The candidates have been selected. An independent jury composed of representatives from the business, science and media have announced who is in the running for the 2017 Export Award:
- Elite Beds SA, Aubonne, VD: Leasing beds instead of buying
- iNovitas AG, Baden-Dättwil, AG: iNovitas delivers three-dimensional infrastructure images to your door
- Molinari Rail AG, Winterthur, ZH: Passionate about the railway business
- Regloplas AG, St. Gallen, SG: Ensuring the right working temperature
- Wyssen Avalanche Control AG, Reichenbach, BE: The potential of avalanche prevention with explosive pylons
The winner will be announced at the Forum for Swiss Foreign Trade on May 18 in Zurich. Ruth Metzler-Arnold, Chairwoman of the Advisory Board at S-GE, will present the awards.
The candidates provide outstanding products that distinguish them in the international business world. They are trailblazers: For instance, Elite Beds SA's innovative business model has been able to ease the effects of the strong Swiss franc by leasing its premium mattresses instead of just selling them.
With clever business models like this, SMEs are finding new opportunities for international growth – the ultimate optimization measure to combat margin pressure and provide a comprehensive approach to process optimization and product innovation. Other factors, such as new competitors and radical social changes in target markets, are also putting pressure on SMEs to reinvent their business models.
Forum for Swiss Foreign Trade 2017: Rethinking business models: the international competitive advantage of the future
The Forum for Swiss Foreign Trade by Switzerland Global Enterprise is the meeting point of the year for Swiss exporters. Here, small and middle-sized businesses find inspiration and practical advice for their international operations: For instance, with the keynote speech by Dr. Christoph Loos, CEO of the Hilti Corporation, on "Tools as a service" or in the small-group executive talks with people like Marcel Pawlicek, CEO of Burckhardt Compression on "Changes in contemporary corporate structures – enabling organizations to meet customer needs."
The ample breaks and cocktail reception also provide an opportunity to engage with the 600-plus participants and numerous SMEs who are facing similar challenges or have already successfully mastered them. Registration and program at www.s-ge.com/awf
The nominees for the 2017 Export Award
Elite Beds SA, Aubonne, VD: Leasing beds instead of buying
"Smart Lease" – Elite SA uses a unique business model to win a broader market share: Instead of selling hotel beds, they lease them. The hotel operator pays only when the bed is used. The boxspring beds are made by hand from natural materials and are certified with the Ecolabel. "Smart Lease" has helped the company to successfully enter the exporting business. Thanks to its presence at trade fairs and new boutiques in a number of major cities, many more people are sleeping in Elite beds around the world.
iNovitas AG, Baden-Dättwil, AG: iNovitas delivers three-dimensional infrastructure images to your door
A mouse click instead of time-consuming on-site inspections: iNovitas gives infrastructure managers a 24/7 view of their roads and railways. The web-based "infra3D-Service" provides customers with an intelligent, high-resolution 3D image database. This makes it possible to supervise infrastructure, plan maintenance work and even carry out building projects. Based in Baden, the company has already won many customers with its innovative technology and is working on developing its international business: This business has major market potential.
Molinari Rail AG, Winterthur, ZH: Passionate about the railway business
Molinari Rail's experienced team masters the complex challenges of the railway business with passion and dedication. As a technology company that specializes in railway systems, Molinari Rail supports its customers around the world in implementing projects in passenger and goods transportation. With wide-ranging expertise and strategic partnerships with customers and partners, the company has been able to hold its own amid global competition and to tap the major potential of developing railway infrastructure and storing freight transports on the rails.
Regloplas AG, St. Gallen, SG: Ensuring the right working temperature
A family enterprise from St. Gallen that occupies a unique niche in the plastics and die-casting industry: Environmentally friendly and customer-specific temperature control solutions are Regloplas AG's area of expertise. The company's success is based on the high quality of its products, the expertise of its personnel and its close customer relationships. The company has its own service organization in more than 50 countries and subsidiaries in Germany, France, the USA and China that ensure smooth customer communication.
Wyssen Avalanche Control AG, Reichenbach, BE: The potential of avalanche prevention with explosive pylons
Efficiently and safely triggering avalanches without inviting risk: Wyssen Avalanche Control AG has made a name for itself with its avalanche explosive pylons. Their technology has been used in Switzerland and Austria to protect numerous roads and slopes. Wyssen has provided a comprehensive avalanche prevention package for a Norwegian customer as well. They are now working on entering the Canadian, US and Chilean markets and sending representatives to provide customer-specific offers that are continually being upgraded with new innovative products.
More information on the Export Award: www.s-ge.com/exportaward
About Switzerland Global Enterprise
Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) works all over the world to support entrepreneurs and promote Switzerland as a business location. On behalf of the Swiss Confederation (State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO), S-GE’s role as a center of excellence for internationalization is to foster exports and investments, to help clients develop new potential for their international businesses and to strengthen Switzerland as an economic hub. S-GE is a strong and trusted partner for its clients, the cantons and the Swiss government, with a global network of experienced advisers and experts. www.s-ge.com