Frank Nemec made a telephone call recently. Frank owns and runs Eden Joinery, named for its home town on the Sapphire Coast along southern New South Wales. With an instinct for working in wood and a passion for his business, over the years Frank turned humble beginnings into a thriving venture with many domestic clients. For many years he has supplied the local building industry with kitchens, wardrobes, vanities, staircases, anything related to wood.
Quality and precision, Frank says are hallmarks of his success, and that using Altendorf equipment has improved the efficient operation of his workshop.
Twenty years ago Frank made the time to attend an AWISA show in Sydney, something he had wanted to do for a long time to judge for himself claims about the latest innovations in the trade. Seeing machinery manufactured by the German company Altendorf at the show, reminded Frank of his time in Austria working as a joiner and carpenter making sets in the movie industry, and the reputation of quality and reliability of the brand. Frank believes that the best equipment in the world is manufactured in Germany, and tells his family that if you want something that will last to buy German products.
Although he did not intend buying any new equipment, and had a suitable saw in his workshop, Frank was intrigued by the capabilities of the Altendorf Elmo series of sliding table panel saw machines. He realised that the ease of operation and the machine’s precision would help run a more efficient and profitable business, making more and better quality product.
Vit Kafka, who at the time was just beginning his career with Altendorf, listened to Frank talk about his business, and his needs, and suggested the Elmo4, where both left and right sides are computerised. Frank decided on the Elmo3 where only one side is computerised. He thought it would be easier and more comfortable to operate, and appreciated that Vit was not pressing him to buy the Elmo4 which was higher in price. Frank was so impressed that when Vit completed his demonstration of the equipment, Frank bought the machine right off the showroom floor. On a later occasion, when the obvious question came up about how the machine was going, Frank admitted that while he was very happy with it, he now realised the Elmo4, with crosscut fence computerised, would have made an even bigger difference.
In fact, little did Frank realise his visit to the Altendorf stand would begin a loyal and lasting relationship with the company, and a friendly professional relationship with Vit, who says, “The relationship with Frank is quite simple. He understands that I would never suggest something which wouldn’t work for him, that we are a trusted brand. At the end of the day, we have a machine for any type of business. It’s really important for us first of all, to identify where the machine fits into that person’s business. It’s no point in trying to sell somebody a top of the line machine, for example, when they need a basic manual machine. So for us, it’s all about the customer, and all about what they do, and their manufacturing process.”
The Elmo became like a trustworthy worker in Frank’s workshop, and he describes the after sales service as exemplary with regular on-site services. The helpful representatives are always ready to help solve any questions that may arise. “Once you buy a machine from this company, you become part of the family. It’s a company that doesn’t rely on just selling. They have a relationship with the joinery business themselves,” says Frank. He appreciates how it is a well-run company, and that the people believe in their products and accept the responsibility to do the right thing by the customer, nurturing the relationship between the company and client, putting the needs and satisfaction of its clients first.
The call that Frank made recently was to Vit, who today is the Managing Director of Altendorf Asia Pacific.
After 20 years of using the Elmo3, Frank wanted to upscale to the Elmo4. As he is getting on in years entering his eighth decade, he wanted to update to a model that needs less manual work. The F45 Elmo4D is completely automated. Vit says, “He rang us and said he was finally going to get the machine he should have got 20 years ago with both sides computerised. Frank’s old model was sold on to a new owner for another twenty years lease of life.”
Speaking from his workshop, Frank reflects that the company didn’t just simply hand over the equipment. He is pleased with the installation and technical instruction he received. After some training he has become familiar with all aspects of the machine and the computer controls. Using the computer screen makes for easy operation. Frank quips that now he just keys in the numbers and the machine does the rest.