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IN CONVERSATION WITH FRANZ ERLER AND BENJAMIN PACHER

August 11 2020

Two people – two careers – one company. Although Benjamin Pacher started working for SWAROVSKI OPTIK almost 25 years after Franz Erler, there are, nevertheless, some interesting parallels between them. There are things in common that they also share with many other of the company’s employees.

 

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How long now have you been working at SWAROVSKI OPTIK?

E: Since January 1979.

P: Since September 2003.

 

How has your career progressed and what is your current job?

E: I began working in the technical office and then I moved to the measurement laboratory. Since 1989 I’ve been head of Quality Assurance.

P: I first of all completed an apprenticeship as a machine production technician, and I was the first apprentice to go on an apprentice exchange to Switzerland. Following my military service, I joined the Turning department (operating CNC machines) and during the Z3 Vertical Integration Project, I worked at SWAROVSKI OPTIK North America for six months. I then worked in the Mechanics quality assurance department and on the company stands at tradeshows. I have helped provide training to young hunters, and since January 1, 2013, I have been a cost center manager for Supply Chain management.

 

What does SWAROVSKI OPTIK stand for, in your view?

E: For top quality, premium products, and an intuitive understanding of what quality is.

P: A first-class producer of long-range optical equipment. On a personal note, I love working here because I’m a keen hunter myself.

 

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Why did you decide to work at SWAROVSKI OPTIK?

E: Since, at the time when I finished my training in the high-voltage sector there were few jobs available, I started shift work in Wattens and then I switched to work in the technical office in Absam.

P: I originally wanted to be a watchmaker. The projects SWAROVSKI OPTIK offered apprentices appealed to my areas of interest, which is why I decided to work here.

 

What do you enjoy about your work?

E: I’m still thrilled that we can be creative and that my curiosity has been and still is stimulated. I also enjoy working in the team along with young people.

P: The good working environment in the company.

 

How does SWAROVSKI OPTIK differ from other companies?

E: Firstly, we focus on objectives in the longer term. Secondly, our products are manufactured at a location where they are typically used. We go into the forest on our back door, as it were, to test our products

P: In terms of its social benefits and because of the fact that I feel the company really focuses on the people here.

 

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Which values are important to you personally in your dealings with each other?

E: Trust and reliability, even in adverse circumstances.

P: Politeness, loyalty to the company, and fun.

 

Are these values put into practice in the company?

E: We try to!

P: Yes, absolutely!

 

What does the phrase “It is people who are at the heart of our business” mean to you?

E: People are dealt with in a fair and trusting manner.

P: People get on well together, a great working environment, and a secure job.

 

Are you free to contributeyour own ideas?

E: Yes. I’ve always done that, and I also greatly appreciate it.

P: Yes.

 

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What are your next professional objectives?

E: Handing over the technical areas to the next generation in an orderly manner.

P: Making continuous improvement and further development in the work activities

assigned to me.

 

What wishes do you have for the company:

E: That there continues to be an environment that promotes creativity and working together.

P: I’m perfectly happy. I think it would be good if the company continues to develop in a stable manner so that jobs are safeguarded in Absam.

 

What do you do in your spare time?

E: I love reading especially pieces with political and historical background, ride my motorbike from time to time, I play the guitar, and I tinker with my car or motorbike.

P: Sport, for instance, cycling, climbing, hunting, and also photography.

 

What kind of music do you like listening to?

E: Rock, blues, and jazz.

P: Folk music, brass band music (I’m a musician myself), and I’m always open to new types of music.

 

What’s life all about?

E: I could philosophize about this question for hours on end over a beer. Being tenacious in pursuing objectives, but not too dogged, and retaining a certain degree of humility. Constantly casting a glance at things that already run and operate well. Accepting this situation gratefully, and perhaps even being a little bit proud of it. And looking to the future with confidence.

P: Family and health.

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