Reinhold Würth and innovations
Since the product and brand development started in the 1970s, the focus of Würth has always been on selling products that are of real use to the customer thanks to regular innovations. Among others, a new generation of screws with an outstanding screw drive was developed – the ASSY® screw with patented AW® drive. The focus has always been on paying attention to the customers’ needs and consequently developing new innovative products. “We are our customers’ employees”, is a credo of Prof. Reinhold Würth. In the last decades, the corporate culture has decisively been influenced by this attitude and has turned into one of the most important basic values in the Würth Group.
Already at an early stage of its development Würth as a trading business had begun to not only sell but also develop and manufacture products itself. The driving force behind this step that seemed to be unusual for a trader was Prof. Reinhold Würth. In 1958, he surprised his employees with the announcement: “From now on, we are going to produce screws ourselves!” In November of the same year, the production was taken up at the basement of the company building in Künzelsau.
This was the beginning of a new era in the history of the company: A certain part of the articles Würth sold at that time was no longer purchased from third-party suppliers but produced by the company itself. This made it possible to deliver faster and to react more flexibly to customer orders. Reinhold Würth’s decision to add a screw manufacturing to his trading business led to a remarkable upward trend of the still young company. Today, this screw production operates under the company name SWG Schraubenwerk Gaisbach GmbH and is located in Waldenburg near Künzelsau.
One of the strategies that have been elaborated at the company since the middle of the 1970s was a new product strategy: In 1975, Würth started to develop own products and to sell them under the Würth brand. Reinhold Würth had a strong influence on the introduction of new concepts in this field, and had an in-house department for Research and Development set up as well. The company brand ZEBRA® was introduced for high-value products – its quality was above the quality that was usually to be found on the market. First of all, the company launched hose clamps, spiral drills, cable dispensers, chemical-technical products as well as a tool program on the market – all under the new brand name. Since then, the product range of the ZEBRA® brand has systematically been developed further. Today, the ZEBRA® products belong to Würth’s top brands. Their special quality is underlined by the promise “100 percent quality, 0 percent discussion”: If a customer is not contented with one of these articles s/he can get another one without any discussion.