For over 90 years, professional craftsmen from the wood construction, carpentry, painting, renovation and painting segments have relied on Festool power tools. As one of the leading family businesses in its market, Festool is operating in over 50 countries with almost 3,000 employees. Festool develops and markets high-quality electrical and pneumatic tools, system accessories and consumables for professional craftsmen. The tools are sold worldwide exclusively through specialist dealers, while the use of DIY markets as distribution channels is consciously disregarded. The founding of the company under the name Fezer & Stoll (Festo) was already linked to an innovation, the first portable chainsaw. Since its foundation by Gottlieb Stoll in 1925, Festool has been a family business, now in its third generation. Festool is very committed to German manufacturing: by far the largest proportion, approx. 80%, of its products are assembled at the parent plant in Neidlingen, near Stuttgart, or in Illertissen. Further own production plants are in Ceska Lipa (Czech Republic) and Lebanon (USA). Festool stands for “Made in Germany”, for the German art of engineering and experience with manufacturing. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? Festool: We work closely with professional craftsmen to develop tailor-made tools. With a clear commitment to well thought-out, high-value product quality and service orientation, Festool is positioning itself as a premium brand within its industry and is also perceived as such. The company launched a technical innovation already at the beginning of its history, i.e. when it was founded (initially the company name had been Fezer und Stoll): the first mobile chain saw which made it possible to perform this hard, previously menial, job on site and thus made life easier for workers already back then. 26 years later, the orbital sander was launched – another novel product that helped implement an enormous change in the way joiners and woodworkers were working at the time: As more material could be sanded off in a shorter period, the work could be done much faster. Tradesmen liked the idea of this novel product so much at the time that some of them were willing to make a down payment and as soon as the tool had been product, they rode their bikes to the factory to pick up the tool immediately. The first eccentric sander we launched did not appear to our customers to be such a revolutionary novelty at first sight. It was a bit more effort for us to convince workers that with this tool they could produce better work results. And this is one of the moments when the advantages of being a family-owned company became very clear: As the owners of the company themselves believed in the tool concept and the benefits it offers, the company continued to invest in training despite initial problems, i.e. slow sales, and in close cooperation with the company’s customers we further optimized the basic idea behind the tool concept. And this has paid off for us: Nowadays an eccentric or random orbit sander is commonplace when it comes to surface finishing and no worker can imagine finishing surfaces without it. Also, since 1993, our customers have been using the SYSTAINER with pride. We launched the Systainer because we had realized that our customers are losing a lot of time packing and unpacking everything they need on site and that quite often they tend to forget tools or misplace them. This is why we developed a system for organizing and transporting everything you need on site so as to improve work processes for our customers. We are deliberately not claiming to be a generalist, or full-range supplier. Our target groups are joiners, timber framing and timber construction, painters, car body painters, as well as remodeling, renovation, light construction – a sector which is posting a dynamic grow. E.E: What’s new for 2020 in terms of new products? Festool: In 2020 we already launched quite innovative new products. In the spring we introduced our new battery impact screwdriver, the TID18, which was very well received on the market. We also introduced our new table saw the TKS 80, which has the so-called “SawStop” function, preventing the possibility of damage to the user’s hand. This is a patented technology, exclusively from Festool. In October we’re lunching our new wall sander, the new Planex, which has an integrated LED lighting, and this is something nobody else has on the market. E.E: What are the product ranges sold? „Sawing, vacuuming and grinding“ are our key product segments. In these areas we gain more than one-third of the company‘s sales. We also have a wide range of battery products, meeting the growing demand of the market. Our range of products in detail: drilling & screwdriving;machining surfaces;illuminating;dust extraction – Festool is currently the only supplier that develops and produces its own vacuum cleaners in-house;sawing;routing;renovating;edging;stirring;workplace organization;planning;polishing;joining;oscillating. E.E: At what stage is the market in which you are currently active? Festool: Our market is developing constantly, and the demand for our quality products is increasing. The construction industry, along with the furniture business have been growing rapidly in the past years, which widens our opportunities. Compared to our competitors we are not an universal brand, but on our filed we are experts. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? Festool: The share of cordless products is growing in the tool business, and the need for quality is increasing. Customers are looking more and more for additional services too, and we’re meeting this demand with our service packages: Warranty all-inclusive: service package inclusive for each new tool. MyFestool: personal online offer for the end customer. Full repair: Our own repair service – within as well as after the warranty period. Hello Hotline! Our offer for the customer to directly contact us. With warranty all-inclusive the tool is fully covered for the first three years, leaving the customer to focus on what matters most: the work. Four components of which the customer benefits after the registration: Our three years lasting warranty “full repair free of charge” includes everything, as well wear parts, and applies for battery packs and rechargers. No costs of repair!The theft protection applies for all cases of theft: if of the construction area, of the car or of the workshop.The long disposability of each spare part guarantees a long time of application.If the customer is not happy with the tool in the daily application, he can return it and will be refunded with the full purchasing costs. E.E: What are the most innovative products sold? Festool: As previously mentioned, our new SawStop table saw is very innovative, along with the new Planex wall sander with integrated light. Also in the recent past we managed to convince our customers of the benefits of our genuine innovations like the CONTURO mobile edge banding system launched in 2014; our DOMINO jointing system, our KAPEX sliding compound mitre saw etc. are also unique. We have more than 475 patent families and over 90 awards were granted with respect to products, designs and the company. E.E: What are your estimates for 2020? Festool: We are optimistic about the year, despite the difficult circumstances of the pandemic. We are experiencing growing sales, and increasing number of customers. Our product launches, and attractive promotions already created huge interests, and the year is not over yet. We hope that the industry will continue to grow, and we are trusting our possibilities, as wood working also has a large history in Romania.