The exclusive guided tour of knife production in Ibach-Schwyz started punctually at 2 pm. Three expert guides, who had worked for Victorinox for ten years, managed to provide us with a lot of information and impressions in 90 minutes and to give us an understanding of the company's history and philosophy as well as to increase the existing enthusiasm about the variety and quality of the various knives.
We learned that Victorinox is composed of Victoria, the first name of the founder's mother, and Inox, the stainless steel. The company's history goes back to 1884, when the great-grandfather of today's CEO opened his knife factory and fought against poverty and unemployment in the valley of Schwyz. In 1897 Karl Elsener laid the foundation for an impressive success story with the development of the «Original Swiss Pocket Knife». Today, Victorinox employs around 2'100 people, 990 of whom work in Ibach. Every day, 120'000 knives are produced, of which 60'000 are «pocket knives» in over 300 variants. Victorinox is also active in the watch, luggage and perfume sectors.
The many steps involved in punching, polishing, hardening and – to a large extent still manual – grinding the blades, assembling the many individual parts where home work is still possible today, printing and pressing the shells, quality control and packaging until a knife is ready for sale are fascinating. In order to counteract the outflow of know-how, in most cases the highly specialized machines are manufactured by the company's own brand, which in turn creates additional jobs. This includes more than 50 apprenticeships in a wide variety of professions.
After a coffee break, we were ready for the second part, where Michael Sahlender and Michael Degiampietro briefly explained the success of CELUM and the activities of brix cross media, respectively, and we were all excited about the presentation and Victorinox MediaHub live demo by Christopher Klumpp, Head of Enterprise Data Management. He reported on the project procedure, the basic concepts and the step-by-step introduction of the cross-divisional CELUM DAM implementation, as well as the next expansion stages.
On the terrace with a wonderful view we enjoyed an excellent Apéro Riche (many thanks to CELUM for sponsoring it!) and were able to end the afternoon with interesting discussions among the attending CELUM customers, consultants and potential future customers.