Candace Sofianos King caught up with Sam Wiese, managing director of Wiese Woodworking Machinery, to learn what it takes to remain relevant in the timber industry for decades.
Q Tell me more about your business?
A Wiese Woodworking Machinery (WWMC) supplies a wide variety of woodworking machinery. The company has enjoyed good sales in both foreign and local markets. WWMC has won a good reputation for top quality, competitive prices and quick delivery, followed by reliable service.
Q Please share more about your current position?
A My responsibilities as MD for WWMC are maintaining cash flow through sales of machinery into the industry and also advertising and marketing of our products – this includes keeping my customers happy by rather selling them a solution in accordance to their needs and not just handing over a machine and the keys and then ‘goodbye’.
Q Your thoughts on the current timber sector?
A In my opinion the industry needs to focus more on how they structure their mills with regards to what machinery is being used for specific applications, and more importantly, how they are placed in accordance to efficient workflow. Bottom line is people need more advice and consultancy before proper planning of factory layouts in order to avoid massive loss of income – also it’s very easy to make the wrong decisions before buying machinery. People tend to look at the price of a machine before the quality and get a fright before doing the math to calculate how quickly the machine will amortize itself and remain reliable for years. Sadly instead people will buy cheap and experience problems and shut downs in the future and subsequently end up facing massive financial loss.
Q Who or what inspires you?
A My late father Rob Wiese started WWMC in 1995 and owned and ran a joinery for five years before that. Over the years I learned a great deal from him regarding the industry and machinery. I formally started working for WWMC 15 years ago, focusing on advertising and marketing. I studied multimedia design and production for two years and photography for another year in Cape Town which ended up being an asset to WWMC. I then progressed into handling installations while my father dealt with the sales and consulting side of the business, and gradually worked my way up into handling sales, consulting, marketing and advertising.
Q Why the timber industry?
A What attracted me to this industry was the diversity and endless opportunities involved – also woodworking machinery is such a vast and interesting topic with amazing technology that grows and gets better every day. I enjoy what I do and my favourite part of the job is seeing the satisfaction of my customers after a solution to their problems has been provided.
Q What do you strive to achieve?
A I hope to achieve and maintain an excellent brand recognition for WWMC by answering to customers’ needs with excellent quality machinery at the best prices and service possible.
Sam’s top five business mantras:
- To supply top quality reliable woodworking machinery at affordable prices.
- To meet client needs.
- To provide excellent service.
- To be intimately familiar with each machine.
- While most problems can be resolved remotely, we also retain a number of reliable and experienced specialists in each field.