe for success, rooted in the core values of the company. It is said that companies consist of people who develop and live a common cultural code together. The culture we wish for as a group is defined by values that we share and the way we live those values.
After the turn of the millennium followed the opening of strategic sites in China, and in 2006 the takeover of Pewatron resulting in expansion of the product range to include sensors.
Since 2013, Angst+Pfister Advanced Technical Solutions (previously LASPAR) with headquarters in Bursa, Turkey has been the new main production location for antivibration and sealing components of the Angst+Pfister Group. It is adjoined by a high-tech research and development centre that in 2016 was recognised by the Turkish Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology.
Another important step into the future was taken in 2016 with the conclusion of a strategic alliance with the company TSF S.p.A of Italy, the global leader in the development and manufacture of high-tech compounds, because as experience has demonstrated, the performance of a sealing or antivibration solution is highly dependent on the specific rubber compound. As such, Angst+Pfister entered the new and promising field of high-tech compounding and now produces several high-performance elastomer compounds (PERTEC®) for a range of industries. This area of high-tech sealing solutions was consolidated by Angst+Pfister in 2018 with the additional acquisition of MCM (Italy) and OL Seals (Denmark). This dynamic development will continue to be a focus in the future.
The Angst+Pfister family
Finally, there is an aspect that needs to be emphasised again, and that is one that over all the years has been, and still is, a factor central to success. And this is the international company culture that has allowed Angst+Pfister to become the Angst+Pfister family – and has led to communication that is profitable in every respect, both globally and reaching beyond country and language barriers. “We communicate, listen and bring in different cultural perspectives,” summarises Hans Luginbühl. Collaboration has resulted in a guarantee for the best possible service provision for the customer at the global level.
A small Zurich family business has become an international company – with a collective finger on the pulse of current technology – providing its customers with the best possible performance for their requirements.
published: Aug 31, 2020, 2:13:00 PM by: Angst+Pfister Group