On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Fachwelt Verlag, our editor-in-chief Constanze Schmitz sat down with the founder and publisher Alija Palevic to discuss the past, present, and future.
That’s what people commonly call the 10th wedding anniversary – a fitting description for an anniversary that brings both mature beauty and a few thorns. For Fachwelt Verlag, 2023 is indeed a special year as we celebrate our 10th anniversary. The past decade has brought us many successes as well as challenges. Today, our publishing house offers you a bouquet of digital publications, complemented by our up-to-date websites and industry-specific newsletters.
We share this milestone with you, our readers, and long-time customers, many of whom graciously congratulated us on this special occasion. To commemorate this moment, our publisher Alija Palevic and I, as editor-in-chief, sat down to reflect on the early years, the present, and the future of Fachwelt Verlag. We discussed our achievements, changes, challenges, and prospects, and we hope you will enjoy the interview as much as we did.
The entire team at Fachwelt Verlag extends heartfelt thanks to you, our readers and customers, for the past 10 years, and we look forward to an exciting and successful future together!
Even during my school years, I had a strong desire to start my own company, without a specific industry in mind. The opportunity to bring my own ideas to life always intrigued me. The core idea of starting my own publishing house developed over the course of my professional life. I quickly realized that creative and meaningful suggestions in established companies often went through a lengthy process or were never implemented at all. I was disappointed by this and concluded that the best way to bring about changes was to take matters into my own hands. My wife always gave me the courage, strength, and unwavering support throughout this journey. She played a significant role in the success of the publishing house.
In my opinion, CHEMISTRY, PHARMACEUTICALS, and FOOD are key industries in the manufacturing sector. The ultimate goal was to provide users, and thus our readership, with information that simplifies their lives. We brought these three industries together under the slogan “The entire world of process industry.” This combination still offers our readers a broad insight into business processes, even beyond their own industry. Users have the opportunity to learn about successful solutions in the pharmaceutical industry, for example, and adapt them to their own industry and company. This benefits everyone, eliminating the need to go through multiple industry titles for information and development.
On the other hand, our advertising customers benefit from a comprehensive platform to market their products simultaneously in three economically interesting sectors. By placing an advertisement, our customers reach key decision-makers responsible for procuring equipment and components. The fusion of the CHEMISTRY, PHARMACEUTICAL, and FOOD industries has been and continues to be the formula for success in our PROCESS TECHNOLOGY. Manufacturers and users benefit from the unique media concept that we continually develop.
One of our top goals is to inform our readership selectively. That’s why we don’t just publish a magazine every month but focus on trade fairs. This aligns with the interests of our readers and customers. Trade fairs remain an important and useful point of contact for manufacturers and users and will continue to be so for the next ten years. We have already accounted for this trend since the founding of our publishing house. That’s why the digital aspect has played a crucial role for us from the very beginning.
An important step was expanding our portfolio into pharmaceutical technology and water & wastewater technology. We were alerted to the need for more detailed information in these areas by our readers and customers. They regularly told us that they needed more in-depth information. So, the decision to expand our media portfolio accordingly was quickly made, and it has proven successful.
Digitization is the magic word of our time and my absolute favorite topic of the past five years. Digitization requires a lot of know-how in all areas of our lives. Going digital doesn’t just mean putting everything online but fundamentally simplifying everyday life and the traditional approach. Our customers have been telling us about their recognition of the benefits of digital possibilities since the founding of the publishing house and their increasing desire to use them.
Originally, our publishing house entered the media world with innovative print products. However, we also gave our digital media significant attention internally. Digital media were never just “followers” for us; they were on par with our print titles – until the onset of the pandemic. This motivated us to reinvent ourselves, even though it seemed unthinkable at first.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, our lives changed significantly, and we, as Fachwelt Verlag, felt the need to adapt. The first issues of our media were already editorially and commercially finalized. Exciting content that would typically accompany a first issue at the beginning of the year suddenly had no audience. The world shifted to remote work, and our magazines ended up on empty desks. Unacceptable to us! So, we gathered, albeit virtually, with our team to find solutions. My wife’s first words were, “From now on, there will be no more print publications. We are going 100% digital today.”
This clear and unequivocal statement from our publishing strategist initially sparked heated discussions. This radical reorientation was unimaginable to me at first. For the first six weeks, I slept poorly during this truly uncomfortable business phase. Today, I regret only one thing at this point: we should have started the digitization of our media much earlier! I must give my wife credit, as I often do. The opportunities we have in the digital space far exceed those in the print domain.
When we need information today, most of us turn to the internet. In our case, the “digital transformation,” as described above, was accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis. Our online portfolio allows our readers to access our publications anytime, anywhere, whether in the office or from home. Our innovative format sets us apart from many other online publications. It is a true stand-alone product, not just an adapted print version. Each article is its own webpage, complete with images and videos, offering an intuitive user experience.
In addition to traditional advertising opportunities, this provides our customers with a range of new and exciting ways to showcase their products. The modern online format allows advertisers and other providers to present their innovations in detail and in a contemporary manner, without the limitations of a static A4 page.
For us as a publishing house, saying goodbye to print was initially a mixed affair. But we quickly recognized the incredible opportunities that arose from the transition. After a short adjustment period, we discovered that the advantages were even greater than we could have imagined. It allowed my team and me to unleash our creativity while simplifying workflows for everyone involved, from editorial to layout to delivery to our readers.
In the publishing world, we are true pioneers in terms of media digitization. We aim to further expand this digital advantage. “Standing still is moving backward,” so we never stop but constantly evolve! Our employees are highly committed and work with great motivation and passion to advance our media. Ideas, suggestions, and recommendations regularly come from the team, which we discuss and then implement. We always think ahead and are already planning for 2024. This keeps things exciting and interesting.
Last week, my 15-year-old daughter asked me about the future of the publishing house: “Dad, can you imagine that I might work at your publishing house someday? I’d like to contribute my ideas.” I can already say that she is a true “digital native,” completely at home in the digital world. So, in the future, alongside my wife, I’ll likely have another female professional on the team to guide us in the digital direction.
We thank all well-wishers, customers, and our readership for the past 10 years. We look forward to the future with you!