Interview with Damian Aebischer, CEO of Packimpex Ltd.
A partner who takes care of all the details in a professional manner, who knows the local area and has an excellent network. Who wouldn’t want that, especially when moving to another country? Every day, Packimpex Ltd. proves that this exact wish can be granted. The company, based near Bern and with branches in Switzerland and abroad, has developed into an international specialist for relocation and temporary accommodation, offering its customers comprehensive services from a single source.
“Moving to another country is an emotional roller coaster ride for customers”, says Damian Aebischer, CEO of Packimpex Ltd. “With our help, customers quickly feel at home”. To make this emotional roller coaster ride as pleasant as possible, the Swiss company takes care of every aspect of the relocation.
An assigned contact person from Packimpex, referred to as a Relocation Consultant, accompanies the customer from the first contact all the way through getting settled in their new home. The consultant supports the customers in topics such as relocation, school selection and childcare, housing search, banking, insurance, taxes and much more. The same applies to moving away. Here, too, Packimpex stands by its customers as a reliable and competent partner, for example when it comes to cancelling rental contracts, electricity, water and such.
Focus on relocation
Packimpex was founded in 1977 as an international relocation company. The founder was Ernst Jörg, the father of the current Chairman of the Board Marcel Jörg. For the next 25 years, Packimpex operated as a classic relocation service provider and experienced steady growth. At the beginning of the 2000s, the company entered the relocation business to support people who wanted to move to Switzerland. “Since that time, we have offered our customers an all-round carefree package for everything concerning their relocation”, says Damian Aebischer. In the mid-2000s, Packimpex expanded its activities to include another new business segment: temporary accommodation. This segment includes the management of company apartments, temporary living in company apartments, and the rental of furniture for these apartments. The division with which Packimpex had grown up, the classic moving business, was completely abandoned four years ago. This service is now provided by reliable partner companies as part of the relocation service.
A successful model for relocation services
Packimpex’s successful relocation services model is no longer limited to Switzerland. Two and a half years ago, branches were opened in Germany in Frankfurt and near Freiburg. There are further branches in Brussels, Belgium, Amsterdam and London.
Packimpex has a nationwide presence in its home market of Switzerland. In addition to its headquarters in Thörishaus near Bern, the company has branches in Geneva, Lausanne, Vevey, Neuchâtel, Zug, Zurich, Basel and Lugano. The company has 150 employees.
Packimpex’s customers include companies of all sizes from different industries and sectors. Among them are many medium-sized customers whose employees are globally mobile and change their work locations more frequently.
“We are not industry-focused at all”, confirms Damian Aebischer. Independent of its own locations, Packimpex offers relocation services through its worldwide network of other renowned partners.
Virtual city tour
“In our business, information is important and that’s why digitalisation is a high priority for us”, explains the CEO. “So we also offer solutions via digital portals and platforms. Our customers also have the opportunity to get an idea of their new surroundings via virtual city tours”.
When addressing customers, Packimpex relies on different channels. “We are active in B2B account management as well as through our networks”, says Damian Aebischer. “In addition, we use social media channels such as LinkedIn and Xing”.
Further international expansion
“Innovation is one of our hallmarks”, says the CEO, citing one reason for Packimpex’s great success. “We have always been on the lookout for new trends and solutions, and we were also digital very early on. On top of that, we are very customer oriented. ʻWith our customers, for our customersʼ is our slogan”.
Other signs of success are the size that the company has now achieved – Packimpex is number one in Switzerland – and the geographical coverage across several European countries. “Despite our size, we have never compromised on the quality of our services”, adds Damian Aebischer. “This is certainly also due to the fact that we regularly collect feedback from our customers”.
The topic of sustainability is becoming increasingly important. Damian Aebischer says: “We are certified according to the ISO 14000 environmental standard, do not buy furniture from China, and use electric and hybrid vehicles as company cars. Recently, we gave discarded furniture to a charity organization and recycled 250 tonnes of furniture. In addition, we are one of the only relocation companies certified for Data Security according to ISO 27001, which allows us to add significant value for our customers, especially in an increasingly digital world”.
In the coming years, Packimpex aims to expand its operations internationally. “The focus is on expansion and we are pursuing the goal of European coverage”, the CEO said. “We are constantly evaluating new business areas. For example, we would like to offer furniture subscriptions as a sustainable alternative to all private retail customers in the future”.
This article was originally published in German on the Wirtschaftsforum magazine: click here to see the original