SHE GETS THE LAST WORD
After skis are honed, ground, paired and aligned, off they go to the ski runs. Or so you would think. But that isn’t entirely true. Before it gets to that, skis must be inspected in detail one last time so the last work steps can be carried out. That’s where she gets the last word: Vreni Wobmann, 51, team leader for Final Inspection.
Final inspection – that means everything must be checked precisely one last time. But that’s not all. Skis here get the final finishing touch. “It’s all about the last little details that really finalize a ski, so to speak,” says Vreni. Among other things, protectors on the tips are mounted, holes for the bindings drilled, and the serial numbers engraved on the tail. There is a specialist for every step. Quite necessary when more than 300 pairs of skis are made here each day.
Afterward the skis are waxed, and the edges treated before they are packed up ready for shipping. And Vreni? She hops in wherever she is needed. As versatile as she is, she can herself do all of the work steps. “That is important. That is why I can plan better but I can also jump in everywhere in case things really go crazy.”
She always keeps an eye on it all. “We can’t overlook a single thing. When the skis leave their final inspection, everything must be perfect.” Nothing escapes Vreni. Even the smallest irregularity she can immediately recognize and take care of. Be it a tiny scratch or a color that isn’t quite what it should be. “Then we have to determine, quite simply, correct or reject.” Her team has four members. Together, they are responsible for ensuring only skis leaving the manufacturing facility that conform 100% to the quality standards set by Stöckli.
Vreni has acquired the trained eye, knowledge and versatility over her 10 years at Stöckli. But it all started quite a bit earlier. To be exact, thirty years earlier. Back then, she had already been working a few years in the ski manufacturing facility. Production planning and silk-screening were her specialty areas. “It was exciting after all these years to return, and to see all of the changes.” A few things had changed in the meantime. The entire manufacturing facility was expanded and modernized. The finishing department with the grinding, pairing & aligning, plus final inspection are now in a separate building. The production area was expanded by some 1,000 square meters. “For us that’s a wonderful thing. We have room and the distance within departments is still short.”
Despite a broad knowledge about manufacturing and of the various ski models, someone like Vreni is always learning. From time to time she puts in a day to poke around, work and watch in another department. “All team leaders do that,” Vreni says. Currently, she is not working in final inspection but in assembly. “I think it’s great because we can get to learn and know the entire production process better. Plus, we can then support each other better.”
This team spirit is what she really values. Particularly within her own team but also within the entire organization. “It’s very important to me that everybody is working in unison.” Vreni is convinced that only in that way is it possible to make such a fantastic, exclusive product. She is also especially proud that Stöckli is now known all around the world. “I very much like to tell people that I work here. And that always creates quite a bit of interest.”
As a passionate skier herself, she likes to see and test for herself the quality of her work. For one, on piste, where she prefers to carve her turns in the snow with a Laser CX. But also, as a super passionate fan of ski racing. “For 10 years I have gone to the races in Adelboden and Wengen. The achievements we have been able to celebrate this season are phenomenal.”
Excitement for skiing. Proud to be a part of Stöckli. Vreni is just the right person to have the last word when it comes to the quality of Stöckli skis. Herself, she sees however as more of the last link in a chain of passionate and competent colleagues. And, yes, that’s Vreni, too: down-to-earth and modest. That very thing is why she and Stöckli are such a great match.