Celebrating EGMF’s 45th Anniversary: interview with Wolfgang Simmer

To celebrate our 45th anniversary, we are excited to take a trip down memory lane with our members, remembering the origins of EGMF and acknowledging how we have evolved and arrived at where we are today.

We spoke with Wolfgang Simmer to hear his thoughts on how our Federation has evolved!

What is your current role and responsibilities?
I am Sales Manager British Isles, Northern and Eastern Europe and STIHL Central and Director Marketing and Sales Services at STIHL Tirol. I have been involved in EGMF for many years, both in the working groups and governing bodies. Following my role as Vice-President, I took the role of EGMF President from 2016-2020 and I continue today to be involved in EGMF’s Board.

What is your company’s mission?
Founded over 90 years ago, the STIHL Group became a global powertool manufacturer. Today, STIHL develops, manufactures and distributes power tools for professional forestry and agriculture as well as for garden and landscape maintenance, the construction sector and private garden owners. To make work easy for our users in and with the nature. STIHL has the power to grow, we are close to our customers, we believe in our strong roots and we grow by the tasks that challenge us.

When did you become involved in EGMF? What inspired to join?
STIHL was among the founders of EGMF and I became involved when Dr. Nikolas Sthil was the President. I entered EGMF’s Marketing Committee to represent VIKING and from the very beginning I felt the dymanics and chance to shape the Federation for the future.

How does EGMF help your company to achieve your goals and support your mission?
We cannot fight alone. A federation like EGMF brings our branch together. Our task forces enable us and our competitors to elaborate solutions and speak as one voice. STIHL (and all other major members) brings in a lot of manpower, ideas and expertise.

How have you seen EGMF and the industry evolve over the past years?
EGMF has developed a lot over the past years and we have been successfully established as a strong partner for our industry, overcoming many challenges including changes to legislation and regulation, economic crisis and evolving social trends. As an example, digitalization and the shift from petrol/electric cable powered machines to battery powered tools and solutions have brought major changes to our industry. EGMF has gotten a new face over the last couple of years and become much more dynamic and modern. We are ready for the future.

What do you see as the biggest challenge and opportunity for the industry today, or in the near future?
The biggest challenges are the shortage in supply for a growing industry, the lack of skilled workers, the transformation towards battery, the EU agenda and the strong competition from outside Europe.

Where do you see EGMF’s role in helping your company to address these challenges and opportunities?
We must work and stand together united, represented by EGMF. EGMF is our forum to deal with the challenges, it represents our branch at the EU. Reliable market data and information- provided by EGMF is also a basis to make decisions.

In an ideal world…our industry will continue to grow and be an attractive place to work, despite all the expensive political inspired regulations we are being and will continue to be confronted with.

To find out more about the history of EGMF you read our article here.