Peter Mühlfelder, Head of Business Area Security, KURZ
Can you tell us a little about your company?
KURZ is a 5th-generation, family-owned company established over 120 years ago. From its beginnings as a gold foil producer, it developed into the world's leading manufacturer of superior transfer products including premium security solutions for banknotes. The KURZ Group, with over 5,500 employees, has over 30 sites worldwide and manufactures under standardized quality and environmental standards. Foils for banknotes are exclusively produced at our central bank-approved high security manufacturing site in Germany. Together with our subsidiary OVD Kinegram based in Switzerland, we have successfully created foil security devices for more than 300 different banknotes across over 80 countries, in cooperation with all major banknote paper suppliers and printers.
What was/is your biggest challenge selling your products and services in times of COVID-19 ?
First of all, we are missing the direct personal contact and interaction with our valued customers. But we adapted pretty quickly to the ‘new normal’ and of course we use every channel possible in order to stay in contact with our customers and possible leads. This means extensive use of social media, video platforms, webinars as well as more activity on our website.
Secondly, it is difficult to show security features with image change effects via video conference. We have ramped up our digital capacities to offer a comparable alternative, such as animations, not just for marketing but also for the approval process of real banknote designs. If you are interested in further details have a look at our customer magazine and read ‘Digital Design, Tangible Security (orofin.com)’.
Do you think your market has changed in the past year, and if so how?
Since the banknote market is a rather slowly changing market, it has not changed significantly in one year and was also not negatively affected by the pandemic. In some countries one could even observe a higher demand for banknotes which reflects the importance of cash especially in times of crisis.
We are also seeing trends towards a need for high-quality products and features, and a clear demand by central banks for independent suppliers to give them freedom of choice in the supply chain.
You will be exhibiting at Intergraf Currency+Identity Online (24-26 March 2021). What can participants look forward to seeing on your virtual exhibition space?
Following on from our successful webinar in 2020 we will of course focus on our new product line KURZ THREADS based on our various KINEGRAM® technologies. In addition we will showcase the latest innovations of the KINEGRAM® in general, and our solutions for Tax Stamps.
The Intergraf conference is a great platform to meet with the industry in these unusual times. We hope to make contact with existing and new customers and to exchange ideas about technologies, projects and technical solutions. Even in the online format we hope there will still be a chance for social contacts, which are an indispensable aspect of the security market with its basis in trust and understanding.