QUO AG combine design knowledge, engineering expertise and problem solving skills to breathe life into exciting visions, or creates innovative visions from scratch. Passionate, dedicated and innovative, AndreasHalbleib, CEO, discusses his team of industry trendsetters and their wider approach to developing successful innovations.
Tasked with the responsibility of transforming QUO AG into an award-winning entrepreneurial innovation, design and engineering organisation, Andreas Halbleib took over the mantle of CEO in September 2018. Motivating his team to master new challenges, QUO AG has expanded its diverse wealth of expertise to include additional innovators, design and human factors engineering experts, industrial designers business strategists, engineers, material scientists, and industry experts. Swiss based QUO AG is now a forward-thinking company with ‘tomorrow’ firmly in its mind as it continues to strive to develop new products, services, processes and technologies and responds to an ever demanding global customer base.
Andreas Halbleib, CEO, describes QUO AG as fun, and a company you’ll love to work with. Here, he tells us more about his winning strategy in converting customers into fans.
Turning customers into fans is a lofty achievement, and perhaps a strategy which many organisations fail to grasp efficiently. Could you tell us more about why it’s important and the measures QUO AG have in place to support this?
We’ve followed the lead of the giant motorcycle company, Harley Davidson, on this one, and it’s a concept which every business should have as a fundamental ethic. ‘We do not have customers, we have fans.’ All organisations regardless of location, size or industry sector, need to build and retain customer loyalty. We believe actions speak louder than words and to ensure that all our customers remain our fans, advocate us and strengthen our market position, we’ve put four pillars in place as our basic cornerstone – Professionalism – Success – Values and last but certainly not least, Fun.
Let’s go through each of these in turn. Firstly, professionalism. Does this mean differentiating yourselves in the marketplace, and are you able to give any examples?
As a pioneering innovation and development partner for our clients / fans, our approach is holistic, covering the entire value chain from thorough market analysis and identification of market opportunities and user needs, through to defining a product and the successful implementation of the concept.
Our solutions must be trendsetting and sustainable, and our clients / fans need to be able to fully rely on our products, services and outcomes to differentiate from the competition and to meet ongoing needs. To this end QUO AG follows an innovation process based on three labs: An engineering lab, a design lab and an innovation lab. This results in our clients being able to benefit from a multidisciplinary range of services integrated into all projects and programmes.
We also pride ourselves on being cross-industry organised, taking the viewpoint that in the most part solutions to issues do exist, albeit sometimes within alternative industries. QUO AG delve deeper, transferring issues into a broader abstraction and if possible and desired finding solutions across other industries and then transferring them back to the original brief. In this case we’re turning the initial question from one of being ‘what is the solution’ to ‘where is the solution?’ Our fans know they can benefit from our professionalism here to access approved technologies and on top of that reduced time to market
For example, QUO AG’s innovation of an injection nozzle from a fuel injection motor to develop a new milk foam nozzle for a coffee machine – resulting in a strong cold milk which was comparable in density to a hot cappuccino foam.
You mentioned success being the second key element in your approach to building a loyal fan base. How do you define success?
Success is the end result of reaping all you’ve sewn up front. If a customer / fan is fully satisfied with our results and can differentiate a sustainable product from the competition, we view that as success.
However, there’s no room for complacency. We have to be creative, agile and fast in thinking outside of the box, and having an interdisciplinary team ensures we tackle challenges from various angles. In our 21 years in the marketplace, we’ve developed more than 600 projects and used a wide range of new innovation methods and technologies. A reputable growing global fan base now share in our success.
Values are the third pillar in your strategy. How do your values fit with innovation and your successful working style?
Our values really are the foundation principles of our innovative approach, and centre around seven fundamental ethics: Sustainability; empowerment; being result-oriented, flexibility to react to volatile situations, teamwork, challenges and fun.
We’ve covered sustainability, results-driven success and being able to differentiate yourself in the market. You mention fun as being important both as a fundamental cornerstone for success and also as a key value. How does QUO AG inject fun whilst empowering its employees?
The answer to that one lies in passion, enthusiasm and dedication. It’s a proven psychological concept that if you love your role, you’ll produce better results. For us it’s about ensuring that our employees can explore and develop potential in their working passions. This means empowering them to make decisions and rise to challenges. QUO AG love challenging tasks; they enable us to pool our skill sets and expertise, they encourage us to bond with the entire team in the knowledge that we’re making a difference and they equip us with the professionalism our fans come to expect.
It’s important for us to also understand that a successful innovator has to have discipline and patience and sometimes that’s a fine balancing act. We take time to develop our employees according to their specific strengths, matching projects to teams to fulfil challenges and giving opportunities for individuals to inject creative passion.
To sum up, how would you summarise the QUO AG approach to transforming clients into fans?
Innovations can only result from ideas when they’re transformed into new products, services or processes that have a successful application and can penetrate their intended market. This means we have to create the ‘wow’ factor, and to do that we have to treat our customers as partners. As they become successful as a result of our expertise and knowledge, they’ll then become a QUO AG fan, and hand in hand we’ll make the world a better place. QUO AG stands for innovation that matters.
QUO AG has a diverse team which is organised in a LAB structure with a wide range of competencies – general mechanical engineering, electrical/digital engineering, material science, design and innovation serving four service streams namely Human Centred Services, Product Design Services, Service Design Services and Business Design Services. QUO AG within various industries. The customer base includes different industries, for example Medtech, Consumer Goods, Energy and Industrial applications. This rich portfolio of expertise and close co-operation provides a holistic approach to solution finding processes. Characterised by such extraordinary diverse and proven competencies, the organisation supports its customers, transforming them into fans, and leaving the status QUO far behind. Its approaches are innovative, whilst always unique and tailored to individual need.
For further information on QUO AG and its innovation, design and engineering competencies, please visit the company website at www.quo.ch/en