Schenker Storen’s major and special projects division is dedicated to looking after its key customers throughout Switzerland. It primarily realises their large, complex orders – from the consultation stage to the after-sales-service. The teams in Givisiez and Schönenwerd are made up of six and 16 highly experienced experts respectively. Daniel Bitterli, Major Projects Manager, and Daniel Mumenthaler, Major Project Realisation Manager, have been working together at Schönenwerd for over 15 years. In this interview, they discuss the advantages their field of work provides.
What sets the major and special projects division apart?
Daniel Bitterli: It is driven by two teams with unparalleled knowledge of the Swiss market’s needs. Most of the members have already been in the job for over ten years. That is why we have such a high level of expertise. We are responsible for looking after Schenker Storen’s choice and clearly defined key customers.
Daniel Mumenthaler: We are able to quickly reach any customer, in any direction, from the prime location of Schönenwerd. Whether they are in Bern, Zurich, Basel or Lucerne, it takes us, at most, one hour to get to them. General and prime contractors working across regions or nationwide, for example, feel it is just as important to have a single point of contact for all of their orders in German-speaking Switzerland.
Why was this division created?
Daniel Bitterli: Switzerland experienced a huge boom in the construction industry at the start of the new millennium. As a result, more and more general contractors wanted a personal contact. For our part, we were devising plans on how to provide our key customers with an even better service. The answer: to offer, among other things, specialised skills, specialist expertise and high capacities. Major projects, like the Garden high rise Aglaya, require several project managers. That is why we dedicate eight to them.
Daniel Mumenthaler: In addition to having just one contact for all their projects, our key customers throughout Switzerland also benefit from our vast wealth of experience based on the numerous major and special projects we have already realised, and, of course, being close to our technology and development services at our headquarters in Schönenwerd.
Daniel Bitterli: They benefit, for example, from the fact that we are with them at every stage of their project, from the initial consultation to its planning and ultimately the after-sales-service. Together with our service manager, for example, we make sure to pass on the know-how and special characteristics involved in a project after it has been completed. This is not least because we remain responsible for our projects should they need servicing within the warranty period, which lasts for five years in the case of major projects.
Daniel Mumenthaler: The biggest challenge, but also the most exciting one without doubt, is that special projects never run according to a cookie-cutter plan. Our blinds are always custom-made. Plus, special projects often require their own specific solutions, such as individual or custom-made products for the property. Let’s take for example, the Maison Davidoff in Basel. Because the pronounced curvature of the Maison Davidoff’s facade is a natural shape, we had to adopt a completely innovative approach for its sun and sight protection solution. Working closely together, the development, technology and production teams designed a custom-made product that was partly hand-made and barely distinguishable from the Convex venetian blind KR 80 in the facade view.
Which project has made the most lasting impression on you and why?
Daniel Bitterli: Each project is unique and often comes with its own challenges. These can be the product selected, its modification or the project volume. For example, the Police and Judiciary Centre Zurich, is quite remarkable in this respect. With over 3,500 blinds, it is one of the largest projects in our company’s 140-year history.
Daniel Mumenthaler: I find projects interesting that convert former industrial sites into new residential areas through new constructions or the preservation of old building structures, such as the Saurer development in Arbon, the Bernapark in Stettlen or the Webipark in Aarburg. Installing modern sun protection products in very old buildings is a particularly exciting challenge, while in each case, observing the requirements of the homeland security regulations.