Interview • 24.01.2014

Stronger by joining forces. How do customers stand to benefit?

Interview with Johann Weber, CEO of Zollner Elektronik AG

Stronger by joining forces. How do customers stand to benefit?...
Source: Höft & Wessel

Höft & Wessel does not build its terminals, handhelds, etc. all by itself. The Hannover-based company relies on strong partners like Zollner Elektronik AG from Bavaria/Germany. How does their co-operation work, and how do customers stand to benefit from the system? Questions addressed to Johann Weber, CEO of Zollner.

Mr Weber, how much Zollner is inside Höft & Wessel?

At present, we're building the ticketing terminal almex.station, for instance. The development work is carried out by the thinkers at Höft & Wessel; we provide support with implementation all the way through to serial production. The two sides supplement each other ideally.

How long have you been working together?

We've been partners for 15 years now. I use the word 'partner' deliberately because our relationship meanwhile extends far beyond typical customer relations. Over the years a relationship of trust and confidence has evolved from which everyone actually benefits.

Zollner Elektronik AG has developed into one of the world's largest electronic manufacturing service providers. What exactly do you do?

We manufacture electronic devices for our customers. However, you will never find our name on the goods we produce. In fact, we don't have a single product marketed in our own name. Instead, we accompany our customer's product across its entire life cycle, from development and serial production all the way through to after-sales service. We cover the entire spectrum. "Solutions for your ideas" is what we call this end-to-end approach.

What's the secret of your success?

A universal selling point in relation to our market companions - that's what we like to call our competitors - is that we have always relied on organic growth on our own steam, without the need for any corporate acquisitions. Zollner Elektronik AG supplies both high volume, low mix (high unit numbers with a low number of type variations) and low volume, high mix (low unit numbers in many type variants). Moreover, our company is very broadly positioned. The only field in which we are not engaged is entertainment electronics.

In what ways does the partnership with Höft & Wessel make a difference?

A long and loyal co-operative venture of this kind always ensures product improvements. The much cited concept of sustainability applies in this context in the very best sense of the word. It's fun to collaborate with such an innovative enterprise. Did you know that the invention of Höft & Wessel's skeye.pad de facto was a precursor to the tablet PCs that are so popular today? And how do customers stand to benefit from this partnership?We're big and strong, efficient, and international. This means that the customers have an immense level of certainty that the product will be reliably delivered in accordance with their ideas. However, we can only do that with the expertise of Höft & Wessel. We're the executing service providers of the ideas supplied from Hannover. In fact, it's a triple win situation for all parties involved.

What do you wish for the future?

We would like to continue working with Höft & Wessel on a sustainable basis. The task of our partner is to identify which products the market is going to need in the next several years. Our task is to prepare for the technologies in demand from time to time. In other words, it's not enough merely to answer the questions our customers may have.

What's the answer then?

Well, we keep establishing more networks, for instance with universities, so as not to be surprised by unexpected, fast market developments as they unfold. There weren't any smartphones around ten years ago. Today, phoning is just one of the many and various functions of these mobile devices. I'm quite certain that we're going to see further rapid changes and innovations.

Interview: Höft & Wessel

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