Member of the Month

"S-GE's relationships have been of great benefit to us"

Member of the month October 2021 - Sistag AG

Sistag manufactures industrial valves and operates nationally and internationally, with headquarters in Eschenbach, Switzerland. In this interview, the Managing Director of Sistag, Samuel Sidler, provides insight into the export business and the challenges involved.

Sistag AG

As a Swiss family business, Sistag has been setting standards in the national and international valve market since 1964. Its product brand "Wey" is recognized worldwide and protected internationally. The reputation of their Wey products is based on exceptional functionality and process reliability, ease of maintenance and durability. Their products are used in a wide variety of industries all over the world: In mining, in the paper or food industry, in wastewater treatment, biogas or chemical plants, and in numerous other areas of application. 

The company is headquartered in Eschenbach, where its roots have been since it was founded. Since 1987, Sistag has served the U.S. market with its own manufacturing facility, Wey Valve Inc. In 1997, an additional location was created in Germany. A sales team in Muggensturm serves the market from the office and in the field. Furthermore, more than 100 sales partners around the world bring the quality of the products and services closer to customers.

Mr. Sidler, what is the inspiration or idea behind your company?
We design quality based on a deep understanding of what moves people - out of respect for them and their needs. Our goal is to gain new insights and develop new solutions together with all those involved in the project. And it doesn't matter in which country or in which industry our customers are at home. 

What are your most important export markets and why?
With regard to Switzerland as a production location, the most important export market is Europe. In Europe, Germany is the most important market, where we have had our own sales organization since 1997. In the European area, there is a general understanding when it comes to quality products. What's more, various industries are located here, for which a quality shut-off valve is essential for their own production abilities. An increasingly important market is the Asian region. China and Indonesia are of particular importance here. This is due to the fact that the process industries such as chemicals, pulp and paper, and mining are growing rapidly in these countries.

What (positive or negative) surprises have you already encountered in export? 
I am always surprised how complex social and business systems function in other countries with different cultures (compared to Switzerland). It is certainly not always as one would like it to be, but still more than one would actually like to admit. I therefore saw that there is not only one way - the Swiss way - to achieve things. 

What are you particularly proud of?
That we as a production company are still firmly based in our current location in Switzerland. Many companies have had to relocate their production abroad. Thanks to our constant progress in production, however, we have been able to achieve an enormous increase in efficiency, so we have not had to take this step. 
The main reason we have production facilities in the USA is so that we are closer to the market, and also because different industry standards apply there for valves. Other locations may also be possible in the future; not primarily due to cost savings, but rather to gain proximity to the customer.

What do you particularly appreciate about Switzerland Global Enterprise’s (S-GE) consultancy?
The consulting services are extremely good. Communication with the employees was very direct and uncomplicated. What certainly appears to be of great benefit are the many relationships and networks which S-GE maintains. We are currently still in an exciting project with S-GE, and I am convinced that the support will be outstanding right up to the finish.

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