Edition 40 / December 2014

We are Gallus – Niklaus Amacker

After successfully completing his high school exams in Switzerland and doing a one-year internship in an advertising agency, Niklaus Amacker studied for a degree in tourism in Graubünden. Immediately after that, he entered the world of international marketing in a global milling machine manufacturer. After a number of years in the insurance industry, he joined Gallus Ferd. Rüesch AG in 2010 as head of Corporate Communications. He has been working for Gallus as Area Sales Manager in Latin America since 2014.

Name:

Niklaus Amacker

Position:

Area Sales Manager Latin America

Education:

- International Diploma in Strategic Marketing with Merit, University of Cambridge
- Executive MBA  with focus on International Marketing, Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences, Zurich
- Marketing Specialist with Advanced Federal Certificate of Higher VET
- College of professional education and training degree in tourism, Academia Engiadina
- Swiss Federal Maturity Type B (with Latin)

Career:

After completing high school, a one year internship in an advertising agency and a degree in tourism, I joined the international marketing department of global milling machine manufacturer StarragHeckert. After spending nearly four years working as a market communications manager for Europe-wide Swiss insurance group Helvetia, I returned to the international mechanical engineering industry in 2010 when I became head of Corporate Communications at Gallus. I was in charge of all communication and marketing tasks at Gallus for a good three years. In particular, that included organising and supervising participation in trade fairs worldwide, designing and providing sales tools and documents, maintaining and expanding Gallus’ online presence, maintaining and developing CI/CD, internal and external communications including PR work, and various activities in international industry associations and committees. I took over as Area Sales Manager Latin America on 1 January 2014 and am responsible for the sale of Gallus machines across the whole of Latin America.

Hobbies:

Travel, skiing in winter, hiking in the mountains in summer, reading historical novels

Family:

Very happily settled with my girlfriend Barbara

Can you describe an average day as Area Sales Manager?

On top of the huge amount of travel involved in supporting and acquiring customers in an area stretching for over 10,000 kilometres from Mexico to Argentina, there are a lot of administrative tasks and coordination. I have to work closely with the team at the headquarters in St. Gallen to ensure our customers and the relevant Gallus dealers receive a prompt, expert service. I focus on the entire service chain, ranging from speaking directly to customers to determine their precise requirements and putting together quotes and contracts to production planning, delivery and then machine installation and training at customers’ premises. Success and security for the labelprinter is our constant motto, and we make sure we live up to that promise each and every day. That applies not just in our dealings with the customers, but also with our co-workers – after all, working as a team is the only way we can all enjoy lasting success.

How do you meet the tough quality demands of customers and Gallus in your day-to-day work?

Quality begins with the individual. To fulfil the customers’ high quality requirements, I apply the same high standards to my own work and that of my colleagues. I put customer needs at the heart of my day-to-day work. It’s essential to stick to prearranged schedules and agreements. For me, transparency, honesty and trustworthiness are the foundations of successful cooperation as partners. In direct discussions with customers, it’s important to clarify their needs precisely and check if they are feasible. I maintain a strong service mentality to ensure customers are offered the best possible service, projects are implemented rapidly and to the customers’ complete satisfaction, and that customers feel well looked after by Gallus. I firmly believe in being a man of my word.

How do you ensure you remain creative and at the cutting edge in your day-to-day work?

For me, direct conversations with customers are the greatest source of creativity and innovation. Customer feedback doesn’t come from the mentally limited confines of a machine factory and shed light on things from outside, without taking into account internal structures and processes. This unfiltered input from customers who use our machines as a means of production or a way to satisfy the needs of their customers – mainly branded goods manufacturers – is what drives me to integrate this valuable feedback proactively at Gallus and thus encourage continuous innovation. Acting in partnership can lead to new and better things, and we make progress by working with customers as a team. It’s really very simple – if our customers are doing well, Gallus is doing well.
I also like to read trade magazines for inspiration. As well as that, I find interesting approaches in magazines from other industries and trying to transfer these models to the labels sector often produces good ideas.

I also find it helpful to ask “Why?”, “What if?” and “How?”. Looking for the answers to these questions frequently creates a dynamic that results in creative, innovative solutions.

What do you see as your greatest challenges?

As I mentioned earlier, Latin America stretches for a distance of over 10,000 kilometres and the vast size of the region automatically poses a number of challenges. A lot of travel is unavoidable to ensure I can visit all existing and potential customers on a fairly regular basis. The long transport routes are often very arduous and the infrastructure isn’t always the best – that has to be considered when installing machines, for example.

It is also important to think about the cultural differences between Latin America and Europe. Coming from Switzerland, it’s definitely a challenge to learn the way people behave and think in Latin America, and it’s not always easy. But by being open and having a positive attitude with no preconceived ideas, it is possible to find your way into a wonderful, welcoming new world, gain a whole host of new experiences and really develop as a person. Despite linguistic similarities, there are also huge cultural differences within Latin America itself. When travelling and meeting customers in Latin America, it is therefore essential to be able to adapt and adjust, and show flexibility, tolerance and patience, not forgetting a healthy dose of humour.

How do you switch off? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I like to relax out of doors by hiking, skiing or going a nice ride on my bicycle. In the evenings, I love to enjoy culinary specialities from all sorts of countries – often cooked by my own fair hand –along with a good glass of red wine and interesting conversation. I like reading historical novels and biographies of intriguing people. The last one was about Bear Grylls, who has become well known following his survival documentaries that have been broadcast all over the world. If I ever have trouble switching off, I find one of his ultimate survival tips really helpful: “Always keep your eyes on the next step ahead, never look down.”


back
Share |