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The best of two worlds

Portrait

Josef Göbel GmbH is – simply put – a young company with 140 years of experience. It is synonymous with extraordinary traditional skills handed down from generation to generation and the constant quest for uncompromised quality; the company manufactures wooden furniture – basically everything from doors and windows to kitchen furniture and built-in wardrobes.

“When it comes to genuine craftsmanship, everything is about quality,” points out Managing Director Josef Göbel, who is representing the fifth generation. “For this reason we rely on well-trained and highly skilled employees who process the most beautiful wood.”

Josef Göbel has always focused on high quality furniture. The company was founded in 1874 by Edmund Göbel, a travelling journeyman from Germany who offered his skills in return for hospitality and eventually settled down in Fladnitz. He constantly concentrated on individual craftsmanship instead of mass production – still today, one of Josef Göbel’s key characteristics.

“Individuality is what sets us apart really,” stresses Mr. Göbel. “Every single piece of furniture is produced individually in our workshops in Fladnitz which is quite exceptional these days and significantly contributes to our market success. Interestingly, we have witnessed an increasing demand for high-value products over the last years which has spurred our development.”

Josef Göbels has steadily grown over the last years – today, the company is one of the most important employers of the region. Not only an increasing internationalization but also the acquisition of the carpenter’s workshop Seliger GmbH in 2007 contributed to this positive development.

Today, Josef Göbel has 300 employees and annual revenues of 40 million EUR. Four production companies are part of the Josef Göbel group: Artex, a leading supplier and contractor for museums and exhibitions, Seliger, Jirka, a joinery, and Josef Göbel GmbH.

“In Austria, we have around 8,700 mostly small craft workshops,” says Mr. Göbel. “Thanks to our capacities we rank among the biggest ones today. Our company represents a long tradition of finest craftsmanship; at the same time, we have always been open-minded and embrace innovation. Due to those characteristics, Josef Göbel has developed from a small traditional carpenter workshop to an internationally acclaimed company.”

The company’s open-mindedness is not only mirrored in the latest technologies but also in its international activities, that have become more and more important. “In the 1990s, we started entering global markets, especially in Eastern European countries such as Russia,” sums up Mr. Göbel. “Today, exports make up 60 to 70% of sales; we cover 18 different countries from Portugal to Russia. We simply follow customers.”

Josef Göbel’s wooden products are highly demanded by wealthy private customers, embassies, pharmacies, flagship stores or hotels. They appreciate the company’s quality and service-driven philosophy – and gladly recommend it to others.

“Thanks to top-notch machinery and excellent employees, we are in the position to offer complete solutions and to manufacture everything in-house”, underlines Mr. Göbel. “Every order is unique and an individual challenge.”

The result of this approach – individual furniture with an artisan’s touch that can be found in Austria’s Nationalbibliothek, Schloss Schönbrunn, Hotel Sacher or Moscow’s Kempinski. Josef Göbel can bank on loyal customers and strictly follows their needs.

“We witness an increasing demand for smart furniture,” says Mr. Göbel. “We need to adapt to digitization that will have a huge impact on our business. Our aim is to grow with new market challenges. To further enhance performances and improve quality, we are going to revamp our production facilities. At the same time, we are aware that qualified employees are crucial to keep up high quality standards. For this reason, we will continue investing in trainings and intensify partnerships with schools and universities. We are even thinking about a campus for employees.”

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