The door and gate openers

Open sesame: Gilgen's door systems are used in facilities worldwide. (Image: zvg)

When the ToolNews team went to interview Urs Siegenthaler, Head of the Gate Service Department for Switzerland, they suddenly lost contact with him. This is because he was not sitting comfortably in his office at the time, but had gone to a customer's premises to deal with an emergency. "This fast and direct support that we offer our customers is one of the things that sets us apart from the competition", Siegenthaler explained when the connection was restored. He manages around 20 people his department, whose job it is to repair the gates installed by Gilgen in the various regions of Switzerland. Siegenthaler's team are called in when the company's numerous service technicians face complex technical issues. Urs Siegenthaler has also been responsible for projects such as the "Gilgen Academy", a training team within the Group who ensure that employees keep their skills sharp and their knowledge up to date at all times.

About the company

Gilgen Door Systems AG, the leading supplier of drive systems and complete installations for doors and gates, has a long history: The company was founded in 1961 and is headquartered in Schwarzenburg, Switzerland. The company employs around 1300 staff worldwide, who work every day to ensure the high availability of the automated systems. Gilgen Door Systems has sales and service partners in Europe, Asia and overseas in the respective key markets and operates subsidiaries and its own service centres in Germany, France, Italy and Austria.

Having a regional presence ensures that Gilgen's experts arrive on-site quickly. (Image: zvg)

From the very beginning

The drive systems for door and gate solutions from Gilgen Door Systems are aimed mainly at corporate customers; the range of activities can be roughly divided into the categories "new systems", "customer service" and "modernisation". "If a completely new building is being planned, we're often involved right from the planning stage", says Urs Siegenthaler. As a leading provider of door and gate solutions, Gilgen is a familiar name to most architects, which is why Gilgen doors and gates often feature in their tender submissions. Thanks to the experienced sales team, it's easy for the company to provide suitable solutions to customers who are modernising existing buildings too.

Simply call for assistance

An essential element of Gilgen's success story is its extensive customer service. Door and gate systems and their drives are complex installations that are often exposed to wind and weather. Direct support and a comprehensive service offering are therefore essential for ensuring customer satisfaction. Gilgen Door Systems performs more than 100,000 services worldwide every year. The fact that the company has a strong local presence and can react quickly (a service technician is never more than two hours away in Switzerland, whether day or night) means it's possible to provide customers with immediate assistance. According to Urs Siegenthaler, who has been working at Gilgen for 34 years, these high aspirations with regard to quality can be traced to the company's founders: "The family who founded Gilgen always had a keen eye for quality", he recalls.

These values are still being upheld today, which is why Gilgen continues to invest in good staff, high agility and technical finesse. Continuous innovation plays a part in this too: A new cloud service platform will make "remote analysis" of door systems possible in the future, enabling the company to offer customers an even better and faster service. The gradual implementation of the "Gilgen Connect" solution will be a key focus for the company in the coming year.

Understanding their craft: Gilgen's service technicians are available 24 hours a day. (Image: zvg)
Gilgen service vans are equipped by Brütsch/Rüegger Tools too. (Image: zvg)

A partnership that has proven its worth

Another aspect that fits in with the company's high quality standards is the fact that Gilgen doesn't compromise on tools, which is where the collaboration with Brütsch/Rüegger Tools stems from. "We are always thinking about where and how we can be more efficient and effective", emphasises Urs Siegenthaler. Up until last year, all 250 service technicians driving their characteristic yellow Gilgen vans to customers' premises would order their own tools. But because of the sheer quantity of tools needed, this was often enormously complex and tedious. For this reason, last year it was decided to centralise the management and procurement of tools predominantly under Brütsch/Rüegger Tools, which "has worked really well". One of the things that Siegenthaler says is particularly helpful is the ability to create various "tool packages" with Brütsch/Rüegger Tools, which means that items don't have to be ordered individually. And the fact that Gilgen can order these packages directly via the company's SAP solution constitutes another step towards greater efficiency — which is a perfect match with the corporate DNA of Gilgen Door Systems.

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