Throughout its history, Woertz AG has experienced continuous growth and development through difficult times. Thanks to its focus on quality, innovation and customer satisfaction, it has established itself as a leader in the electrotechnical industry, constantly expanding its product range to meet the changing demands of the market.
Timeline of the history of Woertz
Obituary Oskar Woertz
In the light of cautious entrepreneurship, Oskar Woertz achieved remarkable financial independence. Apart from the initial founding years, he operated without outside capital. As a result, he retained full control over developments and investments. He always strived to establish his supply chain on a broad basis by sourcing selected and cost-effective raw materials and semi-finished products. Despite his efforts, he encountered hurdles in finding reliable and efficient suppliers for specialties and tools. In response, he overcame such bottlenecks on his own by setting up his own tool shop with all the key equipment. This served not only to provide the necessary development flexibility, but also to make his company crisis-proof. These measures contributed significantly to making the company more robust and resilient.
In 1963, the unexpected death of Oskar Woertz changed the fate of the company. His two sons were destined to take over the management of the company. The younger one, also named Oskar Woertz, was a technically trained engineer from the ETH. His creative nature, good humor and cheerful personality made him a person the company appreciated.
His older brother, Hans Woertz, brought a commercial education, a systematic work ethic and a rather serious personality to the company. Despite occasional disagreements, the cooperation between the two brothers enriched the company in many ways.
As early as 1946, the founder, Oskar Woertz, recognized the need for expansion and had the foresight to acquire a plot of land in Muttenz. When the company’s growth exceeded the capacity of the site in the city of Basel, the first construction phase in Muttenz was initiated in 1972.
Due to personal circumstances, the younger brother, Oskar Woertz, withdrew from the company. As a result, Hans Woertz took over sole management of the business and a new era began.
Flat cable patents
The Woertz brothers filed a joint patent for stripping-free contacting on flat cables – a groundbreaking invention that was decades ahead of the technology of the time and set a significant milestone in the company’s history.
The first product to use this innovation was the illumination lighting that lent festive Christmas cheer to Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse for many years. The special flat cable types required for the further use of this contacting, which had special properties, were supplied by the long-standing partner Dätwyler AG from Altdorf.
Work of Hans Woertz
Hans Woertz, who headed Woertz AG after the sudden death of his father in 1963, had a decisive influence on the company. He and his brother Oskar expanded the site to Muttenz in the 1970s when Basel became too small. After Oskar’s retirement, Hans ran the company alone and filed a groundbreaking patent: stripping-free contacting on flat cables.
He also participated in national and international standardization committees, making Woertz known beyond Switzerland’s borders. With his wife, he was committed to maintaining production and jobs in Basel-Landschaft and preserving the company’s social traditions. In 1988, he laid the foundation stone for a new site in Hölstein. After his retirement in 1998, his daughter Carole took over the management.
Work of Carole Woertz
Carole Woertz joined the company in 1984 and has worked in almost all departments to get to know the company and its products. Her most demanding and at the same time most difficult years were spent under the leadership of the then Sales Manager Mr. Bösch. The demanding tasks assigned to her enabled her to acquire a comprehensive knowledge of the company and its processes.
In 1988, she was entrusted with the management and sales responsibility of the new production site in Hölstein. In 1998, she took over the management from her father, Hans Woertz. Under her leadership, the company faced challenges such as increasing price pressure and a change in business practices.
Carole Woertz has focused on sales and direct customer contact in her role as managing director. Her time with the company and her ability to handle difficult tasks have given her the experience and understanding necessary to lead the company through challenging times.
Production in Switzerland
Woertz AG produces high-quality products in Switzerland, which brings numerous advantages. Domestic production allows the company to ensure high product quality and exercise close control over the entire production chain. In addition, local production enables short delivery times and a high degree of flexibility in meeting individual customer requirements. Proximity to the market also facilitates communication and cooperation with customers.
During past times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, Woertz was able to continue producing continuously and supply its customers reliably due to domestic production. The short supply routes, local availability of raw materials and independence from international disruptions have strengthened the resilience of the supply chain.
Another important aspect of domestic production is environmental protection. By using sustainable practices and environmentally friendly technologies in production, Woertz helps protect the environment. Domestic production also supports the local economy and helps create and maintain jobs in the region. Overall, production in Switzerland offers Woertz and its customers many advantages in terms of quality, flexibility, short delivery times, supply chain resilience, environmental protection and regional economic development. During past times of crisis, domestic production has proven to be particularly beneficial as it has allowed for continuous production and delivery.