Germany-Local Market Survey:interview MR. JOSEF ETTENHUBER
COMENIUS PROJECT BUSINESS IDEAS FOR THE FUTURE A REPORT FROM GLONN
DANIEL, ROBERT,MARIUS FORM 8A interview MR. JOSEF ETTENHUBER
Ettenhuber is a family-run company for bus travelling for more than 40 years. How many generations have managed the company up to now? Are there any descendents who are interested to run the company in the future? We have managed the company since 1945 in third generation. My grandfather founded it after World War II. Trains didn´t run from Glonn to Grafing for example because there were no more railway tracks. Therefore he started transportation by bus. Later, in 1965, there was a new law by government defining that all pupils have the right for free transportation to school, if their way is longer than 3 km. My father took his chance and started running school buses.
Your two brothers and you inherited the company in 2004. Did you divide up the departments of your company? And if so, how did you do this? I am CEO, my areas of responsibility are mostly public-transit buses and the travel catalogue. Michael takes care of hiring buses and organizes the bus travel, Wolfgang manages the mechanics and also public transport buses.
How many people are working at Ettenhuber´s. How many of them are female? We have 120 employees; seven of them are female, including two bus drivers. Since bus driving is not seen as a typical job for men and more, it became an attractive part-time job for women. Unfortunately , there are still not enough.
Do you have a workers’ council? If not, how do you solve conflicts? We have persons of trust and supervisors, who are responsible for eight drivers each.
Do you work in cooperation with other partners? Who are these partners? No we do not. But we run bus lines in two areas in the southeast of Munich.
Is there a lot of business competition nearby? Yes there is, but we have a good relation.
Which occupations requiring formal training do you offer in your company? Clerks, mechanics and bus drivers.
Which certificates should pupils have if they want to be trained at Ettenhuber? They are required to have a QA at least, but we prefer Mittlere Reife.
Which skills do you expect? Commitment, stamina, capacity for teamwork
Do your trainees have a chance to remain in the company after having finished their formal training? Yes, they do. A professional training is very expensive and we are interested in keeping them in our company.
How would their chances be if they wanted to work somewhere else after having finished? It would be easy for them to find a position .
How high is the benefit of bus tourism in comparison to the total revenue? It is about 20 percent.
How are the chances of a bus journeys times of price dumping flights and cheap hotel arrangements according to your opinion? Our last year’s turnover with a growth of 25% shows that bus travelling is seen as social travelling. Especially lonely people prefer them in order to catch up with someone.
What is the average age of your customers? Between 50 and 60.
Why do people decide to go by bus to Greece or southern Spain for instance? It is quite far away and the journey can be exhausting? Many people prefer travelling through the country than to fly over it. The way is the goal and they get to know it better.
On your homepage we read that most of your guests are frequenters. Please tell us how many? About 80 percent are frequenters.
You give the travellers the chance to evaluate the journeys. Do many of them take the chance? What do they tell you? Please give us some examples! Our customers prefer printed questionnaires over online ones. Many of them complain about the hotels and staff.
There are press releases on your homepage. Why don´t you offer private opinions on your service additionally? In my opinion it is complicated to publish private opinions on the homepage because they can easily be faked.
Which training do your tour guides have? There is no training for tour guides in Germany. They mostly have a training closely related to their job as some of them are teachers, art historians or something like that.
Who is responsible for the planning of the journeys? I am, but I am supported the bus drivers. Additionally, I work together with hotels and organizers.
You own a travel agency in the centre of Munich. Commercial premises are expensive in the city. Are these travel agencies profitable? Yes, they are. Especially frequenters use the possibility to speak directly to our colleagues.
Do you offer any special payments or treats to your employees? They receive bonuses. Moreover they are allowed to use the bus a private vehicle if they want to.
Why don´t you offer over-night journeys? I disapprove of over-night journey because they are dangerous. The bus driver is often tired and the substitute is neither rested nor refreshed. Furthermore, we gave away the double decker bus because the barycentre is too high, which makes it unsafe. Due to these security actions we never had to face a major accident .
You also offer catering, wellness, branding and more. Do your guests often make use of these? We have a lot of bookings of these kind .
Comeniusproject: BIFF March 2011 – Report Glonn, Bavaria <ul><li>Our task will be: </li></ul><ul><li>How can we manage that young people (girls and boys) are willing to learn how to drive a bus and become a busdriver for our company? It won`t be easy ! </li></ul>