Member of the Month

“The most important thing is being able to change the strategy fast when needed”

Member of the month October 2020 – WM Thermoforming Machines SA

The Ticino based company WM Thermoforming Machines SA, specialized in manufacturing thermoforming machines to produce plastic packaging for the food industry, has an impressive export share of 99%. Luca Oliverio, Sales Director, gives an insight into their international business.

WM Thermoforming Machines SA

WM Thermoforming Machines SA offer a wide range of thermoforming machines for food packaging, including machines that start from semifinished material in rolls for customers who need flexibility, as well as extrusion lines for complete automated production islands for customer who look for mass production and cost reduction. The family business can look back on 40 years of experience in the industry. 

Mr. Oliverio, what are your most important export markets and why?
We have a long and successful export history with Middle East and Europe, but Asia and North America are now the regions with the most interesting growth opportunities.

What challenges do you have to face in these markets?
One of the most decisive challenges regard the relation between automation and operator skills. Developing a sophisticated automated system which is also easy to use is a very important feature for our customers and a main focus for us.
Another significant challenge involves the extension of our range of application. An extensive mould matching that allows to use tooling from other platforms and entering niche markets are very important steps in this direction.

What were your biggest learning experiences during the internationalization process?
You can never be prepared enough. It is wise to prepare your strategy, but the most important thing is being able to change it fast when needed.

Where do you see your export opportunities for the future?
In 2019 we signed a distributor agreement in the US, and we are now working closely with our partner to build a powerful team and increase our presence in the market. Japan is a country where we haven’t established our presence yet, but we are preparing our strategy.

To what extent has Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) helped you succeed?

The support of S-GE is very valuable for us when participating in international trade fairs under the umbrella brand of the SWISS Pavilion (f.e. at the Chinaplas in China and Interpack in Germany).

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