Interview: A word from the Editor
"Swiss made is a second brand that complements our own brand"
FELCO is very attached to the concept of Swiss quality. At a time where Swiss regulations have just evolved, Christophe Nicolet, CEO of the Geneveys-sur-Coffrane based brand, details the issues.
On June 21, the Swiss Parliament adopted the new Swiss regulations. What are they and how do they concern FELCO?
Swiss regulations reflect the willingness of the Swiss Government to better protect companies who manufacture high added value products produced in Switzerland. For industrial products, the added value must be greater than 60% in order to obtain the right to display "Swiss made"or use attributes such as the Swiss cross.
For FELCO, not much will change within our production plant. 90% of our manual pruning shears come from the Watch Valley. And the remaining 10%, whether components or raw materials, are sourced from the European Union. For our assisted range, the proportion is also high: more than 70%.
The interest of strengthening advocated by Swissness, is to help companies like ours to defend against unfair competition which tend to mislead the customer by using names very similar to Swiss-made, or by using the Swiss flag for example.
So it’s a real "advantage"for FELCO?
Yes, we realize that the Swiss made is a second brand that complements the FELCO brand. Swiss made is a guarantee of quality. And our challenge is to continue to and always provide irreproachable quality. This label is of course not sufficient for the success of a company like ours and the control of manufacturing costs remains a priority.
Hence our constant efforts in this area. We do this because we have not increased our prices in 2013 despite the rise of the Swiss Franc. This notably required making changes in our production plant.
To cite but one example: the manufacture of our counter blades. Up to the present four different machines were required. At present, we are able to manufacture them using a single operation managed by a unique machining center, without any transition from one machine to another, with a gain of 20% on the factory cost of this component.
Let’s talk about the future, and 2014 which is close approaching...
We remain faithful to our tradition, on the constant pursuit of the quality of our products. Specific effort will be directed on the proposal of innovations for the products in our manual range.
In this issue of FELCO Passion, you can also read a review of new products, including the multi-handles. You will see the real ergonomic progress they provide, but I will let Denis Tièche, our Technical Director, tell you about it!