Happy Holidays and all the Best for 2018!
The year 2017 is almost over – another 12 months swept by. It is hard to believe that we will soon use “2018”, when we write the date on a piece of paper.
The past year saw many changes at Danzer, again: the biggest project of the recent past was the re-modelling of the veneer plant in Souvans, France. It was a great pleasure to attend the Grand-Opening in September with my wife, our three kids and my father. This project is a hallmark in Danzer’s history. We have achieved a level of automation that suggests that we can maintain jobs in a high-cost country close to the hardwood resource by producing a commodity – well, it is not really a commodity as the entire production of flooring deck-layers for the engineered flooring industry is produced to customer specifications. In the run of five years, we became the largest supplier for deck-layers in Europe. Congratulations to the team at Danzer Veneer Europe!
While we talk about customer-specific products: the year 2017 saw again a number of highly attractive products that were developed for the automotive industry. We are sure that wood experts will quickly spot the cars next year that have highly decorative, innovative Danzer surfaces on their dashboards. Keep on watching: there are cool products in the pipeline from several manufacturers...
Speaking about innovation: We are currently working hard to further improve our proprietary slicing machine, the VS4000. Although the current version is undisputable the best machine in the industry, we feel that we can still do better. A dedicated team is making tests and trials to identify further improvement opportunities.
Thinking about further opportunities: Currently, more than 30 projects are making progress at Danzer. Some of them are operational improvements, some pursue technological breakthroughs and yet others are geared to lay the groundwork for Danzer’s success in the years 2025 and beyond. The times at Danzer are exciting and we continue to explore further possibilities to use high-tech to improve the use of hardwood – a product with a bright future!
Reflecting on the future: While we have seen a lot of discontentment in the Western world, leading to unexpected political uncertainty, I want to urge all of you to always remember that we are living in the wealthiest and safest period of mankind, ever. Our disappointments and failed expectations are all well founded, but if we look at the bigger picture, there is a lot of reason to be thankful. We all face our challenges, personally and professionally. At the same time, we have a lot of reason to remain humble and grateful. The Holiday Season is the period of the year that reminds us of our blessings, again.
I am very much looking forward to 2018. Our employees at all locations put a big effort forward, again to strengthen the relation to our customers world-wide. These efforts start with the procurement teams, continued by the production folks, delivered by the warehouse and sales organization, supported by the engineering, IT and finance/accounting group, prepared by the R&D department, staffed by the Human Resource professionals, framed by the sustainability and compliance team and orchestrated by the management of Danzer everywhere. In the end, we strive to be the trusted supplier of a product that brings our customers value. We will continue to try to prove worthy of the trust that our customers have in us.
In the coming weeks, I hope all of you can relax, enjoy the time with family and friends so that we all start the New Year full of energy, curiosity and excitement.
I am proud of the Danzer team. We will continue to work hard at getting better.
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