That's the new guy: Interview with Ronny Weis

Ronny Weis (38) has been Managing Director of the International Shoe Competence Center Pirmasens gGmbH (ISC Germany) since 1 June 2018. He directs the ISC together with Dr. Kerstin Schulte, who is also head of the Pirmasens Testing and Research Institute. (PFI).

The industry knows you as an employee of the PFI's design and research department. What is your background?

Already as a young person I was fascinated by the topic "Technology in humans". After my training as an orthopedic mechanic/bandagist in Zweibrücken and Heidelberg, I decided to broaden my technical horizon after several years of professional experience. I then successfully implemented this with a diploma and subsequent master's degree as an engineer in the field of microsystems technology.

Through my studies, internships and final theses I came from the "Vivo-equivalent cervical spine" project via an exoskeleton arm to robot remote control in space to record biomechanical parameters on sports shoes. This topic ultimately led me to PFI, where I have been working on research projects relevant to footwear since 2009.

What motivated you to apply for ISC management? What motivates you for the new task?

It is quite clear that the wide range of possibilities offered by the ISC portfolio, be it training and further education, consulting or research and development, are manifold. Especially our individual company trainings, in which we coach the participants in small groups, are - to put it in a current buzzword - actually "customised", i.e. tailored to the special requirements of each of our customers. Our research activities with a focus on product optimization of footwear and leather goods, optimization of production processes and the biomechanical properties of shoes or even orthoses also offer high potential.

What does the ISC stand for, what are its strengths and opportunities? Are there any unique selling points?

I see the ISC as the point of contact when it comes to product-related training and education of employees, but also for the development of new approaches in production and sales. One of the strengths of the ISC is, of course, its top-quality team of experts, which can quickly adapt to new tasks.

Are there also weaknesses or risks in the field of action of the ISC?

Of course, every business has its risks. You have to look very closely at the market and interpret the signs that are sent out correctly in order to be able to offer the right product at the right time.

Which is on top of your ISC priority list?

We will examine the possibilities of new technologies and their use not only in training and further education, but also in production very closely and will certainly implement and offer various solutions for this.

How important is it for you to promote the internationalisation of the ISC - especially in Asia?

According to the latest statistics, 87 percent of all shoes produced worldwide are produced in Asia. In this respect, the newly established ISC Asia subsidiary is of course very important. We are continuing our efforts to be present in Asia.

Which other fields of activity of the ISC would you like to expand or relocate?

We pursue various approaches in the field of digital technologies and digital media.

Which areas are truly new territory for you?

Through my previous activities, I had already come into contact with the ISC before my start as Managing Director and would not see "completely new territory" in any area. But of course there are always aspects that you are not so familiar with. You have to learn permanently! But that's exactly what makes it exciting.

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