From a small computer shop in 1975 to a large software house in 2015
(PresseBox) (Stelle/Hamburg, )Interview with Vanjo Wandscher, CEO of Futura Retail Solution AG, on the occasion of the 40-year anniversary of the software house.
Mr Wandscher, your customers are retailers, some of whom have been running their businesses for several generations. This type of continuity is rather the exception in the IT environment. How has Futura managed to maintain their position on the market for decades?
Vanjo Wandscher: "As I see it, our lasting success is essentially based on two factors: firstly, our company culture that enables us to deal with our customers fairly and at eye level. And secondly, our special know-how of the business, which has constantly grown over the decades due to the strong focus of our business activities. These two components put us in a position to offer our customers the best solution with the latest technology."
With their retail management system and POS software products Futura is equally represented in single stores and at customers with 100 and more branches. What makes a project particularly challenging for you?
"The challenge is much greater if an international project involves several different cultural groups. It's not the language that's the biggest hurdle in these cases but, for instance, it's the way things are done. Many of my colleagues from our project department are currently applying internally for projects of this kind in order to develop themselves both personally and professionally. The size of projects mostly plays a minor role here. From a functional point of view, a customer with just one branch has similar requirements as a large multi-store chain. The only difference is the size of the project team."
Your motto is: "We help our customers to sell more and enjoy their work." When do you enjoy your work?
"I've been happy to come to work every day for almost 16 years now and enjoy what I'm doing. One reason for this surely is my great team who have accompanied me on this exciting journey at Futura for many years. There are phases where I spend more time with some of my colleagues than with my own family, so that a good atmosphere is very important to me. And at the end of the day we at Futura wish to help our customers with our solutions and our service to make their work easier and faster."
You came to Futura in 1999, and you've been the Chief Executive Officer of the system house for 12 years now. What was the most important decision you made during that period?
"This undoubtedly was the decision to implement a new generation of solutions in a completely new technology. We had already started this development when many of our competitors were still trying to further develop their outdated software systems. The then early new start has given us a technological and innovative lead that we and our customers benefit from in the markets every day. Some of the functions which are currently in very high demand, such as the integration of online activities into the store's processes to create an omni-channel environment, would not have been possible without the consistent use of the latest technologies."
Let's take a look in the crystal ball: if we have this interview again in 10 years on the company's 50th anniversary - what will you be proud of?
"In 10 years' time we'll be particularly proud that it is our customers who have successfully met the challenges of the digitisation of business processes." 10 years from now, our customers will still have stationary stores but these will be different from what they are today. Nobody knows exactly what the difference will be, but we are innovative and dynamic and will therefore perfectly manage the changes to come together with our customers!"
Futura Retail Solutions AG Harburger Schloßstr. 28 D-21079Hamburg