Looking to the future with vision and an innovative spirit
Getzner Textil’s success has always come down to courage, openness and curiosity – qualities that are crucial particularly in economically challenging times like these. In this interview, our Management Board looks back and ahead.
The expansion of the headquarters in Bludenz is a major investment in the future. What will there be room for in the future?
Roland Comploj: The expansion of the company is a significant strategic decision with an investment of 27 million euros. Over a period of two years, the project will see the construction of a production facility for the finishing area so we can update the machinery without losing any production capacity. The new facility will create the conditions for technological advances and continued moderate growth – such as positioning ourselves on the African market.
But that's not the only investment?
Hannes Tschofen: We are investing in cutting-edge production facilities and infrastructure to maintain our high standards and continue pursuing our clear growth strategy. In 2023 we not only put the extension to our high bay warehouse for finished goods into operation but also installed a new tenter frame to replace a model dating back to 1991. Aiming to reduce our manufacturing costs and boost internal expertise, we also invested in a new size cooker for technical yarns and connected up compressor stations in our technical weaving plant. We also upgraded and retrofitted 35 jacquard weaving machines to ensure we have sufficient capacities for the Africa BU.
The shortage of skilled workers is and will remain an ongoing issue for all industrial companies. How does Getzner Textil meet this challenge?
Comploj: Our employees are specialists in their fields. This expertise is a key aspect of our success and is actively promoted through apprenticeships, trainee programmes, working students, in-house training and second-chance education. Plus, we have pushed ahead with our employer branding – both in terms of our design work and how people see us outside the company – for example, with promotional materials on cable cars, ad banners and sponsoring for ‘Bludenz läuft’.
How is employee satisfaction promoted at Getzner Textil?
Comploj: Satisfied employees are an important concern for Getzner, which is why we once again used the "Gsund blieba" survey at our largest site with around 1,000 employees in Bludenz in autumn to give space to important topics such as physical and mental health. We promoted the survey with drinks bottles, which are now gradually being handed out at all the other locations as well. We have also taken another step that improves the balance between work and family life by opening our first nature-based nursery, Buntspechtle, which has nearly doubled the care options we offer.
Tschofen: Getzner Textil is a company that demonstrates a special commitment to health and safety at work, and this has now been officially confirmed with the presentation of the ‘safety and health at work’ award by AUVA, the ‘Austrian Workers C ompensation Board’.
Sustainability also plays a major role at Getzner Textil - what are the current projects here?
Martin Frick: Sustainability has always mattered at Getzner. In addition to hydroelectric power plants in the Getzner Group, we have long operated our own district heating system. The primary and nursery schools in Bludenz were also connected to the system this year. The output of the photovoltaic system planned for the roofs of the weaving plants in Bludenz and Gera will cover the energy requirements of 690 family homes, and twelve charging stations are currently being installed to meet our electric mobility needs. We are also working with the ‘Austrian Institute of Technology’ to create a decarbonisation plan aimed at reducing our carbon emissions.
And what about innovation?
Tschofen: We achieved many milestones in 2023, such as strengthening our innovation and research. While innovation management is stepping up its focus on trend scouting and megatrends over the next five to ten years, our research area is primarily looking at developing new processes – and the question of what this means for our business units. By teaming up with Optidry, we are taking a successful new direction in smart textile solutions starting this year and are marketing ready-made system solutions for monitoring damp for the first time. Another innovation is a new type of bi-elastic 3D web technology. This new product brand is called ‘getzspace’ and opens up endless possibilities for designers and product developers in everything from the textile industry to industrial applications.
In the picture: The Management Board of Getzner Textil AG (from left): CTO Hannes Tschofen, CEO Roland Comploj and CFO Martin Frick
Image credits: Marcel Hagen | studio22; Florian Kraler | flomotion