IMD International

Bobst Chairman Alain Guttmann presents to the IMD Alumni Club of Lausanne

How investing in innovation, productivity and leadership make for success

May 1, 2014

Showcasing what it takes to turn around an industrial company having to renew its strategy while going through a market storm, Bobst Chairman Alain Guttmann recently gave a presentation and visit of the company's new factory in Mex, Switzerland.  


Bobst is the world's leading supplier of equipment and services to packaging manufactures in the folding carton, corrugated board and flexible materials industry. With revolutionary machines and solutions for making and printing packages, Bobst has 5'000 employees worldwide and 1500 in Switzerland with a turnover of CHF 1.3 billion in 2013. 

Mr. Guttmann explained the recent developments of the group and the main challenges that a Swiss- based exporting company faces in a global economy. Issues like the exchange rate, Swiss regulation, international competition, technical evolution and evolving customer needs are all factors Bobst must pay particular close attention to. 

After a record year in 2008, the company went through a very difficult reorganization phase that presented itself during difficult market conditions. But key leadership and investment prevailed. In 2013, the company didn't only show profit, but also was able to unroll an impressive number of new developments. 

The more than 60 alumni club members participating in the event were impressed by the sheer size and speed of Bobst's machines and they were given a glimpse to see how, in detail, these "monsters" are being built. 

While many people may assume that the Swiss machine industry belongs to the past, seeing Bobst in full operation was testament to the vitality of this sector. 

"Nothing replaces physical contact," said one attendee. After hearing the challenges in Swiss industry, seeing, smelling and hearing the equipment at Bobst created a unique awareness of this sector.

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