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From the certificate for ISO 9001 to cash and succession

The quality is an important characteristic for services and products.

The company Surtec Suisse GmbH is a small SME, which is ISO 9001 certified since 2000. The company was founded in 1994 in Switzerland. The parent company is located in Germany. For the ISO certification of the company, a Swiss provider was sought.



Read the interview with Torsten Kaschik, Managing Director of Surtec Suisse GmbH.


Martina: What is the core business of Surtec Suisse GmbH?


Torsten: We are a supplier of products for cleaning and pretreatment as well as for sustainable coatings of surfaces. Surtec does trade and technical consulting for chemical products for metal finishing and electroplating. And we supply pretty much every sector. Among them are well-known Swiss industrial companies in the aircraft, watch and medical industries.


Martina: So I don't need to ask how you differentiate yourselves in the market?


Torsten: In the meantime, we have added the fact that we have a large warehouse, so that we can serve customer requests within 24 to 48 hours. Other suppliers don't have this advantage.


Martina: What challenges have you faced as managing director so far?


Torsten: A few years ago it was the financing in the context of succession planning. Currently it is certainly the pandemic and the shortage of raw materials. Up to now, we have managed quite well. Now, however, we are starting to encounter one or two supply problems with our suppliers.


Martina: Are there alternative procurement options?


Torsten: There are alternatives for various products that we can offer. But we also depend on adjusting our stock accordingly.


Martina: You mentioned the topic of financing. What was the big challenge there?


Torsten: Getting the money (laughs).

We looked at different financing models. Some of them didn't work out. So the way to the bank was obvious. We weighed up the pros and cons. In the end, we came up with the idea of crowdfunding via the swisspeers platform, which was a fairly new form of financing at the time. That worked out great. In the end, the bidding process was very exciting, as the investors had to submit their bids within a certain time. It all went very quickly in the end. Everything worked very well.

Now in the Corona pandemic, when many companies had problems with payments, I was impressed by how quickly swisspeers reacted and sought contact on their own initiative.


Martina: Surtec was ISO certified before, may I ask with whom?


Torsten: That was a German company, which already certified the parent company.

The auditor retired and so it was a matter of succession.


Martina: What were the criteria when looking for a new certifier?


Torsten: I asked for various offers and preferred Swiss providers. Our products are subject to strict quality controls from the raw material to the end product, so consistently high product and application quality must be guaranteed at all times and in all places. The personal contact with Attesta convinced us right from the start.


Martina: What were the criteria when looking for a new certifier?


Torsten: I requested various offers and preferred Swiss suppliers. Our products are subject to strict quality controls from the raw material to the end product, so consistently high product and application quality must be guaranteed at all times and in all places. The personal contact with Attesta convinced us right from the start.


Martina: What has changed in terms of the cooperation with Attesta compared to the previous certifier?


Fabian (QMV): The contact is better and more personal and some more informative than before. Attesta has shown understanding from the beginning that we are a small company. Everything was easier and more practical. The consideration of our needs is very valuable.


Torsten: German certifiers treat all companies the same - regardless of their company size. In Switzerland, they are more used to dealing with SME's.


Martina: What was the best decision of your professional career?


Torsten: Several things. But certainly the further training to become a technician, so that I have the basics to manage such a company, including the takeover of the company a few years ago. After weighing up all the pros and cons, I'm glad I went through with it. And then the team here. Fabian and Paula are worth their weight in gold.


Martina: What are you particularly proud of?


Torsten: That the company is doing well. That it is running. That we don't have to worry.


Martina: What would you recommend to a young entrepreneur?


Torsten: Keep at it ... there can be complications at the beginning (foundation, financing). And then I would recommend to choose a form of organization in which one is somewhat secured and does not have to take responsibility with one's private assets. Have the courage to try something and not to wait too long. There's no point in being successful until just before you retire (laughs).


Martina: Do you have any final words?


Torsten: World peace (all laugh) ... I mean, it's a bit difficult right now. Not only the pandemic, the threat of war or the shortage of raw materials ... sometimes I have the feeling that mankind has not learned very much. And I am very happy that I have a team that works so well together.


Martina: Thank you for the interview Torsten, Fabian and Paula. Thank you very much and all the best for the future.


Interested in ISO certification? Contact me for a no obligation discussion. Martina Dudle Snydr, md@attesta.ch



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