„I find solutions together with customers. I like to work out things down to the smallest detail. For example, we started with a small batch for an industrial customer, and this turned into 2000 pieces later.“
“IF I ADVISE WELL AND CAN SHOW SAMPLES, I GET THE ORDER.“
Thomas Frühwirth in an interview on the subject of customer advice
Mr Frühwirth, how is your customer base made up?
Approximately 70 percent private customers, 30 percent business customers, it varies. However: when industry booms, it then places more orders. At the moment there are more private orders.
What is the purpose of the "boxes" here in your sample room?
They are cleaning baskets and degreasing boxes for industry. We not only make canopies, balconies, railings, stairs, gates and fences, but also these objects for industrial customers.
"I am only as flexible as my supplier."
What typifies a good supplier for you?
I am only as flexible as my supplier. I need good delivery times - and the appropriate advice.
What do you value about MEVACO?
That I can access prices and delivery times at any time, even round the clock in the online shop. It is extremely helpful for me that I can also do this in the evening.
Do your customers know exactly what they want? How good are the powers of imagination of your customers?
That depends on their age. Some customers know from the internet exactly what they want, others first obtain advice. We work a lot with these photos for those who are not fully able to imagine what they want (he shows a self-made photo album with before/after pictures and his tablet on which he has saved several hundred images.)
Do you also show illustrations from the MEVACO catalogue?
Actually only the photos at the very front in the catalogue, i.e. the applications. I rarely show the detailed imagery of products.
How much of your daily work is taken up with giving advice to customers?
One to three hours quickly add up for each project. Often distributed over several appointments. First the customers come round and look at the exhibition, afterwards I then go to them.
Are your customers open to advice?
Yes, very. My advice is also asked for. Which is why the customers come to me.
Are you happy to give advice?
Yes, it suits me. I like it when I work together with customers to find a solution. I sometimes also do work in advance and, for example, make a sample pillar for a customer so that he can envisage it better.
How do you advise your customers and what do you use?
From the sample book, through my photo album and the photos on my tablet, right up to self-made samples. I have approximately 30 of these self-produced, true-to-scale real sample railing panels which have a size of about a square metre. Sometimes I also take them to the customer and put them, for instance, on the balcony. They are then much better able to envisage the finished railing. And, of course, I have all sorts of supplier samples. A sample is simply always better.
How often can you convince someone with real material samples, and when are they used in the advice process?
It very much differs. First the decision is made on the material, i.e. whether it will be glass or metal or Trespa, for example. Then come the details.
How often do you print out samples as a MEVACO original illustration?
Not at all. I still have to look into this. Also I don't want to download the app. Yesterday was the first time I tested the online shop for an order and I was very impressed - it worked really well. This is very interesting for me.
" Yesterday was the first time I tested the online shop for an order and I was very impressed"
Have you already received orders because you were able to show real samples and your competitors were not?
Yes, I have. When I give good advice and can show samples, I get the order. I have even produced colour samples for customers.
What are you proud of in your work?