Interview with Mr Rolf Strebel

Mr Rolf Strebel
Mr Rolf Strebel
Staubli Group
Staubli Group

Originally founded as a small workshop in Horgen/Zurich in 1892, today, Stäubli introduces itself as an international group- a pioneer mechatronics solution provider with three dedicated divisions: textile machinery, connectors and robotics. The textile machinery division of Staubli is one of the world's leading manufacturers of high speed textile machinery for weaving industry covering entire range; from frame weaving to Jacquard machines, carpet systems, weaving preparation and accessories such as harnesses and frames. Headquartered in Pfäffikon, Switzerland, and backed with synergy of over 3000 employees, the company generates yearly turnover surpassing 1 billion Swiss francs. Mr Rolf Strebel, CEO Stäubli Group, joined the Stäubli textile division after finishing his studies in mechanical engineering and textile processing. Initially, he was appointed as a sales manager and was later promoted to Head of Textile Division. In 2006, he took over the responsibilities as CEO of the Group. In a dialogue with Face2Face team, Mr Rolf Strebel divulges pivotal information on Asian textile machinery markets and its demands.

Dealing in diversified fields like textile machinery, connectors and robotics, how has Staubli re-engineered itself over the century of its rich history?

Since its foundation in the year 1892 as manufacturer of shedding machinery Stäubli has permanently expanded its activities. Over many decades the expansion was mainly geographical in order to cover the market of textile machinery worldwide. In the middle of last century Stäubli entered into the connectors business, and in 1983 the robotics division became the third field of activities within the group. Today the three division act globally with total of over 3,000 employees worldwide.

In textile machinery business, what niche has Staubli carved out in global markets?

Stäubli is a leading manufacturer in shedding machinery systems that include cam motions and dobbies as well as electronic jacquard machines for any kind of applications. We are also the first address for weaving preparation products such as automatic drawing-in systems, warp tying and warp leasing machines. Besides this our group member Schönherr provides carpet weaving systems for weaving face-to-face carpets.

What is your view on Asian textile machinery markets and its demands?

Asian textile machinery markets are for us very important markets and will remain so in future. The demands to performance and quality will continue to rise, and without any doubt Stäubli will provide products that fulfill the requirements of its customers in the area. However, other markets in Europe and the Americas continue to be essential for globally acting textile machinery suppliers.

After-sales is one area that a customer needs to be careful about while purchasing any machinery, how does Staubli offers better services over its competitors? Can you quote some examples where unmatched services of Staubli have come for special mention under the most excruciating/critical circumstances?

Stäubli’s customer service quality is outstanding, and is part of our strategy. Convincing facts to say so is our worldwide network of business units for sales and after sales support in all major markets, unbeaten by any competitor. Our subsidiaries in the Far East, be it in China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan, some with several offices in the area, demonstrate closeness to customers and their requests. Stäubli has always proved to actively support its customers to find best solutions for their requests.

In terms of man-spares movement, what operational systems do you employ for overall optimization in terms of services?

Our internal system for the registration of our installation base with customers, and to follow-up support requests for any case helps a lot to efficiently handle our worldwide services. The use of such systems lays primarily in an improved product and service quality rather than reducing manpower.

What marketing challenges do you encounter when competing in low cost and low budget markets?

Low cost budgets can definitely not be satisfied with low price products of minor quality! Stäubli has put a great deal of effort into products adapted to the users’ requests and performance thus optimizing the cost of manufacturing and logistics. One concrete measure we have taken is the creation of the manufacturing unit in China as early as 1997 offering products for the local area, and this not only in the textile field.

Published on: 24/12/2007

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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