We are Gallus – Wolfgang Merz
Wolfgang Merz has taken on the role of VP Sales & Marketing in the business unit Labels for half a year. With his strong technical and business management background, Wolfgang has a great deal of experience in international project business and in sales and marketing management for technically complex products.
VP Sales & Marketing, Labels division
Degree in engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich)
Executive MBA at the University of St. Gallen
Commissioning Engineer and Project Manager for steam power plants (ABB Kraftwerke), 3 years
Project Manager / Area Sales Manager for rail projects (Schweizerische Lokomotiv- und Maschinenfabrik), 7 years
Head of Sales for high-pressure water hydraulics (Hydrowatt), 3 years
Product Manager and Head of Sales for IT-based maintenance management (Enotrac), 4 years
Chief Marketing Officer, cable processing solutions (Schleuniger Holding), 5 years
Travel, photography, sport (mountain biking, skiing, swimming)
Married with two children
You took over as VP Sales & Marketing in the Labels division at the beginning of October 2010. How would you describe your first half-year in your new role?
The company has changed a great deal during this period. When I arrived, the new divisional structure was being introduced. The Labels division now has a function-oriented organisation that is not tied to a specific location. We are currently introducing very customer and job-specific processes that will enable us to complete customer projects even faster, more efficiently and more cost-effectively. At the same time, we are strengthening our position in key markets and expanding the sales and service expertise we offer in the emerging markets.
Can you describe an average day as VP Sales & Marketing?
There is no average day – every day is different, whether it involves internal cooperation, contact with our sales partners or visiting customers. There is one constant feature, though – the thrill of sharing and developing values and creating new ones with people inside and outside the company and across all cultural groups.
How do you meet the tough quality demands of customers and Gallus in your day-to-day work?
Customers with a Gallus press enjoy a certain standing in the industry and are themselves able to meet their own customers' high quality requirements. It goes without saying that the Gallus brand really means something in the world of label printing. Every day, we need to re-establish and confirm the values that go with this – when developing innovative solutions for our customers, producing high-precision parts or performing fault-free press installation, and during day-to-day contact with our customers and cooperation with our partners. It is very important to me to ensure that these quality requirements are always transparent in the Sales & Marketing department's day-to-day work, that I set an example to my team and that I challenge them.
How do you ensure you remain creative and at the cutting edge in your day-to-day work?
One of the main things that spurs me on is my desire to understand values and motivations and to find the right questions to ask for a particular task. This mostly lends itself to creative solutions, but ensuring we are aware of these solutions is a daily challenge. This creates an environment in which we can identify innovation on both a large and small scale – innovation that enables Gallus to continue developing in its role as market leader.
What do you see as your greatest challenges?
From my many discussions with potential customers, I know that many would love to have a Gallus press but are not able to for a variety of reasons. Although Gallus is successfully established as the market leader in the high-end segment, many market players are unaware that we also offer highly profitable production resources for the entry-level and commodity segments. These include established success stories such as the Gallus ECS 340 and Gallus EM 280 series, especially in fiercely competitive emerging markets.
By daring to go it alone, every entrepreneur in our sector has already demonstrated courage and a willingness to take risks. Investing in a Gallus press is a relatively small risk by comparison. Customers taking this risk and looking to ensure the successful and profitable operation of their Gallus press can rely on the many years of printing and service experience and expertise that Gallus has to offer. This gives them a clear competitive edge over the total life cycle. One of my biggest challenges is persuading new Gallus customers to take this step like many before them have done to great success.
How do you switch off? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Things like an inquiring mind can't simply be switched off. I do, however, consciously try to channel this curiosity, both at work and in my daily life. I regularly find time to relax and recharge my batteries – when I'm with family, friends or acquaintances, doing some form of sport or travelling for business or pleasure – until, that is, my curiosity kicks in again and I feel the need to discover something new.back