Customers are partners

It is a well-known fact that, when buying jewellery or cars, emotions play a considerable part in the decision. For Andreas Rüb, the right feelings also play a role when buying pipe fittings, valves, pressure regulators and hoses. "In order to arouse emotions, we have to get our customers enthusiastic because the decision to buy is not only shaped in the mind", emphasises the Managing Director of Swagelok Düsseldorf. To a large extent, he feels these decisions are also influenced by 'gut feeling' – "even in this highly technical field". Swagelok develops and supplies fluid system solutions and provides corresponding services. Customers are active in such areas as chemicals, oil and gas, the semiconductor industry and plant engineering. Such names as Bayer, Shell, Henkel and Lanxess bear witness to the excellent position of this company in the market. Rüb is keen to stress, however, that small and medium-sized enterprises are just as much part of their customer base as the many global players.

Swagelok itself is a multinational player. Behind the catchy brand name is a large privately owned enterprise that is represented on every continent and has an annual turnover of 1.8 bn dollars. In a network of 87 distributors worldwide that handle the business on behalf of Swagelok Corporate in Ohio, Düsseldorf is one of the largest locations in Europe. However, the authorised distribution and service centre for North Rhine-Westphalia is not based in the capital of that state, Düsseldorf, but in the logistically more convenient town of Neuss – which has many of their chemicals customers and their suppliers just a stone's throw away. This company to the south of Neuss has 50 employees and 15 of those are field sales staff. The Managing Director finds some of the great advantages of the location are "the openness and inherent positive outlook on life of the people here".

Andreas Rüb has for many years been a dedicated supporter of the large Swagelok family: "Our products are the best in our industry and have the highest quality standards. These components are always used when it is a matter of accuracy, quality and dependability." After graduating in business management, Rüb, who was born in Hagen, took part in a management trainee programme in 1985 at Swagelok in Munich. After that, he worked as a field sales employee for Swagelok Düsseldorf. He continued to climb the career ladder until, in 2006, he took over the merged locations of Düsseldorf and Cologne as Senior Partner. "Four years later, I founded RAiTec, a plant engineering business", explains Rüb, 55, who is married with children. Both these companies are now under the brand name Swagelok Düsseldorf.

"Personal contact is the most important aspect in maintaining long-term customer relations", explains the manager of the Lower Rhine Swagelok company. "We don't just want to be a preferred supplier, we aim to establish partnerships with our customers. Our declared objective is to generate added value in a verifiable way, and to document that on behalf of our customers." Rüb is convinced that this can only be achieved if one has the right team: "We invest in vocational training, further education and training and are most satisfied when employees are able to take on responsibility and actually do so." Everyone is entitled to comment on any issue and take part in projects – whether or not it is his or her primary task. "Customers today often believe that products and services are simply interchangeable. We see that differently: it's the people that make the difference!" The company's success is attributable to its 360-degree approach to service, amongst other aspects. "This includes such things as rapid availability of products and in-house delivery service for key customers." The Managing Director describes the personality of the locals in his chosen home region – from his Westphalian view point – as broad-minded, well-organised and innovative. "People in the Lower Rhine region recognise trends early and grasp them as opportunities."

Asked what he sees as the greatest challenges in the future, Andreas Rüb answers: "We have to show customers in particular that 'cheap' actually costs more money and that quality will generate the greatest savings in the long run."

Swagelok Düsseldorf B.E.S.T. Fluidsysteme GmbH
Im Taubental 46
41468 Neuss

Phone: +49 2131 12478-30
Fax: +49 2131 66652-3


As of 2016