Gunta Barth, Schwaninger AG

Gunta Barth, Schwaninger AG

"We have acces to a lot of information very quickly. That's how you can react early. The advantage in knowledge alone is worth the investment. I know what's happening and I have a complete market overview."

There are large and small painting companies in Switzerland like sand on the sea. Those who want to survive in the market must be able to differentiate themselves and hold their own. Through various innovations, Schwaninger AG has also positioned itself on the market as a specialist for jointless coverings.

Schwaninger AG, painting and spraying company, is already managed by the third generation with José Schwaninger. In 2008 his father Walter Schwaninger handed over the management to his son. And since 2008, Schwaninger AG has also relied on Olmero's tender platform. In an interview with PLANEN + BAUEN, plant manager Gunta Barth gives an insight into the exciting company and explains how Olmero gives him a better overview of the market and how he can act faster.

Mr. Barth, you work indoors and outdoors. What distinguishes you from other painters?
In our opinion painting is not the same as painting. Over the years, we have acquired various special techniques and continue to train our employees. We keep an eye on the market and, together with our suppliers, are constantly developing new products/technologies, thus offering our customers great added value. I am convinced that if you close your mind to market trends, you have missed the spirit of the times as a company. Seamless wall coverings such as AIDO, Naturo or Tadelakt are currently in vogue. Several beautiful projects have been completed. From these, the techniques are further developed. Such wall coverings are connected with a lot of expenditure and also cost their price. But the end result is worth it and the customer is willing to pay the price for good quality; he wants to treat himself, stand out, have an original if he builds it himself.

So your customers are primarily private builders?
No, we also work for general contractors and architects. However, private households certainly make up a large part of our work. Especially in the areas of renovations, conversions and customer work. We have a strong regional presence, but thanks to our special techniques, many clients  want to work only with us. In such cases we are also active throughout Switzerland.

How has the expectations of your customers changed in recent years?
Today, much more consulting services are required than in the past. This also has to do with today’s presence of the internet. The client is very well informed today. In addition, the Swiss Franc is worth much more today than it was a few years ago. For us, this means up to 30-50% more effort until the order has been placed.

Don't the increasing customer demands also make collaboration more interesting?
Yes and no. There are interesting and good customers who challenge and support us. On the other hand, there are also customers who lead the whole thing to excess, with the result that they do not place an order after all, and this is annoying. But that is part of the entrepreneurial risk.

You have been using the tender platform since autumn 2008. What is your conclusion?
We think the platform is very good. I have a good overview and I can work with the platform. The quality of the information is also very good. We didn't invest too much time in the platform in the beginning and therefore didn't receive as many requests as today. But the more you actively work with the platform on your own initiative and contact potential customers, the more inquiries you receive. We're definitely moving on!

What are the most important advantages for you?
Obviously the speed. We have a lot of information very quickly. That's how one can react early. The advantage in knowledge alone is worth the investment. I know what's happening and I have a complete market overview."

Are there disadvantages in online tendering?
It often happens that the advertiser sends the same cover page again without any indication of changes. But in my opinion this has less to do with the platform than with the advertiser himself.

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