International Herz Partner Event 2023

Benvenuto! Bienvenue! Grüezi! Herzlich willkommen! Bienvenido! Välkommen! Welcome!

This is how Herz Energietechnik welcomed nine distribution partners from six different countries over the past six weeks at the facility on Herzstraße in Pinkafeld.

“It was partly a reunion after a very long time! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, business interactions were limited to online meetings, and direct contact was completely missing,” said the Herz export managers. The newly appointed CEO DI (FH) Karl Pucher also saw the event as a great opportunity: “It was an excellent opportunity to get to know each other, and at the same time, there were some anniversaries to celebrate!”

The partner events were a great chance to catch up on the long break, exchange news face to face and introduce new faces. After all, a lot has changed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. For some, it was their first time in Pinkafeld, while for others, it was the first time in a long time.

Long live sports!

The events were individually planned, yet traditionally Austrian, and Herz and Binder remained true to their motto “Teamwork makes the dream work.” At the first two partner events, we were able to convince our guests from Italy, France, and Switzerland that Austria occasionally scores goals in the giant foosball tournament.

The visit to the Zotter Chocolate Factory in Riegersburg before the tournament must not go unmentioned. Zotter has been operating a Binder Energietechnik facility since 2007, utilizing it not only for heating and hot water purposes but also for chocolate production. After the boiler inspection, the chocolate enjoyment tour naturally involved tasting everything from roasted cocoa beans to chocolate bars, diligently stocking up supplies for home.

The evenings in Pinkafeld concluded with a Grill & Chill featuring live music. Traditional dishes and a regional snack corner with regional products added a certain Austrian flair to the events. An essential point also emerged: the factory expansion. Naturally, the factory tour with our partners was a focal point of the partner events. Our factory expansion with new assembly lines and storage areas could thus be showcased.

In 2022, storage and production areas were expanded from 12,000m² to 18,000m². This not only doubled the capacity but also streamlined production processes, additionally creating 50 more job positions within the company. The partner events provided an excellent opportunity for our business partners to personally take a first look at the expansion of the production site.

Spanisher Paddle-Tennis Meets Austrian Curling

What an event – what talented athletes – what teamwork for 20 years! Our partner Termosun travelled from Barcelona in Spain with no fewer than 21 people and showed its sportiest side!

Upon arriving in Pinkafeld, we treated ourselves to a traditional Austrian snack, exchanging stories and getting to know each other a bit better. Here, we took the opportunity to present our team’s new hall at the production site in Pinkafeld. The day concluded with a pleasant dinner.

The following day witnessed impressive displays of skill in both paddle tennis and Austrian curling, further enhancing teamwork among the participants.

Before the sports activities, we visited the district heating facility in Oberwart. Since its opening in April 2019, the Binder Energietechnik’s 5 MW boiler has been supplying approximately 50 heat consumers, including the hospital, schools, the exhibition center, shopping center, and various companies and hotels. After the impressive reference tour, we headed to the tennis court in Wolfau for a light refreshment before the start of the duels.

From classic fun matches to exciting final duels, the day offered a diverse range of experiences. Our Spanish guests demonstrated remarkable talent even in the Austrian curling game.

The day slowly drew to a close and we got in the mood for a cosy end to the day. With live music, a traditional suckling pig and traditional Austrian Kaiserschmarrn (shredded pancakes) for dessert, we celebrated, laughed and toasted to 20 years of partnership. Starting out as a small company, we have achieved great things and have grown together over the years!

Country Finals – Food, Drinks and a Good Time

Scything, milking cows, baking “strauben” (a type of sweet pastry) – these were just a few of the tasks at the Country Finals for our guests from Switzerland and South Tyrol.

But let’s go back to the beginning of the partner event. Here, we welcomed our guests again in Pinkafeld with a traditional snack, a brief introduction, and a tour of the production halls.

To round off the arrival day, a typical Austrian “Blunzengröstel” (blood sausage hash) with roasted potatoes from the giant pan and apple strudel with vanilla sauce were served. The evening was accompanied by a Styrian duo with accordion and devil’s violin, which resonated well with our guests. A small foosball table added a touch of fun, allowing teams to compete against each other.

The next day, it was all about putting their skills to the test! Everyone had to participate in the Country Finals and showcase their knowledge and abilities in agriculture.

The event started with a theoretical part, where some questions had to be answered, and a few works of art had to be put on paper. What initially seemed not too challenging turned into a small hurdle for some, as grades were given based on the school grading system. After completing this part, the practical section began. A particularly delightful aspect of it was the proper handling of a yeast dough and the baking of “Straube”. The challenge? Creating a masterpiece! Whether it was a heart, a rose, a pretzel – everything was possible, and everything was attempted. Our partners and employees showcased true talents! The masterpieces were, of course, enjoyed afterward.

The program continued with guessing which products were homemade and which were bought. Everyone immediately knew which meatloaf, which bread, and which apple juice were homemade and which were store-bought. True connoisseurs were at work here. To balance tasting and snacking, there was also a somewhat more athletic part. In the agility segment, 4-member teams had to compete in grass skiing. It was not only entertaining to watch, but our participants also had a blast! The festivities continued with scything and woodcutting – a true testament to skill and technique.

After guessing various grain and seed types as well as tree species, there was a short break before moving on to the cow-milking challenge. True talents emerged during this challenge, and some managed to earn top grades. What an exciting and adventurous day! However, the award ceremony was yet to come. Would anyone have to take a re-exam, or had everyone passed? A few had a close call, but most successfully completed the Country Finals! Before the journey home, there was a little refreshment with Wiener Schnitzel, roast pork and fried chicken. After all, you shouldn’t set off on an empty stomach!

Sporting Success and Enjoyment

Our guests from Sweden experienced a diverse program. After breakfast at the hotel, we warmly welcomed them to Pinkafeld and enjoyed a brief introduction and a factory tour after a short get-together.

Following a delicious midday snack, an exciting dart football match between Austria and Sweden was on the agenda. Our guests demonstrated excellent preparation, with the captain equipped with a cap and two other players wearing football jerseys. We then approached the impressive dartboard, standing at about 3 meters high. Several natural talents emerged during this activity, and in the individual competition, our Swedish guests effortlessly secured two podium positions. The following match between Austria and Sweden was highly exciting, and our Swedish guests triumphed with a 2:1 victory – congratulations!

We celebrated the victory in style at Buschenschank Spindler in Winzendorf. Before indulging in culinary delights, we took a look at the firematic 180, providing cozy warmth for the Spindler family. The victory was joyously celebrated with a delightful Buschenschank snack, and the evening concluded with culinary enjoyment.

The following morning, we once again took our guests to the Zotter Chocolate Factory. They not only had the opportunity to inspect the Binder boiler but also thoroughly enjoyed the tempting chocolate tour.

After a quick lunch, we headed to Heurigenstadl Ehrenhöfer, where the Landmatura awaited us once again. Amidst cheerful laughter, most participants mastered the challenges with flying colors! A comprehensive dinner marked the successful conclusion of this partnership event.

Behind the Scenes of Delight

Last but not least, we welcomed our partners from Northern Ireland. After a cozy get-together and a factory tour in Pinkafeld, our guests were warmly greeted and escorted to dinner.

The following day, our partners from Northern Ireland were in for a fascinating day with many interesting program items. After breakfast at Braugasthof Rabenbräu, we offered an exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse, exploring the firematic 201. This facility is powered by wood chips and provides pleasant warmth to the pub and accommodations. Braugasthof Rabenbräu is also the birthplace of unique delicacies such as homemade beer, gin, and whiskey. We were privileged to learn about these processes and understand the creation of each fine drop. In the on-site tasting cellar, participants had the opportunity to sniff and savor some exquisite drops.

As a conclusion to the six-week partner events, we led our guests one last time to the Zotter Chocolate Factory for a reference tour and a subsequent chocolate tour. Some brave souls even took on a special challenge: tasting mealworms combined with various extraordinary specialty chocolates, including the unique Blood Chocolate.

Our journey then took us to the Gölles Vinegar Manufactory. Here, top-notch brandies and vinegars are produced. During a factory tour, we gained exclusive insights into the production and storage of these fine drops. Of course, we also had the opportunity to taste all the vinegars and brandies.

The culinary finale awaited us at Buschenschank Bernhart in Riegersburg. Surrounded by stunning views, we enjoyed delightful dishes and refreshing drinks. In this relaxed atmosphere, lively conversations continued into the late evening, deepening our shared partnership.

Sustainable Success for Strengthening International Connections

After six intense weeks, we draw a highly positive conclusion with great satisfaction: The business relationships with nine partners from six different countries were not only strengthened but sustainably fortified. A particularly pleasing aspect is evident in the noticeable facilitation of collaboration, made possible by personal encounters and getting to know the people behind the names more closely. This personal exchange not only contributed to building trust but also established a deeper connection among partners.

The partner events also proved to be beneficial for the internal strengthening of our team. It provided an opportunity for departments that don’t often interact in day-to-day operations to get to know each other better and foster better networking. This opportunity not only promoted the exchange of ideas and experiences but also served as an effective method to intensify internal collaboration and strengthen team spirit.

DI (FH) Karl Pucher provides an extremely positive summary of the partner events: “The events were a complete success and significantly contributed to strengthening our business relationships.” He further emphasizes that the successful events should serve as a model for the future. The intention is clearly defined: Similar events will continue to be organized to ensure sustainable and successful collaboration in the long term. The goal is to deepen the partnership relationships further and solidify the achievements through events of this nature in the future.