No matter how well a company is rooted in time and space, and no matter how large or small it is, changes should always be welcomed. That’s surely a difficult approach, but staying stuck in the past without seizing the opportunities that arise with new technologies comes with a risk: not being able to keep up and to inevitably get lost.
Pius Furter, owner of the Furter Schreinerei, a 132-year-old joinery based in Switzerland, has surely been able to adapt his business to changing times. In fact, he has brought his company online and taken advantage of the potential the web can offer, by connecting history, tradition and digitalization. A great challenge for sure, but luckily, Pius wasn’t alone during this journey: WebSite X5 helped him step by step create his website https://furter-schreinerei.ch/ !
Today, Pius will tell us all about his experience.
Hello Pius! Well, 132 is a pretty long time...where do we start?
I would start from 1889, the year when my great-grandfather started the joinery in Beromünster, in northern Switzerland. I am part of the fourth generation that since then has been managing the family business. We produce kitchens, furniture, fixtures and much more, both wholesale and retail. We are a 15-people team, and I am in charge of the administrative management, as well as of the customer advisory aspect and of operational and commercial planning. I have been working hard to get where I am now: apart from the basic carpentry training, I also attended further training courses until I became Schreinermeister, master joiner, which is the top level for this field in Switzerland.
What challenges did the company have to face, at least during its recent history?
Throughout the years, we surely had to adapt an historic company to changing times. Technically, the usage of modern production plants and an advanced planning infrastructure allowed us to diversify and widen our product range. We have also moved towards a more ecological and sustainable production: for instance, we tend to prefer working with Swiss wood and with regional partners, so to limit long road transport, and we employ hydropower as well as energy-friendly equipment.
Digitalization has been a challenge as well. We in fact felt the need to present our activities and our offers to a broader audience, which only the web could offer us. That’s why we needed to create a website.
And that’s how WebSite X5 kicks in. Let me put it this way: how did we meet?
Initially, I used another software, which worked completely differently and offered a lot fewer customization options. I then started looking for a more professional tool, because I wanted my website to be more modern and attractive. I noticed that specialized online portals always presented WebSite X5 with very positive reviews, so I started by testing the free version first. After a while I decided to switch to the Evo edition, which I then used to create my current website, furter-schreinerei.ch.
However, we could say that web design wasn’t really your cup of tea...
It surely wasn’t. In the beginning, I had to allow myself some time to really understand how the software worked, but after the first attempts I have been able to get very professional results. I in fact took advantage of all the different customization and configuration options, especially as far as the responsive is concerned. I also appreciated how easy it is to change texts and images to keep the website up-to-date.
Would you advise other entrepreneurs to create a website for their own business?
I think that having a website is a vital step for any company because it is both a good advertisement and a showcase for the business as well. We intend it as a true showroom that we can use to present our products as well as our project and team to a worldwide audience of potential customers. And we report some interesting facts, too. For instance, we often welcome apprentices, so they can complete their training with us, and when someone finally reaches the goal, we write about it on our website. In this way, we can keep our customers up-to-date on our company life, the perfect way to create a bond with them.
According to your experience, would you recommend WebSite X5?
I already did and I would do it again! Not only I used WebSite X5 to build the company website, but I also used it to create the website for a colleague’s organization. In my case, WebSite X5 helped me get many daily visits, I have a better chance of gaining new customers, and this is an opportunity no one should ever miss, that’s for sure.